In-vehicle technology is the modern and influential force to empower drivers to manage their own compliance efforts. Everyone in the transport chain is responsible for his or her obligations to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR).
Applications are available at the driver’s fingertips that can make it easier to complete their daily tasks. Ensuring technology in the operation is effectively managed is an increasingly important task. Transport operators can gain from the positive momentum that technology can bring to the table.
However, introducing and managing change is often overlooked, which can result in negative perceptions before the benefits are made obvious.
Transport operators are required to safely manage their drivers and their tasks under the Chain of Responsibility. It is often perceived as a cumbersome duty, yet technology has proven itself as an important tool and resource for both drivers and the back-office.
The ‘big brother’ mindset is a common rationale for drivers when it comes to technology, yet it is often the complete opposite. When implemented successfully, technology can provide a hassle-free environment for the driver to complete their daily tasks simpler than ever before.
In fact, many progressive companies have drivers pushing for more technology and ways to improve compliance and safety.
The iFace is a tool for the driver that provides a window for multiple applications to be delivered from the one place, all at the driver’s fingertips.
Pre Trip Checklists are completed on the iFace and are submitted instantaneously to the back-office. The back-office no longer has to keep up with a manual system of chasing paper-work. Instead, results are available via detailed reports and real-time alerts.
Transtech’s Sentinel fatigue management system provides a number of benefits from visual and audible alerting of when to take rest breaks and when and where they rested. Drivers no longer have incorrect and mismatched information in their fatigue work diaries.
The driver’s roadside experience is significantly improved with the iFace. As the driver completes his or her tasks on the iFace, the real-time flow of information and immediate feedback provides them with the ability to alter their behaviour and remain compliant.
SpeedAssist helps the driver alter their on-road behaviour and habits. Immediate visual and audible feedback is used; drivers are less inclined to speed.
Mass Manager allows the driver to record the vehicle’s mass directly to the iFace. The back-office gains access to detailed reporting that breaks-down the information in human-readable terms.
When combined, these compliance-based applications help the driver ensure they are complying to all facets of the Chain of Responsibility. It means enforcement officers spend less time with drivers because they remain compliant.
The iFace even takes care of job management with SmartJobs. Jobs and runsheets are electronically transmitted from the back-office to the driver with immediate job information. It has the added ability to synchronise with existing Freight Management Systems to provide a crucial link to current job information.
Introducing technology and managing change in a modern transport operation.
No two fleets or operations are the same, just like no two drivers are the same – there is no precise answer on how to manage change. Every detail about an operation comes into effect from the task at hand and operational differences to the personalities and experiences of the driver.
There are a number of ways that change can be implemented, though certain steps can be taken to help introduce technology and change to drivers and back-office staff. It can be as simple as communication and involvement.
Identify the current issues and inefficiencies. Define the processes and current system and explain why they are ineffective. Collaborate to define the pain-points and create shared goals for a simpler and more effective system to incorporate into a solution.
Define a solution. A thorough plan and solution can be developed with the help of Transtech, to meet the shared goals and any other operational objectives and constraints. It is important to communicate the proposed solution to all staff – it helps to break down how the system will benefit the operation and why it will meet the shared goals.
Provide training, coaching & support. Once the system has been introduced, it is extremely important to remember that the success of its implementation depends upon the take-up by drivers and back-office staff. Providing initial and on-going training is tremendously beneficial to each individual person and the operation.
Celebrate & reward the milestones. No matter how big or small, remember to recognise who is responding well and provide incentive and positive reinforcement for them to continue to do so. Technology provides the measures – from least amount of violations to fatigue breaches to the driver that has altered their on-road behaviour the most. Incentives against these can be as simple as a small cash bonus – it is an affirmative measure to emphasise and strengthen morale.
The necessity for improvement in the operation becomes visible once the current processes have been discussed and documented as inefficient and ineffective. In order to stay competitive in an ever-changing industry, introducing technology needs be embraced, as it is fast becoming a futuristic requirement for a successful business.
How Transtech can help operators provide training and support.
Professional training and support has a proven range of benefits from energising employees to the development of leadership opportunities. It can stimulate a transport operation with new ideas and can encourage drivers and staff to learn new skills.
Providing an open door to training and support creates an environment for positively motivated employees to further excel and increase productivity and efficiency within the operation.
In-house training, support workshops, meetings or classes are as beneficial as expensive outsourced programs, especially when the right topics are considered and the material is at hand. Management gain the chance to engage with drivers in a new way.
Transtech has a training and knowledge portal available 24/7 that can be used to provide initial training and on-going support for its products, solutions and applications via instructive videos and user guides.
Some of Transtech’s customers have introduced the portal during a driver or staff member’s induction. It is both simple and instructive; the material available describes how to use Transtech’s myriad of applications from its flagship iFace and its applications through to NextGen, a tool for back-office staff.
It is a resource that has proven to be a great reference point for employees, both new and current. They are able to brush up on their knowledge of how to best utilise Transtech’s applications.
A successful introduction and integration of technology into a modern transport and logistics operation is a partnership between the management and its drivers and back-office staff.
Change is often perceived as daunting yet it can be effectively managed. This means it can be easily streamlined and moulded to suit the operation. Existing processes and procedures can then be altered and constructed to allow for technology.
Compliance is here to stay and the pathway for the future of technology has been envisioned. Staying future focused and positive toward technology is important in today’s ever expanding society.