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The other AI is even more important to trucking

Sept. 9, 2021
Today’s technology—from telematics to maintenance and repair software to fleet management systems—gives fleet managers an abundance of data about their assets. However, just having the data is not enough.

Normally when you see the letters “AI” you automatically think of artificial intelligence. And while artificial intelligence is beginning to play a role in the transportation industry, that is not the kind of AI I want to focus on.

When I think of AI, my mind immediately turns to asset intelligence. My version of AI is even more important to trucking than the more traditional version.

Today’s technology—from telematics to maintenance and repair software to fleet management systems—gives fleet managers an abundance of data about their assets. However, just having the data is not enough. It needs to be analyzed, and, perhaps more importantly, it needs to be analyzed on an asset-by-asset basis.

It is common in all areas of business to cite data and the KPIs it can generate. The interesting fact is that we are all creatures of habit, and if we do not make data analysis and measuring performance a habit, we will inevitably revert to the way we have always done things. I have seen clients implement six sigma projects around fuel economy. They saw amazing results from the project, but once the project was over the fuel economy numbers went right back to where they were before the project. This is a classic case of not maintaining focus on a KPI and moving on to the next project. 

Treating each asset as its own cost center is the most effective way to manage asset life cycles and stay focused on your KPIs. Drilling down on the specific fixed and variable costs for each asset on a regular basis is the key to driving savings. Detailed data also has value, especially in spotting failure trends, component wear patterns, and durability and reliability issues across certain models or particular asset classes. This can be very valuable especially when making decisions about what to spec on the next truck order.

Getting into a rhythm or developing a habit of analyzing your operating costs in detail will ultimately make you ask even more questions and allow you to identify hidden savings opportunities. Since the OEM order boards are full for the next 12 months, it has become even more critical to identify which specific asset will need to be replaced first to generate maximum savings.

Asset Intelligence is your key to success.  Leverage your data to drive savings.

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