The fast track
In-cab scanning becoming more reliable, cost-effective
By Aaron Huff
Most fleet owners only could imagine invoicing a customer on the same day they delivered. Fleets that use scanning stations at company facilities and truckstops are closer to making that dream a reality. A growing number of fleets are using in-cab scanning technology to receive bills of lading and other proof-of-delivery documents within minutes of delivery.
The technology also can increase drive time and reduce mileage that otherwise would be lost by sending drivers to truckstops. Some fleets also are using it to increase driver satisfaction; by speeding up the billing process, some fleets are able to pay drivers faster – as much as three times a week.
FFE Transportation – a provider of temperature-controlled less-than-truckload, truckload and dry van services – currently pays drivers every Friday for the loads it has invoiced. Having recently implemented in-cab scanning, management is considering paying drivers three times per week. The technology has shortened FFE Transportation’s billing cycle between three and nine days, which will allow the company to pay drivers much faster, says Nick Cook, chief technology officer.
Open for business
PeopleNet, a provider of Internet-based and integrated onboard computing and communications systems, has a partnership with ACS to provide in-cab imaging for its BLU in-cab PC. The offering, In-Cab Scanning Powered by ACS, leverages ACS’ document management infrastructure with PeopleNet’s fleet dispatch systems and integrated Pacos geofencing and automated messaging.
When a vehicle equipped with the BLU in-cab PC arrives at a preplanned stop for delivery, the BLU display prompts the driver to enter certain details into a form message. Details such as the location, trip information, stop name and arrival time are input automatically into the form through Pacos, thus eliminating data entry by the driver and clerks in the office.
Fleets can set up forms in advance to notify drivers for loads that require a scanned image. To scan a document, a driver touches the TripPak button on the BLU display, hits the “scan” icon and feeds the paper through a scanner. The image is displayed on the screen for the driver to identify the document type by selecting from a list – bill of lading, weight receipt, etc.
Paying drivers more frequently can boost retention.
Mesilla Valley Transport, a Las Cruces, N.M.-based truckload carrier, is considering letting some drivers use smartphones to capture images remotely through an application called TripPak Mobile, which is offered by ACS for the Apple iPhone platform.
Using the phone’s camera, the application can capture and send high-quality images of paperwork through the ACS TripPak processing portal. MVT currently uses truckstop scanning to process an average of 50 documents per driver each month, says Mike Kelley, director of information technology.
ACS also offers a simple-to-use scanning application, TripPak In-Cab. Drivers download the application to their personal laptops and buy a scanner. After drivers scan and transmit documents, they can view them online by using the confirmation number they receive.
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