5 Technology Options to Improve Transportation Efficiency

by Michael Koploy on 2012-05-27 01:52:36

Michael KoployThe U.S. recession has been difficult for many trucking companies. Many have had to layoff drivers and sideline trucks. Add-in the increasingly strict regulations being placed on driver hiring, truck safety and emissions, and many fleets are, well, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

As we exit the recession, these businesses will need the capital to reinvest in their equipment and staff. I recently spoke with various technology experts to gain insight into how transportation fleets can utilize technology to increase efficiency and margins--in order to build capital and improve the business.

Activity-Based Costing: ABC is one way for fleets to improve their measurement of service costs. By actively capturing the time it takes to complete even the most minute tasks, fleets can pinpoint loads, routes and activities that are especially costly. Fleet managers can then utilize ABC software to choose the best action to take--whether that means rethinking rates, routes or customers.

EOBRs: Electronic onboard recorders can reduce: logging inaccuracies, costly paper usage and fuel consumption (through more accurate monitoring). In addition EOBRs can improve truck-location visibility and help dispatchers re-route drivers when necessary.

RFID Fuel Management: One of the biggest worries of any company is the threat of theft at the fuel pump. One way to decrease these instances of theft--as well as improve the accuracy of current fuel investment--is radio frequency identification (RFID) fuel management technology. RFID chips mean that other drivers or trucks can’t steal fuel, and that fuel purchase receipts are sent to an online system. This way, managers can constantly monitor purchases and usage.

Electronic Contract Management: Electronic signing solutions are another way that fleet managers can better organize contracts and ensure that important documents aren’t forgotten. In one case study from EchoSign, Celadon was able to improve the average time it took a contract to be signed from 20 days to 5. This is important as fleets quickly need to lock-in customers and plan routes and deliveries.

Electronic Data Interchange: EDI is by no means a new technology. But, transportation companies can utilize EDI to automate repetitive tasks and improve operational efficiencies. For example, companies can automate the process of checking insurance records of drivers for unreported accidents or incorrect reports. By doing so, they can reduce the personnel necessary for these tasks and assign them to other responsibilities.

For more information on these technologies, you can head on over to my site and read the following article: Solutions to Improve Fleet Efficiencies and Keep on Truckin’.

Michael Koploy
ERP Analyst
Software Advice