Technology distribution companies are providing more channels for business-to-business applications in record numbers. Utilizing the expansive cloud as an information hub, retail companies and service providers are able to engage customers with creative marketing campaigns and secure data storage and retrieval for more efficient operations. As real-time applications emerge with improved communications capabilities and flexibility to adapt to numerous platforms, the sky is literally the limit. Distribution companies are responding to their customers’ request for more user-friendly applications and management tools that simplify their operational tasks.
Traditional distribution channels have been similar to a one-way avenue where products, services or data flows continuously in one stream and in one direction. The cloud has shattered the norm, making storage and retrieval a two-way street for businesses. As technology becomes easier to use and more adaptive to a variety of business structures, more industries are taking advantage of analytics and customized applications to manage their fleet operations. Companies like Qualcomm Enterprise Services are working closely with fleet managers to provide options for maintaining accurate driver records, route planning and safer communications. Most recently, a telematics application has been developed to “provide fleet owners with a real-time service to manage and monitor their subcontractors.”
Business owners are always looking for ways to gather data and convert that data to information in an efficient manner. According to journalist Rose Patti, benefits of user friendly applications and fleet management software include the ability to produce profit and loss recaps by vehicle, exercise more control over cost management and make more informed decisions about leasing or scheduling routine maintenance and repairs. These digital fleet apps barely touch the surface of possibilities for trucking and freight companies.
As truck and auto manufactures in the United States and countries around the globe respond to regulations to improve safety and performance, more fleet operators are expected to upgrade their vehicles or opt to purchase new vehicles with onboard features factory installed. Fleet Transport reported in August that Europe had 2.5 million active systems deployed in commercial vehicles in the final quarter of 2011. Statisticians are projecting that this number will balloon to 5.7 million in the next three or four years.
Local and state offices are turning to fleet management systems as a way to comply with federal regulation and control cost in record numbers. Georgia, like most of the other states in our nation, has a fleet management system that allows agencies throughout the state to access real-time data related to vehicle operations and maintenance. Through visual graphics and numerical data, managers have access to everything from odometer readings and number of gallons of fuel consumed to a complete vehicle history, including idling engine hours. The capability to view data online with key information in a format that is customizable and capable of expanding is a key feature for administrators.
The freight and trucking industry is not the only business sector that’s benefiting from cloud distribution developments. Impressive applications are emerging in the healthcare industry for everything from managing patient records to monitoring vital statistics remotely. Hospitals like UC Irvine Medical Center are utilizing digital technology to improve patient experience and communicate more efficiently across different departments. Using iPads and an intra-hospital system that operates over a secure, encrypted network, the hospital has embraced the user-friendly technology. According to Adam Gold, director of emerging technologies for UC Irvine, the hospital is working to bring encryption options for cloud application into the mix.
Businesses, municipal facilities and non-profits are starting to take a closer look at the cloud and how management software can streamline their day-to-day operations. Distribution and development companies like Qualcomm and others are responding with newer user-friendly applications and industry packages to provide analytics that make it easier for fleet managers to control their operations. With so many successful conversions, it’s logical to expect more companies will follow suit.