This story appears in the November 14 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.
LAS VEGAS — Tranztec Solutions Inc. has developed a data visualization platform designed to give fleets a more modern, intuitive way to manage their operations.
The company’s Via platform displays key information such as loads, routes, drivers and trucks in stacks of interactive boxes on the user’s computer or tablet screen, providing a contrast to the grid-based presentation of many trucking software applications.
Through Via, fleets can customize a visual display that mirrors their internal business processes “to expose data that is otherwise lost in the fog of the traditional grid,” Tranztec President Toby Miller said during an interview here at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition. “You’re able to review any transportation-related data, whether it’s your drivers or managing the status and availability of your trucks.”
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Tranztec’s core business is developing integrations among major transportation management systems, telematics platforms, document imaging systems and other sources of data, but the company also saw an opportunity to improve how the information from those various sources is presented to the dispatcher or fleet manager.
Miller said Via pulls together information from most major TMS, telematics and imaging systems, as well as from external data sources such as load boards. The product also can consolidate data for carriers operating a mix of TMS systems, a situation that sometimes arises through fleet acquisitions, he added.
Customers can use the web-based platform on a desktop computer or take advantage of its touch-screen functionality on a tablet.
Since introducing Via in September 2015, Tranztec has been expanding the visualization platform by adding functionality such as group messaging to support social interaction and collaboration.
That new messaging feature enables various parties to discuss a particular load or other business items.
“In a single conversation, I can be chatting with other people on my team, I can be chatting with the driver via telematics, and I can even invite customers to these management boards,” Miller said.
Miller said his company saw a need for a more visual, interactive user interface after observing how many dispatchers continue to use whiteboards, sticky notes and paper dispatch sheets to keep track of information, even at fleets that already have invested heavily in TMS systems.
“It’s 2016,” he said. “We really should be beyond whiteboards and dispatch sheets.” ³