Automation Enhancing Processes and Bolstering Fleet Payment
The conversation about automation in the trucking industry is certainly not revolving around business systems or fleet payment, rather it is concentrated on autonomous trucks and their impact on the industry and on jobs. But while all the talk seems to be about how autonomous trucks will solve the driver shortage or become a disaster for existing drivers, there is more to it. Automation means efficiencies; it does not mean complete control. The good news is that research from Uber’s Advanced Technology Group shows that there very well may be an increase in trucking jobs as autonomous trucks are introduced into the market, not a decrease or a disaster at all. Very much like business automation systems in fleet payment have enhances the financial aspects of trucking, the Uber Freight team envisions a mixed fleet where self-driving truck technology will enhance the job of the truck driver.
Uber does not believe that self-driving trucks will be doing “dock to dock” runs for a very long time. They see a future in which self-driving trucks drive highway miles between what they call transfer hubs, where human drivers will take over for the last miles through complex urban and industrial terrain. — Alden Woodrow, the product lead for self-driving trucks at Uber
Alden goes on to say that he believes that self-driving trucks will only compliment the truck drivers, not replace them. And as mentioned, because of the efficiencies that automation allows, if these autonomous trucks are successful, demand will increase in the market, driving prices down which means more demand, which mean more business. We are already seeing a bigger demand for local drivers based on the increase in freight deliveries. However, currently that demand and the shortage of drivers are driving retail prices up. If self-driving trucks can answer that demand, prices will drop, facilitating the need for more jobs in every aspect of trucking, particularly local.
Very much like mechanical automation has transformed logistics in trucking, business automation in financial systems is transforming the fleet payment side of trucking. Accounts receivable and payable are experiencing efficiencies that are facilitating fleet payments in ways the industry could not have anticipated ten years ago. Industry leader EFS is responsible for developing innovative systems and tools that are mitigating error and streamlining a process that previously relied on paper and human resources. But very much like concerns over self-driving trucks creating job displacement, these business automations create efficiencies in specifics areas of the business allowing for more focus in other areas. That translates to the potential for more jobs where human resources are needed to help grow the business and the fleet.
Innovation in fleet payment systems includes everything from fleet cards to mobile pay and cash transfers. A partner like EFS who is an expert in financials specific to the needs of the trucking industry not only provides knowledge and capabilities necessary for a more efficient and error free system, they can also provide strategies for growth in the bigger picture.
Almost any industry today relies on an integrated business and communication system that can talk to each other in a cloud-based platform not limited to the hardware. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software can manage and integrate a company’s financials, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities all in the cloud. EFS Fleet Payment systems can be integrated into any ERP systems software in order to produce even more robust capabilities and communications.
The Top 6 Reasons that EFS Payment Automation is Helping Fleets Grow
1. Innovative Technology: Continuous improvement and progress in technology help to simplify complex business payments daily.
2. Industry Experience: After 50+ years of serving the trucking industry – knowledge of payments and knowledge of fleets.
3. Universal Acceptance: Fleet and fuel card solutions that are accepted at over 15,000 truck-stop locations across North America.
4. Visibility and Control: Systems and tools that provide visibility, actionable insights and control so fleets can focus on taking the business to the next level.
5. Individualized Approach: Customized systems and tools based on specific needs that ensure fleet payment processes work the way they are required.
6. Forward Thinking: Innovative leadership enables the future of commerce to the trucking industry, which will also create innovations that become the standard for all industries.
While the idea of automation replacing humans is a concern, the reality is that there is much more to business than technology and the perfect example is in the truck driver. They are not solely responsible for driving the truck – they have way more responsibilities than simply keep the truck on the road and headed in the right direction.
The drivers are getting in and out of the truck. They are moving axles. They are checking brakes, checking air hoses. They are talking to people. — Alden Woodrow, the product lead for self-driving trucks at Uber
As Alden implies, there is so much more to be done, and the same can be said of automation in financial divisions of trucking. Automation in fleet solutions help freight carriers unlock the value behind fleet payments – so the human element of the company can focus on making the fleet the best it can be.