Article

Think Wearables, Drones, and 3D Printing Won’t Impact Your Fleet?  Think Again.

It’s easy to dismiss new technology that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the line of business you’re in. A healthcare professional may be interested in 3D printing for prosthetics, but why would a fleet manager care? Fleet managers don’t need to produce prosthetics, firearms, or pieces of artwork. However, no matter how futuristic a technology may seem, there could be a very real application that is relevant to you and your business.

You’ve probably heard inspiring stories about how 3D printing has helped people and animals walk again. Or the danger in how this technology could be used to build weapons. But what if you’re a fleet manager at an automotive company? You might be using precious space in your vehicles each day to stock extra parts, losing capacity and money. Instead of stocking these parts, you could have a 3D printer on hand that could print the parts your customers need on-demand instead of wasting space. Imagine all the times that drivers would go to a stop and need to call in for parts that aren’t even on hand in the truck. 3D printing could save the auto company time and money.

Drones, of course, have already made their way into the distribution and logistics space. Still, many fleet managers can’t see how drones would ever become a part of their business. After all, how could a tiny little drone compete with your trucks?

Drones could actually become the friend of many fleet managers looking to fulfil those hot shot orders that customers tend to throw their way. A drone cannot fit the last minute case of beer that a restaurant customer needs, but it certainly can fit a pound of meat. In the case of the pound of meat, the fleet manager wouldn’t need to worry about finding a truck or existing route to get the product to the customer within the hour. Instead, the drone would save the day — a satisfied customer, time saved, and extra money not spent.  

Wearables aren’t just about tracking your steps and monitoring your heart rate anymore — a fleet manager could get notifications right on his wrist that drivers are behind schedule. Mobile technology has helped fleet managers keep up with the modern day workplace in that managers no longer have to be tethered to their desks at all times to receive information. With mobile technology, fleet managers can stay in the loop whether they’re at their desks or in the warehouse. Wearables can take this freedom to roam a step further. While it is quite common for employees today to check their phones constantly, they could still miss an important email or text. When those messages can be delivered straight to a watch, fleet managers never miss the most imperative information that keeps business running smoothly.

Ensuring you have the best technology in place will help you run a more profitable operation. It might be hard to change the way you think, but try to stop thinking of new technology as something in the distant future that doesn’t apply to you. Instead, open your mind and start thinking of ways new technology could benefit your business.