The proliferation of high capability devices and innovative software, coupled with the drive for efficiency in business processes and mobile technology’s role in achieving that, is ushering in a new era of mobile resource management (MRM).

On the compliance front, mobile technology can be leveraged to automate vital information, such as hours of service, hours per work week, fuel tax reporting, fuel consumption, and engine and driver performance. Current and future regulatory activities are in fact mandating such on-board compliance solutions in certain circumstances and in some jurisdictions.

As an example, in recent US news, The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a regulatory proposal on January 31st, 2011, that would require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to install electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) to monitor their drivers' hours-of-service (HOS) compliance.  Read the full article In the fall of 2010, the “Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act” S. 3884 was introduced by Senators Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that would require trucks have these devices within three years.

There is little doubt that fleet operators will need to consider how to effectively reduce unnecessary risks and avoid penalties and other costs caused by manual log systems and possible regulation compliance breaches.  The upside is that operational inefficiencies can also be reduced, helping to offset costs while providing additional benefits. By integrating compliance and telematics solutions with complementary route planning, mobile execution, and performance management solutions, organizations can maximize fleet and driver productivity, improve service, gain visibility and capture the necessary data to drive world class logistics operations.

Written by Ken Wood

Executive Vice President, Product Strategy at Descartes