Page 35 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - August 2021
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    the benefits and therefore reluctant to adapt their ways of working and make the necessary investment.
COVID has forced everyone to reassess their business and at the most basic level this has meant moving away from a reliance on paper-based systems – not least because this can be an efficient way to spread the virus! Those businesses without digitisation have had limited access to information about their operations, even less ability to analyse that information and a restricted ability to share it with key stakeholders
and decision makers. As a result, they will have struggled to react quickly when the situation has changed, be that lockdowns imposed, travel restricted, or workforces locked out. Within the COVID-modified environment, those reluctant to change, or lacking the ability to react quickly to change have sadly paid the price.
Barney Goffer
The reasons for resisting change are numerous: a belief in tried and tested ways of working; speed of working as processes are well practiced; concerns about the interruption of workflow during transition period; the need for, and expense of, training; insecurities about working with technology and the cost of investment. All these reasons have paled into insignificance because
of the pandemic and the adoption of technological solutions really has become a ‘do or die’ situation.
Digitisation has been the saviour for many businesses during the pandemic
as it manages not only the collection of huge amounts of data, but the analysis, interpretation and decision-making based on that data. This has enabled businesses to be fully aware of the landscape in which their fleet operates, the impact of any changes to it and the best next steps to take. COVID has forced a process
of natural selection, with businesses
well informed and fleet of foot due to digitisation surviving, while others that have maybe been slower to react have been overcome by the tsunami of the pandemic.
But it isn’t just COVID remodelling the landscape. Concerns about the environment, diminishing natural resources, Brexit and higher customer
expectations have all had a huge impact and will continue to do so. Technology itself is developing in leaps and bounds and those embracing the digital revolution will be the ones that thrive.
The good news is there are solutions available that enable a seamless interface between supplier and customer: access to and analysis of data, greater visibility of vehicles, stock and personnel; faster and more validated decision making
and an enhanced ability to adapt to change. The systems themselves are also highly adaptive and can be tailored to a company’s particular needs and adjusted when those needs change.
COVID has driven a speed of change within the industrial landscape previously unheard of and has clearly demonstrated the benefits technology and digitisation can offer in combating this. The first to act will be the first to reap the benefits, gaining competitive advantage due to tighter control of their business. Even without Covid, the ROI is robust. With the effects of Covid, it is undeniable.
The industry has been forced into a new era with the fleet of foot, lithe, tightly managed businesses the ones that will prosper. There’s no turning back; the need for technology is unavoidable and it will be the lynchpin of success.
Barney Goffer is UK product manager at telematics provider Teletrac Navman

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