Adopt the new technology

Published:

Executive Summary

Issue

In order for Huffman Trucking to remain a viable competitor in uncertain economic times, the Company must adopt new technology which will help make better use of its limited resources. At the direction of our President and CEO, Kristen Huffman, this proposal reviews three companies' Global Positioning System (GPS) Fleet Tracking Systems to establish whether the Company should invest in this technology (University of Phoenix, 2009).

The Three Companies Reviewed

Telogis OnTrack

Telogis has software and hardware to revolutionize the way our business runs. Telogis' OnTrack system is able to keep track of every truck in the fleet. Productivity will increase, because drivers will be tracked when moving and not. We can optimize routes, helping us to use fuel more efficiently. OnTrack software will help us schedule maintenance in a more timely manner, reducing down time.

Telogis' OnTrack system will also help us improve driver safety. Turn-by-turn voice navigation is safer than looking down at a map while driving. Huffman stands to gain from more positive public relations with the added feature of driver speed monitoring. Telogis' OnTrack system will help Huffman improve customer service by enabling tracking of the entire fleet. Detailed reports will improve the overall quality of the logistics department as well as the company (Telogis, 2009).

ATTI Shadow Tracker

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Advanced Tracking Technologies Incorporated (ATTI) is a US-based industry leader with over 11,000 customers world-wide (ATTI, 2008). With a variety of product lines, they have demonstrated technical experience as a serious contender in the GPS fleet tracking industry. Their Shadow Tracker Vision II GPS unit allows near-continuous (10-second update interval) monitoring of truck performance. ATTI's programmers and engineers are able to work directly with Company staff to develop maps and tracking data based on Huffman's unique needs (ATTI, 2008). Some of Huffman's competitors report increased returns from both fuel costs and insurance liability in less than nine months after a GPS implementation (University of Phoenix 2009).

The benefits that the Vision II system bring to Huffman include more reliable delivery times, enhanced labor relations, and impressive technology expertise. Loads can be tracked and updated continuously, enabling Huffman to keep customers updated in the event a delivery will be early or late. The Vision II will help the Company remain compliant with Department of Transportation regulations by keeping track of drivers' on-duty and driving hours (ATTI, 2008), which will enhance safety. The Shadow Tracker line, including the Vision II, installs easily and requires minimal training for both drivers and technical staff, easing integration into existing practices and policies. For example, the Shadow Tracker product line includes units that download into the Huffman ERP system using USB cable, radio, and cellular methods; this redundancy helps ensure against lost data (ATTI, 2008). After Huffman technical staff installs the ATTI GPS system software, managers can access fleet tracking data from their desktop, with access to ATTI customer support online by telephone, or Huffman Information Systems staff (ATTI, 2008).

TransCore Global Wave

TransCore has been in business for more than 60 years and has demonstrated a commitment to research and development in the transportation industry (TransCore, 2005.) With more than 150,000 satellite communications transceivers worldwide, they are an industry leader in RFID and vehicle tracking systems. TransCore is a component of the Standards & Poor Mid-Cap 400, Fortune 1000 and Russell 1000 indexes (BusinessWire, 1991-2009). These factors reassure Huffman that TransCore will be around to support its product line.

TransCore's communications system is designed to the highest safety standards, and their design has earned the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 913 designation as an "intrinsically safe apparatus." Stringent third party testing has proven "conformance with internationally recognized hazmat standards" (BusinessWire, 1991-2009). These documented safety standards will give Huffman Trucking some leverage in discussions with the union. Further enhancing safety, the GlobalWave system monitors tire inflation, tanker pressure, and refrigeration unit condition and performance. It also monitors routes and stops and provides in-cab messaging, increasing dispatcher productivity (TransCore, 2005).

Installation time is about 15 minutes, giving Huffman a near-zero time to deploy the units; further, since data capture and transmission to automated, additional operator (driver) training is minimal. The majority of our employees will require training on basic skills, such as the correct process to log on, open, compose, and send messages, and log off. The implementation of this system can occur with nearly zero impact on operations (TransCore, 2005).

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This team recommends that Huffman proceed with the acquisition of a GPS Fleet Tracking System. Research with these vendors indicates that the Company will see improvements in customer satisfaction, driver safety, and ultimately profitability. These outcomes apply to whichever system is ultimately selected.

References

  • ATTI. (2008). Home. Helpful Info - GPS FAQ. Retrieved on October 11, 2009 from: http://www.advantrack.com/
  • BusinessWire. (1991-2009). TransCore's GlobalWave satellite communications trailer tracking system receives highest intrinsically cafe UL 913 certification. Retrieved October 11, 2009, from http://www.businesswire.com/news/transcore/20070612005055/en
  • Telogis. (2009). OnTrack GPS Fleet Tracking Management Software. Retrieved October 12, 2009 from http://www.telogis.com/ontrack/.
  • TransCore. (2005). Globalwave satellite-based tracking system. Retrieved October 11, 2009, from http://www.transcore.com/pdf/GlobalWave%20Brochure.pdf
  • University of Phoenix. (2009). Huffman Trucking. Labor Relations. Communications - Memo #3. October 11, 2009. COM/TM541 - Communication for Managers of Technology. https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/cist/vop/Business/Huffman/InterSite1/HuffmanInterPort.htm
  • University of Phoenix. (2009). Virtual Organization - Huffman Trucking. Retrieved October 11, 2009, from University of Phoenix, COM/TM541 - Communication for Managers of Technology, week 5.