Several years ago we reviewed What is the best route?. Like everything else in the world technology has made leaps and bounds from the early days of routing. Today we will visit this again with a technology update. We will go from basic routing to the more sophisticated Internet based tools in the market place today; Level 1 to Level 3. Some require external interfaces and others are integrated with the application.

 

Level 1:

We borrowed this from our Food Connex Cloud Application that allows for basic routing controlled by the users setting Stops and Routes. It does not perform any optimization using zip codes, but can provide a fully integrated solution for the smaller food Company with less than 10 trucks. It will produce a route manifest for the drivers to take as a cover sheet to their invoices.

 

Level 2:

Net based systems that are based on the internet for directions and truck routing. The most popular system is Roadnet that was developed by UPS Logistics many years ago. It has transformed from a premise based system to a web based system because the ease of access. They were purchased from UPS in 2013 by Omnitracs. This system will require integration from your current system unless vendor supplies integration tools.

Another Level 2 player that I see in the market is Appian Logistics. They were acquired by TMW in 2011. They also require an interface into your distribution system that must be managed by you.

As you can see this is a tough market requires good support and integration into your system.

 

Level 3:

As discussed in the introductory news letter about our parent company, their Seasoft and Provisions software provide an add-on product Mobile Fleet Manager that sets up a private URL where you can monitor your deliveries in real time. Some advanced features are:

  • Use cell phones for GPS tracking, pinging phones every 5 seconds for real time reporting. ETA’s are updated after every delivery is made thereby keeping everything current with real time information.

  • Cell phone used for signature capture and taking photographs of damaged product allowing for a very high level of service to your customers coupled with electronic delivery of your invoice.

  • Truck data containing service and maintenance information for Compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations

  • Dispatchers can reroute trucks in real time to load balance the day’s deliveries and driver routes are optimized using the real time traffic monitoring to avoid delays. Communication to driver’s devices are virtually instantaneous.

 

 

 

 

Issue 636 - Is that really meat?

We have spent a lot of energy over the years talking about transformation and taking advantage of opportunities. In February we touched on movement in the Plant-based Protein market. Well time to get the latest update on the financial side of that business and how it is penetrating the current businesses you sell to.

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