Technology is driving progress in transport services like never before. The advances are being made in areas that improve productivity, customer service, and safety – ideally all three at once. Some of the projects you may be interested in are summarised below:
Tranznorth uses one of the world’s leading freight management systems, Translogix. This software enables us to track multi-leg consignments, and manifest it onto the most efficient truck or carrier. Increasingly, data is automatically imported and exported from Sapphire via the electronic data interface (EDI). In this way, we receive jobs from our customers, manifest and dispatch them, with minimal data input being necessary. It also enables us to run predominantly paperless administration systems. The downside is – if we ever do need a postage stamp, we can never find one! Overall, our objective is to minimise unproductive tasks such as data entry, or folding paper, and spend this time on quality assurance.
We recently introduced a SOG (sign on glass) app. This means that instead of sending our drivers out with multi-page paper manifests, vulnerable to getting wet, lost or both, – they have a device that has an electronic version of a manifest. Our customers sign-on-glass, and this software also copes with equipment such as Chep pallet transfers or swaps. Data is exchanged with Translogix, and so we can provide real time POD (proof of delivery) to our customers, as well as photo or video coverage of any issues. This app also automatically advises the management team of any issues with deliveries, so we can get onto solving problems right away. As an added bonus, the app is also capable of emailing consignees (receivers) to advise of our delivery ETA, and also email a summary of the consignments we have on board for them. In this way, they know when we will get there and what they will receive when we do. This process eliminated over 50% of the paper we use, with corresponding cost savings and environmental benefits.
E-road electronic logbooks. All of our drivers use electronic as opposed to paper logbooks to record their obligations under the relevant Land Transport Rules. It is not possible to “fiddle” electronic logbooks, and this makes administration easy, as well as helping ensure the safety of our team and other road users. Fatigue is a serious safety issue, and this assists with managing it. It is our view that electronic logbooks should be compulsory before too long.
E-road vehicle tracking, automatic RUC purchases, fuel efficiency reporting, and driver safety reporting. E-road provides a comprehensive suite of management reports that enable Tranznorth to track vehicles, and also ensure that our policies around speeding, braking, and acceleration are being followed. The driver Leaderboard report reports on driver behaviours, and includes coverage of all speed zones on the road, not just open road zones. Our trucks are also speed limited for open road speeds, (the open road limit for trucks is 90km/hr).
We use these systems to track our DIFOTIS (delivery in full, on time, in specification). This is probably the ultimate level of customer service management and QA. We understand that our customers rely on our deliveries to be able to make sales, and thus employ people and ultimately benefit Northland’s economy. This is especially true for our tourism industry, that operates in a highly seasonal perspective. Our objective is to operate at a world class DIFOTIS. At well above 99%, we are achieving that consistently. We do make mistakes, but undertake to do what we can to resolve any issues as fast as is practical. And to the best of our knowledge, we make fewer mistakes than anyone else in our industry in New Zealand.