Logistics management & supply chain operations often involve more mobile resources than any other business function while needing to integrate with a wide range of other workforce and business processes. The combination of technical advances, price point reductions and solution integration sets the stage for widespread adoption of mobile technologies across industries and company sizes, with projects that deliver value in weeks, not months and years.
The capabilities of today’s smartphones and mobile data networks have expanded well beyond the rudimentary mobile tracking solutions that have been used to manage resources on the road in the past. At the same time, the cost of mobile technology has dropped dramatically while the functionality of mobile devices, ranging from smartphones and iPhones to tablets and GPS devices, has expanded. Mobile data coverage has increased, as network providers have invested substantially in 3G, 4G, LTE (long-term evolution) and WiMAX infrastructures to deliver broadband speeds over any distance to any location.
With this combination of advanced capabilities, lower cost and ubiquitous access, logistics providers have an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on what mobile has to offer, whether that’s:
- Tracking mileage
- Measuring driver/field worker performance
- Interacting with back-end systems (e.g. CRM – customer relationship management, payroll, etc.)
- Managing scheduling and routing
Even on the compliance front, mobile technology can be leveraged to automate vital information, such as:
- Hours of service (HOS)
- Hours per work week
- Fuel tax reporting
- Fuel consumption
- Engine and driver performance
However, because of the complexity of the systems, the key to successful Mobile Resource Management (MRM), is having a single vendor or systems integrator that can work with data plan providers, hardware/software solutions, and installers to tie all the mobile pieces together.