Trimble Gives IBM i Trucking App Some Love
September 26, 2018 Alex Woodie
Trucking companies that rely on the Innovative IES application from Trimble have a series of new enhancements to work with, including new options for paying drivers, a redesigned risk management app, and a new routing module that gives drivers turn-by-turn directions.
It’s been more than six years since Trimble acquired TMW Systems in a $335-million deal that netted it a handful of transportation management system (TMS) suites, including the TL2000 and IES dispatching applications for IBM i and TMWSuite for Windows, among several other products.
Since then, the publicly traded company, which develops all manner of geospatial products for positioning, modeling, connectivity, and analytics use cases, has worked to bring its subsidiaries together as part of a “one Trimble” initiative. “Together, we’re better,” Bryn Fosburgh, a Trimble senior vice president, said during the company’s in.sight user conference + expo in Houston, Texas, two weeks ago, according to a story in Fleet Owner.
That integration message is playing out at a company and a product level. At a company level, the $2.6-billion Sunnyvale, California, company is phasing out recognition of older subsidiaries in favor of the Trimble brand. Gone is the TMW brand, which has been replaced with the Trimble Transportation Enterprise name.
Meanwhile, on a product level, we see the type of integration that was unveiled in the IBM i-based Innovative IES suite, which was originally developed by Innovative Computing in Nashville, Tennessee, and is still in widespread production at trucking companies around the country.
The new enhancements to the Innovative IES application arrive in three bundles. On the risk management front, Trimble has redesigned the claims management app to make it easier for employees to navigate the screen and find key information, including which claims are still open. “This allows customers more time to work on their claims rather than searching for information,” the company says.
Trimble is also making it easier for Innovative IES customer to lower their risk exposure by providing relevant statistics about accidents, incidents, workers comp, and cargo claims in an easy-to-digest manner. A dashboard in the Risk Management tool makes it easier for employees to find specific information that an insurance company might demand, such as the number of accidents a driver has had, or the number of incidents in a certain state.
“The new dashboard really simplifies how our customers use the module,” Sejal Kadakia, vice president of IBM i for Trimble Transportation Enterprise, says in a press release. “But, perhaps the best new feature is the ability to track driver performance. Our customers can understand things like how many accidents a driver has been in or the number of cargo claims that were filed for a certain driver. This will really help our customers improve their ability to reward drivers for good behaviors.”
Drivers will be the big beneficiaries of the new Extended Pay module in the Innovative IES application. While the suite already had numerous payment options, the new module makes it easier to compensate drivers in a variety of manners, such as paying drivers a rate per mile depending on how many weekly miles they’re driving. It also supports one-time “quick payments” for an owner or driver, which eliminates the need to go through steps that are typically required. The new module also allows the capability to input drivers’ work hours and pay an hourly rate based on months of service.
Trimble says these enhancements will improve the important relationship between companies and drivers, Kadakia says. “Before, a lot of these processes such as updating employee records or changing pay rates had to be manually done,” she says in a press release. “With the Extended Pay module, back office employees can work more efficiently and ensure that payments are completed in a timelier manner.”
Lastly, the new RouteSync module in Innovative IES should enhance drivers’ navigational options in the cab, while keeping the driver and truck in sync with pre-planned routes designed back at headquarters.
According to Trimble, the new RouteSync module provides turn-by-turn directions to drivers based on mileage trip options and routing preferences. The software, which integrates with ExpertFuel, MobileComm, and ALK PC*MILER applications, provides “the crucial link between the planned route in the back office and the navigated route in the vehicle,” the company says.
“RouteSync is an exciting new feature that factors in information from ExpertFuel and PC*MILER that benefits both drivers and back office employees,” Kadakia says. “The module provides visual turn-by-turn directions for drivers rather than text descriptions, which can reduce out-of-route miles.”