Nashville, TN — The on-demand economy is here, and transportation businesses must become increasingly interconnected to keep pace with an ever-changing market. This was the message delivered to a large audience of fleet professionals, third-party logistics providers, freight brokers and other transportation industry professionals during today’s opening general session of the 2017 PeopleNet and TMW Systems in.sight User Conference + Expo.
In their opening addresses, TMW President David Wangler and PeopleNet President Brian McLaughlin emphasized that mobile technology has come a long way since it was first broadly embraced in the 1980s. Today’s mobile devices and related technologies have been the driving force behind the rapid rise of B2B and B2C eCommerce and the omni-channel business model. As online sales continue to grow and consumer expectations increase, the transportation industry is becoming increasingly reliant on the capture, analysis and exchange of data to deliver products as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Regardless of product category, the on-demand economy is revolutionizing the movement of goods from supplier to end user,” Wangler said. “The digital mobility first offered in early devices has today become the catalyst for millions of business-critical actions occurring every second. The winners in this revolution will be those who maximize their ability to leverage information in real-time for increased efficiency and agility.”
Representing the engine of the on-demand economy, transportation businesses are faced with an increasingly complex global supply chain characterized by evolving distribution models, shrinking delivery windows and reduced margin for error. On a macro level, Wangler said, these changes have spurred increased diversification among for-hire carriers, brokers, 3PLs and private fleets, and heightened the need for dramatically improved asset maintenance practices. In doing so, transportation businesses are turning to technologies that allow near real-time decision making through the use of predictive analytics and deep visibility into each step of the order and fulfillment process.
McLaughlin emphasized the importance of achieving a connected supply chain to address the competitive challenges associated with an on-demand economy. He also pointed to the connected nature of Trimble’s own transportation businesses, which include PeopleNet, TMW, ALK Technologies, Trimble Oil & Gas Services, ISE, among others – as an invaluable asset for companies that want to capitalize on the growth opportunities in a transformational market.
“Trimble is leading the industry in developing innovative solutions that help maximize collaboration among supply chain partners,” McLaughlin said, sharing Trimble’s vision of a supply chain made up of connected trucks, drivers, freight and intelligence. “The right technology, and the right technology partners, can enable supply chain simplicity, precision and efficiency.”
Establishing a connected supply chain will serve to enable safer drivers and fleets, more environmentally friendly operations and vastly improved efficiency. McLaughlin noted that PeopleNet and TMW cannot deliver on this vision alone. Rather, it will be accomplished through the combined capabilities of each Trimble transportation business.
The in.sight User Conference + Expo continues through Wednesday with a schedule comprising more than 400 educational sessions, technology exhibits from over 70 solutions providers, “Peer2Peer” roundtable discussions and several networking events. PeopleNet and TMW will present the 2017 “Innovator of the Year” awards during Monday’s Customer Appreciation Dinner. The conference will conclude with a luncheon speech by Canadian Robert Herjavec, widely known for his role as a Shark on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”