It’s a problem that arises time and again: unnecessary business complexity resulting from the fragmented, disconnected nature of the transportation industry. Disconnects between carriers and their clients, a lack of transparency and integrations between technology providers and transportation companies, a failure to correctly design digital solutions for physical problems. These inefficiencies and challenges can cause ripples that grow into waves of frustration throughout the supply chain.
At Trimble, we believe that the best way to address this critical issue is to better connect every company throughout the freight movement process to improve visibility across the connected supply chain. We’ve previously shared our vision for a connected supply chain, and we’re continuing to deliver on our “Connect & Scale” strategy with Trimble Transportation Cloud.
Transportation Cloud combines an array of products and services—both from Trimble and from our partners—to connect industry solution providers and transportation companies in a common, standardized digital environment. We’re taking new steps to expand the Transportation Cloud. Read on to learn how our vision will benefit the industry and help build its future.
Contending with Innumerable and Incompatible Solutions
As the transportation industry has evolved, many companies have purchased and implemented technology solutions and systems for fleet management, back office operations, maintenance and repairs, drivers and more in bits and pieces from a variety of providers. As a result, these solutions are often disconnected from one another—even when implemented within the same organization—because of systemic incompatibility and their inability to communicate with one another.
Over the years, many of these solutions may have been integrated or connected in a shared environment, but may have required custom integrations, a great deal of support to complete them, and an inefficient use of time to manually re-enter the same data into multiple solutions (such as driver or asset information). Not to mention the heavy lift when it comes to onboarding and training personnel to use the solutions.
This fragmentation has also resulted in back-office staff sometimes having to bounce between separate dashboards and portals to find, manage and analyze data from different devices or solutions, wasting valuable time on multiple logins and inputting data.
In order to move transportation companies – and technologies – forward, it’s essential that these integrations are faster and smoother, with fewer hours spent on integrations and data entry, and more spent on running the business. That’s where Trimble Transportation Cloud comes in!
Connecting One to Many
With Transportation Cloud, custom integrations will no longer need to be built from scratch. Our industry cloud provides a “one to many” connection point between not just Trimble solutions, but also to external partners and their solutions and data streams.
Imagine every house on your block had to build and maintain their own separate connection to the internet – everything from digging the trench, laying the cable and turning on access. Of course, that’s not how it works in the real world! Instead, a local internet service provider manages the infrastructure that connects your home to the internet; all you need to do is power up your router, connect your device and open a website.
In the same way, Transportation Cloud connects the services transportation businesses consume to one another and their partners, allowing teams to focus on using the data, instead of the infrastructure that moves it.
A global and seamlessly connected supply chain is built on a spirit of collaboration, and so is Transportation Cloud, which provides an integration “hub” between Trimble’s own solutions, as well as to customers, partners and competitors. Customers will only need to connect to Transportation Cloud once to leverage all the services available – the integrations are automatic and can be enabled when needed, without building separate custom integrations each time.
Rishi Mehra, vice president of product vision and experience, and Jaspreet Singh, director of product management, are two of the primary Trimble team members behind Trimble Transportation Cloud.
“It is an ecosystem catered to the transportation industry to create workflows and to improve some of the inefficiencies. It also provides businesses with one standard place they can go to for everything they need to do in their role,” Jaspreet explains.
“Offering services in the Transportation Cloud helps you work smarter, removing the mundane tasks and providing better connectivity between Trimble solutions and partners,” Rishi adds. “In this way, we can let people focus on what they do best rather than worrying about repetitive tasks which we can automate for them.”
Rishi and Jaspreet point to a variety of benefits customers stand to gain with Transportation Cloud, including streamlined integrations, seamless connectivity between solutions, reduced latency, better monitoring of services, improved visibility and more.
“We believe the future is around having access to data,” Rishi shared. “We want our customers to have the best experience possible and as many options and choices as possible, regardless of which providers they use.”
Bringing Solutions Together
Several Trimble solutions are already leveraging Transportation Cloud to share data between products, with many more to come in future months.
Two of the most recent developments include the addition of average dwell time metrics to both Trimble’s Engage Lane and Trimble Fleet Manager solutions, both of which were enabled via Transportation Cloud.
To calculate average dwell times, Transportation Cloud brings together GPS data from in-cab mobility devices with data from Trimble’s proprietary commercial locations data and then feeds it into a solution like Engage Lane during the procurement process, and Trimble Fleet Manager for estimated arrival times.
Just think of what other data points could be connected across the industry to create brand-new solutions and services that previously may have been too difficult to develop or execute, due to disparate or disconnected data sources.
Trimble will soon begin connecting its own solutions with external partners through Transportation Cloud, enabling data to flow between each product, service and user -- bringing more visibility to the industry. This network of connected workflows empowers fleets to choose the solutions that work best for their operations, without limiting them to specific products or solutions providers.
With its wide range of service and solution offerings across the transportation supply chain, Trimble is uniquely positioned to connect the industry through Trimble Transportation Cloud. Trimble customers already create more than 10 billion data points every day, providing the initial scope and scale needed to make Transportation Cloud an invaluable resource that will drive efficiency across this disconnected industry.
Plus, Transportation Cloud is built with industry-leading security features– all users will benefit from Trimble’s strong organizational focus on cybersecurity compliance and its strategic partnership with Microsoft, both of which offer top-of-the-line security monitoring and protection.
Transportation Cloud puts users in the driver’s seat when it comes to what data they share with whom, ensuring that users have control over what happens with their data. Additionally, Trimble has a strong data governance policy, even for completely anonymized and aggregated data, and never sells or shares data with external parties.
We are proud to begin rolling out new services through Transportation Cloud and look forward to encouraging rapid innovation and dynamic improvement through this simple, yet fully integrated, user experience.
If you’re interested in participating in Trimble Transportation Cloud, please contact us to see how we can integrate or provide your data and services.