The auto industry — a bright spot in the US economic recovery — recorded a 17% increase in sales over last August, according to the New York Times. And as automakers’ plants ramp up to meet rising consumer demand, so must the auto hauling industry.
But how can these auto haulers cut operational costs and gain a competitive advantage?
It comes down to: 1) identifying inefficiencies, and 2) putting technologies and incentives in place the help drive performance improvements.
It’s a strategy Allied Systems Holdings is adopting—and they’re already seeing positive results.
Revolutionizing the way auto hauling companies operate
In this short video, Mark Gendregske, President & CEO of Allied Systems Holdings, discusses their recent fleet-wide XRS rollout.
Like any carrier, he acknowledges that Allied Systems Holdings must work toward continuous improvement to remain competitive and profitable—and he’s banking on technology to help his company address some common car hauler challenges.
All carriers struggle to make efficient use of their assets and cut fuel costs, but auto haulers confront a few challenges that are unique to their market segment.
That shiny row of jewel-toned Jeep Grand Cherokees and Chrysler minivans? They act as giant wind catchers, sucking fuel and driving average fuel efficiency to below 5 MPG.
Couple that with historically high idle times when vehicles are unloaded at retail centers, and driving down fuel consumption obviously becomes a high priority.
When you consider the high value freight auto haulers are transporting, it’s easy to understand why shippers are increasingly demanding real-time asset tracking.
They want to know the How-What-When-Where-and-Why of their shipment—and they want to know it now.
Many carriers within the auto hauling industry have yet to adopt e-logs—and that’s reflected in their HOS compliance scores.
In fact, nearly 500 auto haulers have an alert in the HOS compliance BASIC — a score that could be the deciding factor in which carrier hauls that next load of Chevy pickup trucks.
Gendregske is working to address those issues.
With robust data analytics and easy-to-understand reporting, he and his team can now gather baseline data around fuel economy and HOS violations, allowing them to identify drivers that need further training and launch incentive programs to drive fuel economy and HOS compliance improvements.
They can also now provide state of the art customer service—without disrupting their drivers—by providing auto retail centers with real-time insights into their shipment locations and more accurate ETAs.
Supporting auto hauling drivers on the road
What’s more, Allied Systems Holdings consider the mobile devices they’ve given their drivers as a tremendous asset where employee satisfaction comes into play.
They currently have 40 low-cost applications lined up for integration with the XRS mobile platform, many of which are personal in nature. Whether helping their drivers connect with family and friends or providing them entertaining ways to pass the time while away from home, Allied Systems Holdings recognizes that when they support their drivers on the road, they help create happier employees.
It’s a win-win—and an easy one at that.