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Transport SMEs unconvinced of compliance ITs value: survey

ACA Research report shows business case remains unproven for such firms


IT providers must make the business case plainer for smaller trucking operations if they are to grow demand in the sector, particularly in relation to compliance issues.

That is one of the salient outcomes of ACA Research’s in-depth industry survey report, The Use of Technology to Manage Compliance in the Road Freight Transport Industry.

“Our research suggests that only a minority of businesses see technology as a cost-effective solution to compliance management,” ACA finds.

“Despite falling installation costs and increasing availability, the use of supporting technologies remains limited.”

The findings will make sobering reading for transport and logistics IT providers but ACA research director Steve Nuttall believes some easing smaller operator’s position may take place with the mandating of electronic work diaries.

However, the cost-benefit equation had yet to convince them and many among fleets of 1-5 and 6-25 would stay in a “holding-pattern” until the failure of existing manual processes for driver and vehicle management was made plain.

“The key factor impacting take-up remains cost, with few businesses feeling that technology can at this point provide them with significant cost savings or efficiencies,” ACA says.

“Despite strong agreement that technology delivers positive outcomes in terms of driver safety, this lack of evidence of a direct financial return remains the most significant impediment to growth in telematics use within the Australian marketplace.”

Nuttall believes IT system cost will move to meet this latent demand, eventually.

“The price will have to come down,” he says, but not before “an element of cost-recovery” takes place for the providers.

That said, larger operators are showing no such reticence, with many using technological sophistication as a positive when seeking contracts from demanding but high-volume and value clients.

Nuttall notes that the likes of supermarket chains will only work with transport companies that can prove their compliance.

Those seeking to purchase ACA Research’s newly completed report can find details here

Read more in the annual Transport & Logistics Technology Directory and Special Report in the August edition of ATN.

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