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IoT in the real world for transportation and logistics companies

March 15, 2016

by

Theresa Bui

I’m lucky to work with some of the 3,500+ enterprises that use the Jasper Control Center platform to launch, manage and monetize their IoT services. We currently have nearly 700 transportation and logistics companies and I’ve had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with some of those customers in the past few weeks.

Technology is driving rapid development in this industry. Transportation and logistics providers, probably more than any other industry, will benefit from harnessing the connectivity and data in IoT. Enterprises in this market are moving beyond independent systems of asset monitoring, route management and maintenance reporting to interconnected solutions customized to specific business and fleet needs.

Connected devices are now crucial inputs in the global supply chain. And Jasper’s customers are looking to IoT to solve some common, but business critical problems such as:

  • Thin profit margins: In general, transportation and logistics companies run low profit margins (range is 3.5 to 14 percent), so they are always looking for ways to lower operational costs.
  • Scalability: Solution providers in this market must quickly meet new customer needs with diverse operational requirements, and expand to new markets.
  • Differentiate from competitors: This is a crowded market, with the largest vendors holding the majority of market share for really big customers. But the overall market is very large and competition in the mid-market very tight.

I often hear from customers that the existing solutions for managing IoT connectivity are antiquated, with cumbersome (i.e. not user-friendly) systems and interfaces, and require lots of manual operations with no real-time triggers and follow-up actions.  As an example, one fleet service provider was using email to activate/de-activate devices, check connections status and detect potential issues! The GM of mobile operations commented that at this rate, they weren’t going to be able to keep up with customer demand.

Here are the most common operational problems I’ve heard. Can you relate?

  • Inefficient operations: There’s a drain on resources to launch, monitor and manage devices into the field.
  • Inability to rapidly scale: You must have the processes to quickly meet new customer and operational needs, and expand to new markets.
  • Poor cost management: Avoid unexpected costs by monitoring data usage in real time.
  • Delivering exceptional customer service: identify issues before they become problems and lower MTTR when problems do occur.

Does this sound familiar? I’d love to hear other operational struggles you may be facing and how you are tackling those challenges. In the meantime, check out some of the enterprises who are using the Jasper IoT service platform to operationalize IoT services:

CTS Tracking
Certified Tracking Solutions (CTS), a division of B&B Electronics, delivers a set of world-class Titan GPS fleet management and AutoConnect solutions to both enterprises and consumers. Control Center enables them to effectively control and manage all devices from a central command center.

Garmin
Garmin operates on a global scale and offers a vast array of products across a number of industries, including aviation, marine, outdoor, fitness and automotive. Control Center provides a way to efficiently deploy connected products globally through a single platform that provides connectivity through multiple carriers around the world.

Logitrac
Logitrac provides GPS-based tracking and asset management solutions for fleet management, transportation and construction. Control Center lets them optimize device management, saving time and money, specifically in labor costs. It gives them increased visibility and helps the company’s resellers get a better understanding of customer needs. And the live data usage information and overage alerts delivered in real time, makes it easier to fix problems and make adjustments that can save costs before they appear on an invoice.

Sendum
Sendum provides asset tracking and security devices for supply chain, logistics, and law enforcement. They use Control Center to streamline the device provisioning process, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in activation costs. They also rely on Control Center for remote troubleshooting issues in the field to identify problems.

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