Communication enriches the lives of people and businesses of organizations. In the logistics industry, communication is not just the managers dictating instructions but is a collaborative effort by the managerial division, operational division, and the add-ons of the fleet like the telematics software to increase revenue generation and profit margins.
Moreover, as company owners and stakeholders continually strive for faster and better performance, the need for premium quality high-end communication systems keeps increasing. Years of iterations in business models of various industries, we see that better communication and incorporation of advanced communication technologies translate to higher operational efficiencies and reduces overall expenditures.
So, is communication vital only to reduce costs and boost operations? No. Effective communication technologies and systems also help to ensure a high degree of safety on the road.
A lack of road safety, especially in the logistics sectors, leads to a lot of negative media attention, poor public relations, dented reputation, and reduced clientele, among many other unwelcome consequences.
Now that we have established why advanced communication systems are vital in any industry let us find out what makes a good communication system and what fleet management companies should look for while investing in one. Below are four key points you, as a fleet manager or an owner-operator, should take into consideration.
Safety and Security
Safety and security are the backbones of the sustainability of any company. Safety ranges from keeping drivers safe to making sure customers and other related data is also protected.
It is crucial that your communication systems have good firewalls and privacy features that not only discourage malware and hackers but also not accidentally leak information outside of the business sphere through bugs and glitches.
The risk of information leak is particularly greater when the devices are not analog. Hence, investing a little extra for better security of your private information will prove beneficial and can potentially save your company a large amount.
For example, using dashboard cameras with embedded artificial intelligence (AI) is a much better option than using dash cams that connect to their party software or other places of the internet.
You have now successfully checked not leaking information to outsiders, but another angle of safety and security is being able to store your data for easy and remote access no matter what happens to the devices and other communication hardware. This is where cloud computing technology comes in.
A reputed fleet management software, like Samsara, quickly and conveniently stores all the information acquired by its industrial IoT devices in the cloud. Hence, no matter what happens to the vehicle or the fleet, your information is always secure and available to view by simply logging in from any device from anywhere in the world!
Collision Avoidance Features
Safety on the road is the top priority when it comes to operations of a trucking company. The damage that road accidents cause is inexplicable. Every soul is important, property damages can be fixed, but the loss of lives takes a tremendous toll on all the parties involved in the accident.
Hence, it is important that your communication systems have collision avoidance technology so that they can communicate in real-time with the drives as well as the feet managers or owner-operators about rash driving, harsh cornering, speeding and other violations for future performance improvements.
As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 37,000 lives were lost in 34,247 commercial motor vehicle crashes. This is a huge number that cannot be taken lightly. Hence, even the smallest addition to your communication systems that improve safety can go a long way when it comes to saving lives.
The use of AI-powered truck dashboard cameras like that of Samsara, which seamlessly integrates with your vehicle telematics software, provides real-time driver assistance with preventive in-cab alerts, and discourage distracted driving, tailgating, rolling stops, and harsh driving.
Keeping up with maintenance plans and schedules can be a tedious task for managers in the logistics industry. To help managers and owners accurately analyze and interpret vehicle diagnostic information for timely scheduling and planning of maintenance activities, IoT devices like Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) were introduced.
By plugging into the onboard diagnostic (OBD) ports of the fleet’s vehicles, they record and stores all the relevant information like the hours of service of the drivers, idling time, and fuel consumption to not only help you with your preventive maintenance plans but also to make IFTA reporting and tax filing processes a breeze.
You can also monitor engine parameters like temperature and mileage to optimize the performance of your fleet.
Read this also: Why Companies Should Invest In Commercial Robots
Documenting and Messaging
Another feature for which you should keep an eye out in your advanced communication system is how well it can document your everyday activities and how efficiently it can incorporate messaging.
If your communications system can help you well with documentation of your business activities like fuel receipts and packing lists, you and your drivers will be greatly relieved of mountains of unnecessary and cumbersome paperwork. This will also empower the drivers to capture photos before and after deliveries that will help in the preparation of Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs).
Ability to send and receive messages can potentially save hundreds or even thousands of work hours every year by quickly communicating with the drivers about changes in schedules, pickups, drop-offs, cancellations, and reroutes. This will also help your organization save a lot of money in fuel expenditures because you can abort or terminate a delivery at any instant, rather than going all the way to the delivery spot only to get the news of a cancellation.
All of these features within a fleet tracking app help your drivers stay connected to you and the organization no matter how far away they are from the office or headquarters. It improves productivity, simplifies administration, and customizes your operations to better suit the ever-changing demands of your clientele.
Does your communication technology system equip your organization with all the features discussed in this article? Does it help you save big chunks of money every year while also making your workflow streamlined and hassle-free?
If you said “No” to any of the two questions, then consider upgrading to a better plan or maybe even change your service provider for better returns on investment (ROIs).