The transport industry focuses on business benefits through high-tech solutions
In recent decades, the logistics industry has undergone major changes. From being regarded as a sort of side-line operation, doing material management, material handling and transportation, the industry has expanded and has become an important and competitive critical factor, with a focus on business value through high-tech solutions. A good coordination and interconnection between the various team members and control centres during the work is an important factor in order to operate a safe and efficient logistics work.
Increasing freight flows and volumes makes the logistics industry grow at a rapid pace. Larger ships to meet these increasing volumes makes ports and terminals growing, which in turn increases the challenges for insurers, since just one accident can result in significantly increased costs. But by implementing active measurements, companies and logistics partners directly can reduce the risks of suffering major accidents.
The industry has also rapidly been digitized and received electronic transport orders and text-based solutions to improve traceability and efficiency. Personal alarms are also important for staff working in the logistics sector, since they must be able to call the alarm if they feel unsafe or threatened while working, or if there is an accident.
Out-dated communication routines
A good coordination and interconnection between the various team members and control centres during the work is an important factor in order to operate a safe and efficient logistics work. However, many users in the logistics industry around the world still use traditional and out-dated two way radios (walkie talkies) with a momentary button to switch from voice reception mode to transmit mode, when communicating. Building radio networks, programming and providing two way radios is complicated and time consuming. This is ancient and inefficient communication technology, not suitable for an industry with low margins that also needs to be in the technological forefront, aiming to be secure, flexible, efficient and profitable.
Until now, development and deployment of efficient communication tools have been very costly and complicated. In some cases the technology has become out dated before it has been completely rolled out. For smaller logistic companies this has not even been an option. For them it has been virtually impossible, for economic reasons, to get a modern communications solution with a good geographical coverage.
Push to Talk technology improves logistic company’s competitiveness
But this is about to change, since there is huge potential to improve communication between the members of the working team with more modern, yet simple and user friendly, technologies. An increasing number of logistic companies tend to abandon the ancient walkie talkie communication solutions, replacing them with more modern communications solutions, based on digital models such as the Push to Talk (PTT) over cellular phones, a service that enables subscribers to use their phones as walkie talkies with unlimited range over the existing mobile networks.
PTT over cellular phones has several advantages
- PTT enables simple and safe communication between employees through the push of a single button
- It is a cost efficient cloud based solution that allows communication directly through the users’ smartphones (and tablets/laptops)
- It is secure
- It uses existing mobile networks, with no need to build and maintain your own network
- The voice quality is much clearer than walkie talkies, which reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings
- The administrator easily controls the number of users, PTT groups (known as “channels” when using walkie talkies) and user access
- The solution can include push-to-talk accessories such as acoustic headsets etc.
- Use of Bluetooth based PTT buttons in combination with smartphones for instant voice communication
- It is fast; it just takes hours to roll out a cloud based PTT service to companies with 10,000's of users
- It is easy to connect different organizations with PTT
- The flexibility to control who receives panic alarms and the routing of voice communication is "game changing" in relation to how traditional two way radios and alarm solutions are working
- The new technology based smartphones can be easily integrated with existing communication radio systems so that you can benefit from the investments already made
- With an IP-based PTT solution, services are no longer geographically limited. Now you can communicate with PTT services across borders, globally and also with users at sea and in aircrafts
Many companies in the logistic industry have come to appreciate the flexibility in a solution that could be used on different staffing sizes, without having to make major new investments in communication systems. Being able to link staff in a communications network gives them an opportunity to share information and resources in a way that they have not been able to do with their previous traditional communications systems. This is a solution that not only provides the user with a flexible system and an integrated panic alarm in the service, but it also saves them money compared to if they were to purchase separate personal alarms for each and everyone in the staff. The use of smartphones facilitates location-based services and provides a dispatch with the ability to keep track of vehicles location on a map, which allows quick and seamless communication with the driver, based on where the vehicle is located.
Big logistic companies have the resources to be in the forefront and adopt new communication solutions, most of them are already rolling out smartphone based communications solutions. Interestingly, with the cloud based PTT services, the barrier to use the new solutions is virtually gone for companies of all sizes and the SMB (Small Medium Business) segment is a fast mover to leverage these solutions to get a competitive edge.
The solution has improved communication in the working process with results such as:
- Improved security surveillance
- Improved competitiveness
- Reduced cost
- Dedicated staff and improved work environment
Time limited and defined project tool
Logistics is perhaps one of the industries that can draw the most obvious benefits from the new advanced PTT group communications solutions. But PTT has also gained interest from organisations in other industries where instant group communications are instrumental, such as aviation, construction/infrastructure, security, energy and retail.
An increasing number of companies appreciate the fact that the new solutions are cost efficient, scalable and flexible, that allow staff of various sizes to communicate, without having to make major new investments in communication systems.
Being able to link people working together in what can be described as ‘time limited and clearly defined short projects’ in a user friendly communications network gives them an opportunity to share information and resources in a way that they have not been able to do with their previous traditional communication devices.
PTT solutions based on standard smartphones and tablets/laptops make task group communications faster, more flexible, secure – and, not least – more cost efficient. It might be the single most efficient and beneficial measure that the logistic industry can implement in their quest for improved packaged services and lower costs.