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Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: 5 Key Ways to Optimize Your Fleet Utilization and Efficiency

Gaining enhanced data visibility is a key component for transportation companies as they seek to grow and become more efficient in today’s ever-evolving supply chain

As the supply chain grows more complex, the more data is generated - from vehicle and driver data to key information related to load planning and asset maintenance. But this massive amount of data is only valuable if you know how to properly manage and interpret it. Fortunately, having the right technology can help you achieve this.

Regardless of what kind of transportation organization you operate or your role within the business, technology is helping fleets of all shapes and sizes to gain valuable data-driven insights to increase productivity and safety, streamline processes and, ultimately, improve decision making.

Some of these technical applications are helping to reimagine:

 

1. Coaching Drivers

Did you know that 10 percent of a fleet’s drivers can account for up to 65 percent of their total accident risk? Without the right data, how can you uncover which drivers most need coaching so that you can work to eliminate risky driving behaviors before they cause an accident?

Technology like a safety analytics platform can help fleet safety managers pinpoint where they need to focus their coaching efforts. By harnessing intuitive dashboards on important metrics like CSA violations, Hours of Service (HOS) details and other driver behavior, safety managers can more readily understand where to intervene and how.

Driver coaching can also be enhanced by advanced technologies like machine learning. Video systems are increasingly utilizing machine learning to segment video clips based on risk. By streamlining the review process, safety managers can review the footage that matters and coach those drivers to realize improved behavior behind the wheel.

 

2. Managing Driver Retention

Not only do fleets care about keeping their drivers safe behind the wheel, they care about keeping them behind the wheel. Unfortunately, in an industry that can average 80 percent driver turnover rates, this can be a constant challenge for carriers to keep their driver base full.

The traditional approach to driver retention has been largely informed by gut feel, with fleet managers relying on metrics such as how many miles a driver has driven, load types and personal interactions. While this insight is better than nothing, it can be a time-intensive and manual process to keep tabs on drivers who may be most at risk of leaving.

Technology is enhancing this process, too, with driver retention analytics platforms that can help fleets utilize data and machine learning to predict why a driver might leave and prescribe actions to help intervene before they do. Not only does this help simplify the driver management process, it can do so with a high degree of accuracy. For example, Trimble’s driver retention platform can help identify drivers at-risk for leaving over a seven-day horizon with 90-95 percent accuracy.

 

3. Matching Drivers and Available Loads

It’s not just a fleet’s drivers who can be positively impacted by advances in data and analytics. Key back office functions such as dispatch can also utilize technology to improve how work is done.

Each day, a fleet’s dispatchers and load planners spend hours to manually match drivers with freight loads. The manual nature of this process and high volume of loads can result in matches that might not be ideal fits for a fleet, its drivers or its customers. 

Trimble Dispatch Advisor is one example of advanced technology that can help to better the load matching process. Trimble Dispatch Advisor analyzes a fleet’s vast number of loads and drivers to identify the best matches based on factors such as location, available driver hours and time windows.

By utilizing a load matching platform like Trimble Dispatch Advisor, users can receive recommendations on a primary match as well as secondary matches, empowering load planners to quickly review recommendations and choose the right one for their fleet.

 

4. Optimizing Vehicle Uptime and Maintenance

Keeping a fleet up and running can involve monitoring driver availability and available capacity, but it also has to do with ensuring the maintenance of your trucks and other equipment. As technology advances, the wealth of data available from today’s trucks can help you and your maintenance teams better plan for routine repairs and potentially avoid breakdowns in the first place.

 

 

Utilizing a fleet maintenance platform such as TMT Fleet Maintenance can enable you to track and define key performance indicators (KPIs) to enhance performance and asset availability.  From preventing equipment breakdowns and tracking parts and labor to identifying underperforming assets, technology is helping maintenance professionals make more informed decisions - whether they are at their desk, in the shop or on the road.

 

5. Allowing for Supply Chain Visibility

Frost & Sullivan notes that supply chain visibility is the most sought-after service by shippers and is a priority capability for logistics service providers. Advances in technology mean that supply chain visibility is more than just simple track-and-trace functionality, it is now about providing access to details of the condition of cargo in transit to help enable more informed decision making across the supply chain.

This enhanced view isn’t just valuable for shippers and carriers but for brokers and 3PLs, too. By harnessing data from an integrated transportation management system (TMS), visibility solutions can provide trend analysis, performance metrics and robust reporting that leads to better planning, reduced costs and a higher level of customer service.

 

Enabling You to Evolve with the Transportation Industry 

They say knowledge is power and properly utilizing data is key to your business’ continued success. For decades, Trimble has provided these data-focused solutions to companies just like yours, regardless of where you are in the transportation supply chain. 

Contact us today to learn more about how you can more confidently back up your decision making with tangible data to drive improved performance and productivity.