William Thomson is famous for saying something along the lines of: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” And Thomson (aka Lord Kelvin) knew a thing or two about measurement; he did, after all, develop the Kelvin Scale for measuring temperature.
While Thomson was referring to the importance of measurement in the scientific realm, his adage can be applied to any number of personal and business pursuits – including trucking operations, where accurate, consistent and contextualized data are key to meaningful measurement that results in significant improvement.
“The potential for fleets to harness intelligent insights from diverse data sources is revolutionizing fleet management,” says EROAD CEO Mark Heine. “By aggregating data from telematics, transportation management systems, IoT sensors, vehicle original equipment manufacturers, data, sales, and invoicing systems, fleets can access real-time impactful insights.”
More and more, the ability to collect, understand and apply data intelligence from vehicles and other assets will mean the difference between operations as usual and operational transformation. Simply put, organizations that embrace the growing data revolution in the transportation industry position themselves for success; those that don’t are at risk of being left behind.
How Can Data Support Operational Improvement?
In many cases, transportation businesses first adopted telematics as a matter of regulatory compliance. And many businesses soon discovered that, in addition to ensuring compliance, telematics offered insights that could help them increase safety and operational efficiency.
Today’s technology goes way beyond basic compliance. Rather than just fulfilling a regulatory requirement, advanced technology that gathers and contextualizes data represents an opportunity for trucking businesses – a way to quickly gain a competitive advantage.
The role of data has surpassed mere analytics. It has become a driving force that is reshaping the trucking industry. Forward-looking trucking companies are realizing that data isn’t just about numbers and statistics; it is the compass guiding them to safer, more successful operations and sustainable growth.
When properly contextualized – through real-time alerts, dashboards, reports and more – data is a powerful tool for augmenting human decision-making both in the moment and for the long term.
How Are Trucking Companies Using Data to Be More Successful?
Data has the potential to improve nearly every facet of trucking operations. Here are some general categories in which data is helping trucking companies be more successful.
Operational optimization: A major advantage of data for the trucking industry lies in route optimization and operational efficiency. Real-time data sourced from telematics systems and GPS devices enables companies to adjust routes based on traffic patterns, weather conditions and road closures. This optimization minimizes fuel consumption, reduces transit times and maximizes overall operational efficiency – and can support sustainability goals through reducing idling. Furthermore, asset tracking technology lets carriers pinpoint the location of trailers and other assets to improve utilization. Additionally, sensors can provide data about trailer health and readiness, while in transit or in the yard.
Cost reduction: Data analytics isn’t just about crunching numbers; it’s about uncovering opportunities for cost reduction and performance improvement. Trucking companies are utilizing data related to fuel consumption, vehicle performance and maintenance schedules to identify areas for optimization. Predictive maintenance based on data analytics reduces downtime, prevents unforeseen repair costs and ensures optimal fleet performance.
Safety enhancement: Safety is a major concern for trucking companies, and data is proving to be a game-changer in this area. Monitoring driving behavior through data-driven insights delivered via sensors, cameras and telematics devices aids in identifying and addressing risky driving habits. By supporting adherence to safety programs and regulatory compliance, data has significantly contributed to reducing accidents and enhancing road safety.
EROAD: Your Data Intelligence Partner
Trucking businesses are focused on the business of trucking – not data science. That’s where EROAD comes in. Our platform simplifies data to help business make better decisions. And we consistently make investments to improve and enhance our technology solutions, such as the addition of a chief data science officer to our leadership team, beneficial collaborations with organizations like Microsoft and our ever-expanding list of technology integrations with major industry providers.
“At EROAD, we believe that you can’t plan where you’re going tomorrow if you don’t know where you are today,” Heine says. “We offer more than just telematics; we deliver unparalleled insights to enhance fleet and operational performance. We empower transformation by increasing efficiency, enhancing productivity, managing safety and compliance, and measuring sustainability.”