Globalization is fueling greater supply chain complexities for transportation and logistics industries, at a time when consumers and businesses are demanding access to real-time transit information. Fortunately, mobile technologies, cellular and Push to Talk (PTT) are helping transform the business of moving people and products, enabling transporters and shippers to improve customer service, cut costs and increase both productivity and visibility across the supply chain.
In 2013, research conducted by Intermec (now part of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility) revealed that transport and logistics companies could save nearly half a million dollars per year as a result of process re-engineering and the implementation of mobile technology across workflows. In this same study, 60 percent of managers indicated that broadband mobile communications such as 4G and LTE represented the single biggest future driver of ROI. In an earlier study, Intermec also found that most of the global organizations surveyed believed that arming their mobile workforce with new technology could reduce both pick-up times (by 30 percent) and delivery times (by 29 percent), savings that could ultimately translate to boosting operational efficiencies and meeting customer demands.
It is no secret that transportation and logistics industries have long benefitted from the use of mobile technologies. Two-way radios, bar code scanners and mobile computers have historically been utilized to manage virtually every operation across the supply chain from manufacture to delivery. Today, thanks to advances in rugged mobile devices, mobile applications and PTT services delivered over broadband, organizations can benefit from a unified, purpose-built communications solution that can keep transportation and logistics businesses moving forward in the 21st century and beyond.
Below is a snapshot of the operational efficiencies and customer benefits that rugged mobile devices, broadband and PTT can deliver across transportation and logistics organizations:
- Real-Time Visibility Into Supply Chain – the ability to know where people and products are at all times has become as critical to customer satisfaction levels as it is to supply chain management. Using rugged devices that feature GPS location mapping and built-in cameras for bar code scanning applications, shippers can track virtually any asset from the points of manufacturer, sales, distribution and delivery. This level of insight can help managers streamline operations across the supply chain for improved delivery times, and provide real-time asset visibility, shipment updates and status notifications to customers.
- Reliable Communications With the Broadest PTT Coverage – feature phones, smartphones and tablets are being used to facilitate voice, text and email communications between dispatchers and drivers, distribution centers and dockworkers, and maintenance and repair workers. Using mobile devices with enhanced Push to Talk (ePTT) capabilities, these workers can facilitate instant and targeted one-touch communications about deliveries, change requests and other time-sensitive events. Secure, over-the-top PTT over cellular also provides organizations with greater range in device choices and broader coverage over public and private Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks.
- Hands-free, Voice Communications – for any organization managing a commercial fleet of vehicles, eliminating driver distraction is now a matter of regulatory compliance. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) finalized a rule prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using handheld cell phones while operating their vehicles in an effort to combat incidents as a result of driver distraction. Commercial truck and business companies that allow their drivers to use handhelds while driving can face up to $11,000 in fines. Dash-mounted rugged phablets and hands-free accessories enable truck drivers to initiate and participate in one-touch walkie-talkie style communications using ePTT services, ensuring risk-free and compliance voice communications while on the road.
- Maintain One Durable, Multi-Use Device – rugged devices and PTT over cellular (POC) enables workers who had to carry multiple devices (at a minimum: one tablet and one two-way radio) to now maintain one device for voice, data and PTT. This unification not only reduces hardware and maintenance costs for transporters and shippers, but it also increases the productivity of mobile workers. For example, long-haul truck drivers must keep an electronic record of Hours of Service (HOS) to ensure compliance, plan their itineraries and account for routing updates from dispatchers. In addition, they must be able to initiate or participate in PTT communications while en route. These activities can all be consolidated via the use of a dash-mounted tablet with hands-free accessories. And considering that many long-haul drivers may travel up to 100,000 miles per year over various road conditions, rugged devices provide the most durable device option designed to withstand the thousands of hours of exposure to vibrations, shocks and weather extremes.
Transportation and logistics industries are challenged with the duality of regulatory requirements and tighter profit margins. Further complicating the competitive landscape is increasingly high customer expectations, with a desire to know where products are at any given time and with a never-ending desire to obtain goods faster and cheaper. Rugged devices are built with the processing power and feature set to support best-of-breed applications that are critical to the mobile worker’s job, and with the long-term durability required to withstand occupational and worksite hazards.
Kyocera offers a wide range of rugged mobile devices, including feature phones, smartphones and phablets, all of which include the following features:
- Dust proof and impact resistant to maintain optimal performance and operational integrity;
- Water proof with the ability to survive in up to 6 feet of water immersion for up to 30 minutes;
- Highly-durable, scratch resistant Sapphire Shield display that protects against incidents and the elements;
- Continuous productivity with Glove and Wet Touchscreen Operation;
- Meets IP68 and Military Standard 810G rating for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, high altitude, solar radiation, humidity and water emersion; and
- Off-the-shelf support for enhanced PTT services to facilitate one-touch walkie-talkie style communications.
In the world of transportation and logistics, dependable communication for the mobile worker is paramount. From fleet management and delivery services to field maintenance, these workers demand devices that are built to withstand life on the road, at sea, in the air or by rail. Kyocera offers the industry’s most innovative line of rugged devices to accommodate virtually every type of transportation and logistics worker.