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Blog February 2020 Updated May 2021

5 Top tips for choosing an in-cab mobile solution

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Ken Tierney Product Manager IoT

Digitalize your day-to-day operations through the use of in-cab devices

There are numerous solutions on the market to help you to digitalize your day-to-day operations through the use of in-cab devices. Whether you are looking for a simple telematics solution, or a real-time onboard system with a long list of capabilities, there is a solution to support your business objectives.

When starting a project to consider a suitable mobile solution, learning of the various options available can be bewildering. The key when choosing a mobile technology is to ensure you have a full and detailed understanding of business needs. In this guide, Ken Tierney Product Manager, AMCS, offers input from over 10 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry, based upon lessons learned along the way.

Vehicle and Driver Performance

Do you want more from your system than vehicle tracking? Would it be beneficial to you to implement a system that reports on driver performance too?

For many companies, the starting point for onboard technologies is vehicle tracking. However, this doesn’t provide a detailed way of measuring and reporting on driver performance. Just because a driver has followed the route, doesn’t mean that services were completed. An in-cab mobile solution will aid driver performance as it provides all the information on customers to be serviced, enable a driver to do their job more efficiently by confirming service in real-time, report exceptions, capture images, add notes, get real-time updates from the back office and where enabled provide guided navigation to get them around the route safely and in a timelier manner.

For drivers across the world, there is a focus on behavior and efficiency when representing a business, for example keeping to the speed limit, taking breaks, recording events like disposal, refuel waiting times, etc. A lot of this data can be viewed in real-time by the back office and used to improve driver performance. The outcome here is positive, as it will reduce costs, keep customers happy and also ensure the business run efficiently and effectively.

Driver safety

How high on your list of requirements is ensuring driver safety?

Ensuing the H&S of your drivers is crucial.  Today, In the US alone, waste and recycling collection workers have the fifth-highest fatality rate in the country. This is above police officers and firefighters.  It is more important than ever to consider driver safety, not only through regulation, vehicle safety checks, but also the use of mobile devices whilst driving.

Your system of choice needs to ensure your drivers' safety not only through recording vehicle checks but also the use of mobile devices whilst driving. Been able to disable the User Interface over a set speed, consideration on where the device is mounted, how easy is the User Interface to use.  The fewer distractions for the driver the better so the driver can focus their attention on the road.

Ideally, the system will support turn-by-turn navigation. This is great support for new drivers, route changes, and delivering consistent service delivery by ensuring no route segments are missing.

Proof of collection

Do you want to give your drivers the ability to input their field notes and provide visual proof to the back office?  This is worth considering as part of your investigation into available mobile solutions.

How much do missed collections cost your business? Using a mobile solution when combined with image capture allows the driver to capture evidence of service delivery or reason for not being able to deliver service in real-time. This allows the customer service representatives to be proactive in contacting customers and can turn a cost into an additional service charge.

Mobile solutions should be about delivering real-time information to the driver and in return providing real-time updates to the back office so that you have actionable data that can be used to deliver a higher level of service to your customer. This can be achieved by providing them with information such as the date and time of service, images, information on any additional charges, and (where applicable) the weight of waste collected.

System Integration

Do you have hardware solutions like weighing systems or RFID systems installed on your waste collection vehicles? If the answer is yes then to maximize the benefit of these systems you will need a mobile solution that is capable of integrating with these systems. One that can take the data from weighing or RFID systems and associate the data from these systems with a customer on a mobile application.

Now you have additional information like the weight of containers collected, the RFID tag linked to that container, the location and time of collection. This data can be used as proof of service but also build up a history of when customers are serviced and weights collected. This data can be used to determine how price increases can be implemented as you now have actionable data to determine the level of such price increase.

The Right Fit

There are a range of in-cab solutions on the market and choosing the correct one doesn’t need to be as complicated as it first might seem.  The key objective here is to implement a mobile solution that will digitalize your collection actives.  This will create efficiencies in your operations, and improve your bottom line. But most importantly is should reduce the risk to your business and provide the tools your drivers require to safely and efficiently complete their job.

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