The coronavirus crisis is a story with an uncertain ending. What is clear by now is that the human impact is already tragic, and that the economic impact will severely affect the industry.
All companies without exceptions need to act immediately to protect their employees, address business risks, and help mitigate the outbreak the best way they can by adopting new ways of conducting their businesses.
One of the major challenges to overcome during these difficult times is that these same companies also need to keep supporting their own customers on key initiatives to speed up their plans to adjust for this new reality as fast as possible to assure their own survival. Each company has to do its part because this fight will only be won with the joint effort of all of us without exception.
In this article I will share some insights based on the feedback we have been receiving from truck fleet operators. This is the story of what we are doing at Stratio to help our customers in the industry to fight and keep moving forward so that we can all have a future.
In the short term, operators need to tackle the workforce challenges and to protect employees, making their health and safety the paramount concern.
After all, truck drivers and all the teams involved in transport operations are the unsung heroes of the Covid-19 crisis, the ones keeping food, medicine and other essential goods available to all of us under tremendous stress, and preventing the entire economy from collapsing by maintaining supply chains running. This is why we should all #thankatrucker.
Simultaneously, transport operators need to be prepared to re-imagine the new normal after the health issue is resolved, and move hard and fast on productivity to scale back quickly to a normal demand-supply scenario, as the situation evolves and the economy accelerates back to full speed.
Although our technology was not purpose-built for a pandemic situation, due to its inherent characteristics, it is already supporting our customers to undertake the following decisive actions.
Transition to remotely-controlled operations to ensure the protection of employees
During the health crisis, and for contingency reasons, remote work has been established as the default operating mode, resulting in reduced social contact and limited exposure on all field related work.
The adoption of remote tools will persist in the long term and will ultimately bring efficiency gains for operators worldwide, as trial-and-error approaches are replaced by decisions backed with real-time remote field data to support decision making.
These are the main initiatives we are supporting trucking companies with to help them dealing with this new reality:
- Enabling remote work and limiting the exposure of field support teams by giving maintenance personnel access to remote vehicle diagnostics in real-time and to remotely controlled maintenance plans.
- Providing employees remote access to critical information to facilitate the communication between drivers and operations personnel.
- Remote training of drivers with indications of areas for improvement available both to the company and the driver.
Transition to automated processes to rapidly increase productivity
We are glad and proud to see that our customers are taking advantage of the current challenges to re-imagine and re-invent, one step at a time but at a fast pace, their operations.
The transition to automation enables companies to still keep many key areas of their businesses running in unexpected scenarios.
- Accelerating towards zero downtime: automated analysis of vehicle components allows companies to prevent unplanned vehicle downtime.
- Reducing dependencies: automation of work enables companies to continue operations even when labor is unavailable.
- Assuring business continuity: trucking companies must be able to keep performing critical services to the population and save jobs in the process.
We believe this crisis will also present great opportunities to improve the performance of innovative companies. It will make them more resilient to shocks, more productive and better equipped to deliver to customers whilst being prepared for the possibility of new surges of the pandemic.
Automated processes and remotely-controlled operations are indispensable to support any company’s journey through these difficult times, and will eventually lead to further improved efficiencies and increased profitability under normal operations once ‘life gets back to normal’.
We know we have a long road ahead of us, but the sense of pride of doing our best to contribute as much as possible to accelerate these transitions and help our industry to keep moving forward today, tomorrow and beyond, makes it all worthwhile.
We are ALL IN. What about you?