Has the economy caused us to become addicted to numbers? Or are we just beginning to fully realize how technology can help us increase our productivity?
As an engineer, I tend to place my trust in numbers. But even I'm trying to decide if I am goal-driven or numbers-obsessed.
The last few months, it seems numbers are taking over my life. I used to run each day just to keep in shape. Now, thanks to my kids, I'm wearing a fitness device that tracks my route, speed, and heart rate. It also downloads the results into a convenient report.
While we have the option of increasing technology in our personal lives, fleet, snow/ice removal, and other managers do not. As operating margins become even tighter and capital budgets even more constrained, achieving operational improvements is more important than ever. Fortunately for our industry, there are plenty of new opportunities to greatly improve our fleets.
I recently had the opportunity to take a test run through the Telogis Fleet 8 management software. Telogis, an Aliso Viejo, Calif., software developer, since 2001 has a solid track record in the over-the road trucking industry. But I believe the new software features unveiled at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in March are very appropriate for all types of fleet managers.
These new features show how much fleet management has changed from the old days of the speedcall button system you could find on trucks in the 1980s. The software demonstrates how you should take an integrated approach to this key management function. It includes:
- Real-time traffic data. Fleet managers and dispatchers can reassign jobs if they notice a traffic jam or incident that prevents a truck or crew from getting to a jobsite on time.
- Real-time weather monitoring. The new features aid dispatchers in routing and planning. When the fleet manager notices severe weather approaching, Telogis Fleet 8 helps alert drivers, crews, and even customer support staffs in the field whether they can continue working. The feature can also help reroute trucks already in traffic.
- Streetside/Birds Eye View. Dispatchers can easily view the actual location and surroundings of the job and trucks. Benefits include providing emergency-response teams with the ability to determine the potential clean-up equipment needs based on surroundings (trees, utility poles, etc.).
- Field Management Co-Location Modules. The system can use GPS to determine when a foreman/supervisor, QC technician, or mechanic is at the jobsite. This particular feature helps managers determine how field resources are deployed and supervised.
- Multiple Vehicle Histories. Managers can view the current and historical status of multiple vehicles in a single window. Tracked information includes incidents of mobile workers congregating in a single location for too long, and speed versus posted speed-limit signs for known speeding offenders.
To learn more about the Telogis fleet management program, visit www.telogis.com.