As a small, family-owned waste disposal company, Daily Disposal always relied on pen and paper to document routes and manage customer accounts. But as the company began to grow, it became apparent that a more efficient way to route trucks and document trash pickup was needed.

With the help of dashboard-mounted tablets, smartphones and mobile apps, Daily Disposal was able to significantly increase efficiency and save money.

Daily Disposal is just one of many transportation and logistics companies reaping the benefits of mobile transportation technology. They understand that the right mobile devices and applications can make a real difference by helping to keep drivers safe, ensuring compliance, enabling vehicle monitoring, tracking fleet locations and driving down cost per mile.

For a transportation business, a successful deployment should begin with the devices themselves. Many fleets will be satisfied with a device like the Samsung Galaxy Tab E, which features a large screen and powerful quad core processor to make it easy for drivers to access and edit information. In more demanding environments companies will benefit from rugged devices, with a durable MIL-STD-810G rated design built to withstand road vibrations and bumps. To ensure stability, also consider a rugged mounting system with Global Distribution System (GDS) connectivity. This combination keeps devices secure while connected to power and maintaining continuous data communications.

Organizations should also consider the device’s GPS capability, which is critical for vehicle tracking, as well as a robust security platform built from the chip up to ensure that customer and business data remain secure at all times.

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Fleet Software Improves Productivity

For transportation and logistics companies, the benefits come from the synergy between hardware and software tools, generally in the form of fleet telematics and fleet management solutions. These types of solutions are more important than ever, since they can help companies comply with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate now in force across the country. This rule requires commercial trucks in long-haul service to electronically record driving times and Hours of Service data on a device connected to the vehicle’s engine.

This device can be a smartphone or tablet. One report found that nearly three-quarters of fleets are either currently using telematics or plan to do so in the next year. Of those implementing new technologies, 41 percent said they were doing it to increase regulatory compliance.

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But there more advantages than simple compliance to upgrading your telematics solution. According to Frost & Sullivan, fleet operators often see increases of up to 15 percent in productivity after implementing these technologies — as well as reduction of up to 25 percent in total miles driven; up to 30 minutes per day in driver labor savings; a 30 percent reduction in vehicle idle time; and fuel cost reductions of as much as 25 percent.

Some of the most important features to look for in fleet telematics and fleet management include:

Capturing and analyzing driver and vehicle data: If you can track information on speeding, rapid acceleration, idling and harsh braking, you’ll be able to work with drivers to address these issues. Not only does this enhance driver safety, but it can significantly advance fuel efficiency. These savings can definitely add up — according to the American Transportation Research Institute, fuel accounts for up to 40 percent of fleet operation costs. In addition, by tracking the location of drivers at all times, companies can improve customer service.

Monitoring vehicle diagnostics: Fleet management software can significantly improve vehicle maintenance by monitoring diagnostics and performance on a continual basis. This information can be instrumental in understanding when vehicles may require maintenance. In addition to helping avoid a catastrophic event on the road, tracking this data enables pre-emptive maintenance and promotes efficient scheduling.

Fleet-optimized routing: With this capability, drivers can add or remove stops, navigate around heavy traffic and accidents, and create efficient routes that reduce driving time and improve customer service. Combined with powerful and effective mobile devices, the net result is an easier life for drivers, along with timelier deliveries for customers.

Equipping drivers’ devices with fleet telematics capabilities can dramatically improve everything from productivity to vehicle safety, especially for small fleets and owner operators, which comprise the vast majority of North American trucking carriers.

Get our free roadmap to the future of fleet management to learn more about how to transform the way you manage your fleet, increase efficiency and better retain drivers. See what connected fleet solutions are available to help you meet company and driver needs.

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Karen D. Schwartz

Karen Schwartz has more than 20 years of experience writing about technology and business issues across the spectrum, including government, small business, education and channel. Schwartz has written about everything from telecommunications to outsourcing for industry-leading publications like CIO, InformationWeek, eWeek, Government Executive and PC Magazine, in addition to dozens of ghostwritten white papers, articles and case studies for companies like Microsoft Corp., Comcast, Dell, Unisys Corp. and CDW.

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