177137895 Mustsansar Syed | Dreamstime
Dreamstime M 177137895

Leveraging technology in challenging times

Aug. 9, 2022
Operations must work closely with procurement to find alternative supply chains. This may include looking for suppliers who have facilities in close proximity so they can get needed materials quickly.

The last several years have been extremely challenging for the trucking industry. Global supply chain issues, material and labor shortages, and rising inflation have all caused major disruptions for truck makers, component manufacturers, and fleets.

To survive these challenges, businesses need more cooperation between departments to ensure that they have all the information they need to make smart decisions. Keeping information in function-based siloes and relying on manual or paper-based processes adds to inefficiencies and causes businesses to fall behind their competitors. All functions from procurement, operations, and finance must be aligned with overall company goals.

See also: Trucking must continue to innovate

To ensure product availability, operations must work closely with procurement to find alternative supply chains. This may include looking for suppliers who have facilities in close proximity so they can get needed materials quickly. It also makes sense to rethink inventory stocking levels. While the trend in the recent past was to hold as little inventory as possible and rely on just-in-time deliveries of needed materials, that strategy no longer makes sense. Price, while an important factor in the purchase decision, now may need to take a back seat to availability.

Now is a good time to review your supplier list. Have you concentrated your purchases in the hands of too few suppliers? That was probably done to take advantage of discounts and rebates, but you may need to widen your supplier base to ensure availability. That said, don't overlook the importance of supplier relationships, because many suppliers are taking care of the customers that take care of them.

Automating processes results in greater speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Digitizing data improves visibility throughout the organization. Because the costs of products are escalating, savings need to be derived from automation.

As your business becomes more reliant on technology, you will have to retrain workers to ensure they have the skillsets needed to operate in the digital world. Millennial and Gen Z employees are good candidates to help you make the digital leap, but you may need to revamp your recruiting and retention efforts to attract and keep them.

All indications are that trying times are likely to continue, but the good news is that companies can use technology to help overcome these challenges and stay competitive.

Patrick Gaskins, SVP of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for the company's fleet offerings. Gaskins joined the company in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. He leads a team that works with a supply base of more than 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet-related spend.

About the Author

Patrick Gaskins | Senior vice president, Fleet Solutions

Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. Gaskins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL in 1989, and received his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council in 2002. He has held positions with GE Capital, TCF Equipment Finance, and various small independent lessors. 

He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Services, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations, and is now taking the role of Senior Vice President, Fleet Solutions.  In his new role he will lead Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Gaskins will bring to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s customers.

The Fleet Solutions practice leverages technology and the purchasing power of over 1,700 member fleets operating approximately 800,000 assets to provide its members with access to cost effective national account purchasing programs, fleet financing, asset management, and remarketing services.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry during this informative webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!