“We’ve seen a dramatic convergence between features like GPS and telemetry systems, and a convergence of the software available on the ruggedised PDA devices widely used in the sector,” Mr Repaci says. “These days a single device might contain the vehicle management system, job scheduling and maybe email access.”
Pursuing agile business
Charlie Macdonald, Telstra’s industry executive for manufacturing, transport and logistics, says device independent software reflects a broader trend towards more efficient agile business practices.
“Transport and logistics companies are increasingly using subcontractors, and want to be able to deploy solutions quickly without high levels of expenditure on equipment,” Mr Macdonald says.
“They also want to be able to take advantage of new functionality as it becomes available because the cost of not having access to it may well mean they lose out on market share. It is also enables business to maintain control of their Chain of Responsibility commitments by developing apps (speed and fatigue management) that can be used by their sub contract fleet”.
Mr Macdonald points out that device-independent software lets logistic companies to become more responsive to seasonal or sudden shifts in demand.
Rather than providing short-term staff and contractors with expensive equipment, they can make scheduling and navigation systems available for download to a driver’s smartphone.
“They’re reducing the cost of change because they can gradually upgrade their software without having to replace expensive hardware at the same time,” Mr Macdonald says. “It will ultimately make the industry far more efficient, productive and capable of change.”
To find out how technology can add flexibility and agility to your business speak to your Telstra Account Executive.