With COVID-19 forcing the transportation industry to confront the pandemic’s impact on the supply chain, stay-at-home orders added a wrinkle to this situation by requiring some employees to work remotely. Although certain workers, including drivers, have kept working on the front lines during the pandemic, other employees may have shifted to working at home while these orders were in effect.
While states have started to reopen and some of these orders have been lifted, not everyone is going back into the office immediately. As many continue to work remotely, technology has been a key part of ensuring employee productivity and engagement while away from the workplace.
Not only are these solutions beneficial during this unique time but they have also uncovered new ways to maintain efficiency and connectivity that can benefit the transportation industry in more “normal” times, too.
SaaS Platforms Enable Fleet Personnel to Work From Anywhere
What has your workspace looked like during COVID-19? For some remote employees, it might be a home office, while others might be working from their kitchen table or couch. Regardless of “where” the work is being done, Software-as-a-Service or SaaS-based platforms can ensure “how” the work is being done doesn’t change.
For the transportation industry, SaaS-based versions of transportation management systems (TMS) are giving remote employees access to the information they need from wherever they are.
Unlike their on-premise predecessors, SaaS-based TMS solutions like Trimble’s Cloud Services, enable users to access the crucial business information in a TMS—from routing, planning and mileage to payroll, account payables and receivables and general ledger—from wherever they are. What’s more, these solutions can be deployed remotely, so fleets can quickly add this solution without the extensive time and physical installation of an on-premise TMS.
Asset maintenance and repair is also another key part of operations that are being transformed through the use of SaaS-based solutions. Trimble’s TMT Service Center platform can streamline the user experience and enable employees to access data around vehicle maintenance and performance to ensure fleet uptime.
These benefits aren’t lost on TMT Service Center user DieselTech, which operates a 15,000-square-foot maintenance and repair center in Burnaby, B.C., Canada. While DieselTech was not required to shut down, the upsides of SaaS-based TMT Service Center, including eliminating the need for VPN tunnels, remote desktop access and greater levels of IT support, made it a key component of DieselTech’s contingency planning.
Mobile Apps Ensure You Are Never “Out of Pocket”
Although the term “mobility” is often applied to driver and vehicle productivity, mobile apps are also enhancing how back office personnel stay connected to crucial business operations from wherever they are.
One example of this mobile-focused approach is through Video Intelligence Mobile, a web-based companion app of Trimble’s Video Intelligence™ solution. Available on both Android™ and iOS-powered devices, Video Intelligence Mobile gives users the ability to view accident footage immediately, as well as easily share specific videos with others in the organization.
Not only does this real-time view give fleets the information they need to potentially exonerate themselves in case of an accident but it can also help safety managers improve behavior across their driver base to prevent future accidents from occurring.
Trimble’s TMT Fleet Maintenance and Service Center tools also feature several companion apps to help increase mobile visibility into the maintenance and repair process. One example is TMT Parts Room, which allows users to quickly and easily create and manage physical inventory remotely. The app enables users to track any stocked, non-stocked or consignment part (new or used), tool or supply to increase inventory accuracy and reliability.
TMT also extends the benefits of mobile apps to the shop floor, further enhancing the service and repair process. With TMT Mobile Mechanic, fleets can enable mechanics to use their mobile devices to track parts and labor usage, open and close repair orders, recall repair service history, follow maintenance checklists, capture mileage and notes, and even locate and request parts.
Real-Time Notifications Keep You in the Know, Whether You Are Working Remotely or Not
The complexities of moving goods throughout the supply chain mean that there are a lot of steps to take between when a product is shipped and when it arrives at its final destination. Getting insight into all of these steps can be critically important to both the shipper and the carrier.
The need to keep users informed and up to speed is a key part of Trimble’s Visibility solution, which provides shippers and carriers with a clear snapshot of all their active shipments and their current status and location.
This includes a robust set of real-time notifications that can be delivered through both SMS text messages or via email. With these updates, users can stay informed no matter where they are and can be configured to help both internal stakeholders and customers remain up to date on where freight is in the transportation phases of the supply chain.
Supporting Transportation Wherever Work Gets Done
At Trimble, we are dedicated to creating and maintaining the solutions that keep your business moving forward. Continue to visit our COVID-19 Resource Center to stay informed on the pandemic’s impact on our industry and how Trimble is here to support you, both today and in the months and years to come.