“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
Two weeks ago, we covered TruckHub’s live demonstration at MarketWaves18. MarketWaves18 showed that there were not many other companies that felt the need for technological innovation. Some companies demonstrated perfectly fine products, but their design seemed dated. Their products seemed to remain in the past and refused to move forward. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That mentality has its fair share of subscribers. It was apparent that some of those subscribers were at MarketWaves18. There is a reason for this mentality to exist in the trucking industry.
At the “Enterprise Truckload Carriers Speak Out” panel, Max Fuller, the CEO of USX, said a lot of other carriers “are operating on a 1980's platform." Fuller also stated how the industry is divided between those who adapt with great amounts of new technology and those that don’t. Even more prevalent, Fuller stated, in relation to the companies that do not adapt, that, “Over the next five to 10 years, that is not going to be an option." Technology advances rapidly. For these companies to stay content with outdated systems and applications is shocking to say the least.
Usually these companies that do not adapt are content speaking about driver recruitment and retention. These are the cornerstone concepts of trucking presentations. Even technologically advanced products, like TruckHub, have systems in place that have to deal with driver recruitment. It makes sense why conferences such as MarketWaves18 might drive these companies away. The companies that present at it are trying to be disruptive, “shake things up,” not be stagnant.
The Numbers Behind the Claims
Shaleen Devgun, the executive vice president and CIO of truckload carrier Schneider, agreed with Fuller. He provided some numbers that detailed how limited technology adoption is within the trucking industry. Thanks to more than 100,000 separate assets made up of tractors, trailers, drivers and other equipment, the possible combinations it could employ to get the job done runs in excess of 300 trillion. That’s a huge number that makes systems done manually take so much more effort than is necessary. Advancements in technology can simplify that process and make something that takes hundreds of man-hours to plan out and optimize take much less. XPO has recently revealed their plan to use technology to optimize their LTL services. (You can read about this in more detail by reading the DGD Transport blog detailing it). More companies would do well to follow this example, or they might be left behind in the technological dust.
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