Barry Glick, the new CEO of ALK Technologies, believes the company's future lies in extending its navigation and routing expertise to provide users with more customized data relevant to their specific routes. ALK currently provides the trucking and logistics industries in North America with its PCMiler mileage software and CoPilot navigation solutions for smartphones and in-cab telematics systems.
Although Glick has only been on the job a short time, he's no newcomer to digital navigation and routing. He founded the company that launched MapQuest, the online mapping service, and then moved to a senior executive role with Navteq, a leading provider of map and location data.
“There's a lot of competition for location-based services, which tell you what's near you,” he said in an interview during ALK's annual summit for fleet executives and mobile service providers in Princeton, NJ. “We want to provide navigation/routing-based services to deliver data that's relevant to the route.”
With mobile connectivity, it's possible to extract information from a wide variety of databases and deliver it as needed to the driver, he explained. For example, such a connected service would not just tell a driver where there's a company-approved fueling location, but deliver fuel prices in a dynamic mode, Glick said. Weather, traffic and any other fast changing information might also prove to be valuable when combined with routing, he said.
“Contextualization is the key,” Glick said. “The application should understand your needs based on location, time, and conditions. Greater levels of integration with operations and strategic planning would also bring value, as would adding company-specific information like terminal or vendor locations.”
While not new to navigation and routing, “I am new to trucking,” Glick said. “I need to talk to customers to understand what's relevant to them, but I'm sure there's great benefit there when they can get location information directly combined with the right company data.”