Does your fleet have a plan for technology evaluation?

By Gino Fontana

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Transervice
As originally appeared in FleetOwner Magazine’s IdeaXchange

All the new technology that is available today, or becoming available in the near future, is a good thing for the trucking industry. However, given all the choices, it can sometimes seem overwhelming to determine which technologies are actually right for your fleet.

Not every technology will make sense for every fleet. Duty cycles, loads, routes, etc., are all different, so each fleet’s technology needs are unique. However, there are steps all carriers can follow when making a technology-investment decision.

It starts with identifying a specific need. Ask yourself some questions about what problem the technology will solve, whether it will replace an existing technology or augment it, and what systems it will have to integrate with, and how easy that integration will be.

But perhaps the biggest question to answer is how your customers will benefit from the new technology. That benefit can be direct to the customer, or it can be something that makes your operation more efficient, which in turn will benefit your customers. Answering these questions will help make the decision easier as to whether technology makes sense for you.

Once you’ve determined that the technology will be beneficial, you will need to identify everyone that will be impacted by the integration of the technology into your operation. This may stretch beyond drivers, technicians, and dispatchers to others within your organization, including back-office and finance people. Make sure to solicit input from them about the technology and the best way to integrate it into your fleet.

Don’t forget to consider the training that will be required for all those who will be interacting with the new technology. There is no point in investing in technology if people are not going to use it properly.

The best course of action when it comes to new technology is to develop a standard procedure for evaluating and implementing it. This will keep you from getting distracted by the latest and greatest claims that are attached to most new technologies.

Remember, when it comes to technology adoption, there is no universal right or wrong answer. However, there is a right and wrong for your fleet. Having a plan in place will help you make the right technology decisions more often than not and then you will reap all the benefits that technology offers.

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