31 October 2019

Cutting fleet management admin through automation

As a fleet manager of a logistics company, think of the dozens of admin tasks you do every day. What if there was a way to take those off your to do list, so you could concentrate on what you do best - strategically improving the operational performance of your fleet?

At Touchstar, we’re constantly doing the same; working on ways to enhance the PODStar Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) system so that it regularly adds new forms of value for our customers, delivered as automatic upgrades to our Software as a Service (SAAS) platform. As part of this continual refinement process, we have built several automated optimisation features into the PODStar solution, each designed to save time, boost efficiency and bolster productivity. Here are just a few examples of automation we’ve added to our EPOD system.

Automated emergency SOS calls

We understand that safety must be the number one priority for any organisation with a presence on the road, with regard to both employees and the general public. With this in mind, we’ve added a panic alarm button to all screens of our EPOD software which, when pressed, sends an automated SMS message to a preconfigured number, plus the mobile device’s current GPS location via a google map link. To guard against accidental usage, a three second countdown displays before the SOS call kicks in, alerting the driver to cancel the action if it was unintentionally initiated.

Live road updates for your drivers

Traffic conditions change minute to minute, and any unexpected obstacle can impact your drivers as they make their deliveries, from an accident to a breakdown or road closure. By accessing and analysing live traffic data, PODStar assesses the state of the road against your drivers’ planned routes and automatically updates the ETA for each job on their manifests, given the current conditions. As each delivery is made, the system also recalculates all subsequent ETAs to reflect driver progress.

Live delivery notifications for your customers

Of course, live ETA information is especially useful for your customers. That’s why our EPOD systems send them an automatic notification when your driver is a pre-defined time from their delivery address. Automated priority flagging Fleet management can feel like a bit of a juggling act. It helps to be able to see live progress updates from each vehicle in your fleet in one place, which is exactly what our Run List view allows you to do. At a glance, you can see a full picture of your fleet in action, along with automatically colour-coded action points that alert you to the most pressing tasks, such as discrepancies, shorts, or damaged stock.

A self-tidying job list

Job planning and scheduling is a fluid process, and often jobs are entered into the system without ever being allocated to a specific driver or manifest. Clearing these out manually can be tiresome and time-consuming, but with PODStar you can set a timeframe after which the system will automatically delete old jobs for you.

Let automation help you manage your fleet in a smarter way They say it’s about working ‘smarter, not harder’, and that’s exactly what we hope our EPOD systems help our customers achieve. The more admin tasks you can automate, the more time you have to apply creative and innovative fleet management elsewhere.

We’ll continue to develop clever automated features for PODStar, with the aim of digitising laborious processes and driving business performance through data insight. To find out more about how we’re constantly improving our Electronic Proof of Delivery technology, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.