Running a transport service can be stressful, especially for the transport manager. With all events occurring in real time, passenger schedules changing at a moment’s notice, traffic delays and even cancellations, everything can get out of hand quickly. Fortunately, technology can help keep everything running smoothly and help keep any transport manager calm in a crisis.
Here we outline the best apps that can help any transport manager perform better in their job and stay happy and healthy.
How Can Technology Help a Transport Manager?
Technology is often seen as a silver bullet that can solve everyone’s problems. The reality really is not so clear-cut. Technology should allow you to do more, with less. If any of your technology is not letting you achieve that goal, then you need to rethink what the purpose of it is at your organisation.
Technology comes in many forms, but simply put you can divide it into two. Hardware and software. Your hardware is the physical aspect of your tech. The computers, the cabling, the routers, the monitors. The software is the software you use to perform your tasks such as Windows, Office 365, Zoom and even Road XS. The advent of the smartphone lead to most software also becoming known as an App (short for application).
If you have the wrong hardware this can lead to using the wrong or out of date software and vice versa. Also, with the wrong hardware, you might not be getting the best out of your software or apps which could be slowing you down and making your organisation inefficient.
Have you ever stopped to think what technology is actually doing for you on a daily basis? Is it helping or hindering? Why not just use paper and pen? Well, here’s how technology should be working for you and transport team more than what paper and pen could ever do in this fast-paced world.
Increase Your Productivity
Technology should allow you to increase your productivity, to speed up your work. Very often software should be there to automate your mundane tasks so that you do less manual, time-consuming repetitive tasks. This will save you time and allow you to perform other tasks which are more important and require greater attention.
Increase Flexibility and Working Environments
COVID-19 showed the world how technology can revolutionise how people work. Remote working and working from home kept the world moving via video conferencing and the Internet came of age.
It also showed many people how cloud technology (just software which sits on a remote server) let them integrate their personal and private lives better and reduced that morning commute. This has allowed greater flexibility on when, where and how people work. Can you imagine if all we had to communicate with was email during the pandemic? No video calls during national lockdowns, teamwork would have ground to a halt. That’s the power of technology in doing more with less.
Improves Your Customer Service
Technology should enable you to provide a better, more personal service. This can come from learning more about your customers and passengers so that you can tailor your services and solutions to them. Equally, it should enable you to recall information faster than you could in a paper document which might be in a remote office somewhere within a filing cabinet that no one has a key for.
Access to information speeds up your work and makes you much more efficient when dealing with your passengers. It helps treat everyone individually, especially important for transport services.
Improve Teamwork and Collaborative Working
Technology helps your teams collaborate and communicate much more efficiently. The speed in which we can chat online, and talk, is almost instant with the proper technology solutions deployed. Today an almost instant response can be had from halfway across the world.
Increase Your Security
Despite all the doom and gloom seen in the media, technology can greatly increase your security. By ensuring the right hardware is chosen and software, you can secure your data better than ever before. Through encryption and biometric solutions you can ensure your information is kept more secure than ever.
To do things properly though, proper training also needs to be instilled as the biggest weakness in digital security can come down to the user not using the technology properly most often from a position of fear. Training provides confidence. It would be best practice that the transport manager needs to keep their team in the loop in the latest organisational policy and procedures around data security and how it’s handled within the organisation.
What are the 5 Best Apps for a Transport Manager to Use?
This list of apps will help any transport manager get more done in their day and communicate better with their team.
Office Tasks: Office 365
With Office 365 you can perform all your office tasks and communication needs with the suite of software from Microsoft. Outlook will enable you to sync all your contacts, emails, calendar items and notes in one place ensuring you can take them with you on your desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
Word, Excel and PowerPoint will allow you to perform your duties with ease and OneDrive will allow you to sync your information and data too including file versioning. Whilst many think OneDrive is a backup solution it is not.
You still need your backups in place, but it will assist with ensuring you are GDPR compliant from a data perspective. It also comes with Microsoft Teams which means you can collaborate remotely over video calls and share files securely. Whilst the video conferencing function is rather clunky compared to the smooth Zoom experience, it will enable you to become operational from anywhere in a secure way too.
Transport Manager Access and Security: Last Pass
LastPass is free with pro and team options, but this app keeps all your passwords safe across all devices. More than just a password manager, it can also keep some secure notes as well in plain text format. It will work from your browser or desktop and prefill in your passwords as you surf the internet. It can also generate secure passwords too. It is a real time saver and keeps all your sensitive information secure in a professional manner (no black book that someone can steal).
A Transport Manager Digital Filing Cabinet: Evernote
If you have 365 then OneNote does a similar job, but Evernote is much better. Think of Evernote as your digital filing cabinet. You can use it to turn physical documents into PDFs without using a scanner and you can tag and organise your notes to that they can easily be found. As you navigate the web, anything you come across which is of use you use the snipping tool to store it and recall late. Again, it is a very handy, time saving app which keeps your reference material at your fingertips across all your devices.
Transport Manager Tasks: Todoist
There are lots of To Do apps out there, but Todoist is by far the best. You can quickly capture your task and thoughts on the fly and then organise them into projects settings deadlines and context (even based on your GPS position) so you never forget or miss a deadline again. The integrations with third party apps make this the ideal solution to get ideas out of your head and into a plan.
Did you know that writing thoughts and ideas down reduces your emotional stress and anxiety? As David Allen the author and founder of the Getting Things Done (GTD) framework says, our brains are “pretty stupid” when it comes to telling us what we need to know at the right time. For example, you might get some idea pop up when you’re shopping not whilst you’re actually in the relevant meeting. Our brains just aren’t designed to keep things in them. Use Todoist to jot it down and get it out of your head, no matter where you are.
Transport Manager Software: Road XS
If you are looking to the future and want to keep organised and updated in real-time on your transport journeys then look no further than Road XS.
With the most user-friendly design and experience of any transport software, Road XS makes your life easy by automating your repetitive tasks, allocating vehicles and drivers at the click of a button, providing schedules and run sheets of the day, manage deliveries and automatically generates passenger, client and driver invoices instantly! But that’s not all the features in this clever software (find out more here). You can use Road XS from the office or from home and keep your team all on the same page in real-time.
Road XS is also the only automated dial a ride and demand responsive transport software that will actually calculate pickup and drop off times in an instant. You no longer have to work everything out manually as Road XS takes into account transit time, passenger loading times, vehicle capacity and more. The fastest and most optimised route is also factored in. To add and remove passengers is all done in a moments notice without any thought from your transport manager. It saves so much time and speeds up your booking process and routing.
If you have to step away from the office, or people go away sick, then Road XS is right there with you so you can pick up where they left off.
Technology can help the transport manager in so many ways but first and foremost it helps reduce stress. Not only that but it helps keep the clients happy by keeping to the transport schedule in a timely fashion. In the end, it really comes down to efficiency, with the right technology a manager can increase efficiency and improve productivity. If you would like to know more about how technology can transform your operations get in touch with us and one of our team will be right with you.