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Loving Logistics

Finding inspiration in traffic

Finding inspiration in traffic

It took me sitting in an Uber, stuck in Cape Town traffic, to come up with an idea that would pivot my business and change the way deliveries are experienced by customers, managers, retailers and stores.

I remember the moment clearly.

I was racing to a meeting, my teams were running around the country installing the traditional tracking units we sold at the time – 300 vehicles across 10 sites – and we were sprinting against the clock to get it all done on time. I was thinking about how traditional black boxes were limited in their telemetry and never quite gave the industry the visibility and transparency it needed and yet weren’t as scalable or easy to manage as they should be.

I was frustrated. The supply chain was frustrated. Everyone was tired of the same old thing over and over again. Then it struck me.

Uber. They use their drivers to let them know where they are, what they are doing, if they are available and what their status is. Uber knows exactly where their vehicles are because they took note of one crucial thing – the driver is the key.

I couldn’t believe how simple this was. Shouldn’t the driver be used to transform logistics execution challenges? The driver unlocks the entire supply chain, transforming efficiency and inspiring customer delight. A combination of the driver and mobile technology would instantly provide a first person view of what happens from the warehouse door and into the hands of the customer.

By empowering drivers, they become the critical source of first hand, real-time delivery information. They are immediately more engaged and feel a greater sense of purpose in their contribution to the complex logistics ecosystem. It is a strategic shift from the model where the driver is punished for everything that goes wrong into one where they are given clarity into their role and the expectations they need to meet. They become part of the business process and managers can implement proven, tested, objective and empirically based reward schemes based on actual results.

In turn, the drivers delight the customers by sending them automated notifications of delays or arrival times and customers are made to feel as if their deliveries are important. For operations managers, they gain insight and valuable data that helps them to determine business drivers that can be leveraged for optimal efficiencies

Finally, a solution that was inspired by people, turned into reality by technology and enabled by mobility.

Today, Trackmatic’s Driver-Led VisibilityTM solution puts control over vital data and information into the hands of those who live on the road. It is becoming the silver bullet that blasts through the complexities and costs of black boxes and outdated installations and instead uses the one thing that is ubiquitous across South Africa, the mobile phone.  The solution is being perfected every day, new ideas and updates and offerings added into the application to ensure it always provides the business with the information it needs. It is the ever-evolving tool that’s set to pioneer a new way of seeing the supply chain world – through the eyes of the driver.