DecisivConnect is pleased to publish the latest installment in an ongoing series which profiles Decisiv employees and highlights the deep industry expertise these professionals bring to the company and its wide range of customers.
Jack Porter has witnessed a number of changes during his four decades in the trucking industry. Starting as a management trainee at Mack Trucks in 1977, and spending nearly two decades running a heavy-duty truck dealership as well as more than 10 years with Decisiv, Porter has seen the good, the bad and the ugly over the last 35+ years.
We've had many changes from the driver's side of the business over the years with the move away from the true independent owner/operator, says Porter. More training and the widespread use of retention and loyalty programs, though, demonstrate the value placed on drivers as this aspect of the industry has changed significantly.
The entrenched trucking business model has employed technology in its operations to become more efficient and less dependent on manpower but the maintenance side has struggled to keep pace with other advances. Technology has to prove itself at a high level to gain acceptance, according to Porter. Despite satellites, computers and other tools, many organizations still rely on white boards and yellow pads to organize and track their internal maintenance including critical information like inspections, estimates and repair details, he adds.
It is still an ongoing battle to accept technology, says Porter. As an industry we need to use technology to make life better for our drivers, customers and our employees, especially the maintenance and service teams who gain little attention other than when things go wrong. Many trucking and service companies are not even aware of the current generation of technologies that could help them, he added.
Efficient communication remains among the key challenges faced by many. Fortunately, Porter says, there are intelligent software folks with real trucking and service experience who design solutions which are discerning enough for fleets, truck dealers and independent service providers to deploy and get a strong return on investment.
A service relationship management platform helps to address the age old communication conundrum, phone tag, lost faxes, and missing documents through improved interaction among fleets, service locations and truck manufacturers resulting in more effective service cost management and greater vehicle uptime, Porter says. Such a platform forms a bridge between these parties and furnishes them with the information needed to make better, informed more timely service management decisions.
While downtime has seemingly been a recurring industry theme for as long as Porter can recall, a service management platform helps provide a means toward resolving this long-standing issue. That's a positive direction the entire trucking ecosystem can easily move toward.