If there is one thing we, in the Australian trucking industry, are good at, it is leaving everything until the last minute. However, sometimes it’s not quite such a good idea to leave it quite that long.
There is an issue which will be coming to a head later this year, where rt really is not a good idea to be leaving everything until the last minute. What we’re talking about here is the shutting down of the mobile phone 3G system which will occur in June.
Industry has become completely dependent upon electronic devices, monitoring situations and sending messages back about location, vehicle condition, and a myriad of other things. We have become used to theis flow of data and to a certain extent we take all of this for granted.
If you asked the question right now, how many sim cards are in your truck fleet, How many people would actually be able to give a definitive answer? All of those small extra bits of equipment which have been added here and there on a trailer on the prime mover, it’s something which is very difficult to keep up with.
A couple of years ago I was talking to someone working in an operation who was looking at rationalising that the way they did telematics and reporting, and they told me that in one of their trucks they discovered they actually had 11 sim cards, all providing different data, performing different functions.
They had lost track of how much monitoring and tracking they were doing, and were not getting the best value for money out of the data they were collecting. This is the problem, we fix every small problem, one at a time, instead of looking at it holistically and finding a solution to all the problems together.
Now it’s probably the perfect time to actually start thinking about this a bit more thoroughly. The fact the matter is that there is still a lot of equipment fitted in vehicles all over Australia which have 3G sim cards in them.
What’s going to happen in June all of a sudden? Somebody is going to say, ‘where is that trailer’ and they are going to have absolutely no idea because it’s got a 3G sim in it.
As an industry we do leave things to the last minute, that’s how we survive, but on this occasion we need to be a bit more wary of leaving this problem to the last minute because we need to find out now exactly how many 3G sim cards are involved in our business. We are at that point, where a possible solution can be sourced, so that we don’t start losing data and valuable information later in the year.
The fact of the matter is that the quality of the data within a business can be a great benefit to that business, and the quality of the data, which can be communicated through the 3G system is relatively basic. More quality coming into any business system is always going to improve its performance and ability to improve efficiency and operating performance within any fleet.
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