What’s on the minds of the most innovative fleet executives? Data analytics and driver motivation.
Those two topics were recurring themes at an executive roundtable discussion during the Heavy Duty Trucking eXchange fleet networking conference in Phoenix this past May. The session featured Kirk Altrichter, vice president of fleet services at the Kenan Advantage Group; Ralph Lo Priore, director of fleet assets and processes at Stoneway Concrete and Gary Merlino Construction; Randy Obermeyer, terminal manager at Batesville Logistics; and Randy Swart, chief operating officer of A. Duie Pyle.
Altrichter, Lo Priore, Obermeyer, and Swart had each earned honors as HDT’s 2017 Truck Fleet Innovators, and each spoke about the forward-thinking programs they’ve implemented at their respective trucking companies. Those programs share a key component: data.
“When asked about leveraging data effectively, Altrichter said that not all data was ‘actionable,’ and stressed that a first step in using incoming information correctly is to concentrate on relevant data only, and ignore—or completely halt the flow of—additional data that does not support that effort.
Building on that theme, Swart emphasized identifying the issues you’re trying to resolve and then building your data-collection efforts around them to eliminate distractions.
All four honorees noted that although truck-generated data is coming in at ‘firehose’ volumes today, there is a distinct lack of information being generated by trailers, an issue all of them would like to see resolved in the near future.
Innovative companies are collecting and analyzing this data not simply to improve technology and get a better grasp of KPIs, but to better leverage their greatest resource—their drivers:
On the topic of motivation, all four honorees felt it is crucial to engage with employees at all levels to encourage active participation and buy-in on procedures and efficiency.
Obermeyer said his primary goal is to build an ‘Army of problem solvers’ in his shops who can tackle any challenge that comes their way. And while management programs are helpful, Altrichter said too many fleets today incorrectly assume a ‘one size fits all’ management solution will work. Instead, he emphasized talking to, and listening to, employees and understanding that sometimes, solutions specifically tailored to meet a group of employees or a unique circumstance or location is the better approach.
As the trucking and transportation industry’s already staggering demand for drivers intensifies, HDT’s roundtable highlights are a must-read for anyone seeking to use technology to improve, rather than obstruct, their hiring and engagement practices.
At the same time, the innovative execs’ bifurcated focus on data and employee motivation demonstrates the value of tools like our automated compliance platform, Compligo, which provides real-time insights into driver qualification, training, and performance. Our customers have used information gathered from Compligo to reduce turnover and make operations throughout their fleet safer, easier, and more efficient. See Compligo in action.