When It Comes to Technology, Resistance is Futile

By July 21, 2016Technology

The world isn’t going to move backwards. We now live in a world dominated by data, so learning to live with it and maximize its usage is essential for success.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, from hospitality to healthcare to finance to trucking, you’re undoubtedly facing an onslaught of new technology and voluminous data coming at you constantly. We can all appreciate the benefits we may realize from properly utilizing this new technology and the information it provides. But how do we know we’re “properly utilizing” something that continues to change?

A recent series of HDT articles addresses this thorny issue and offers a number of suggestions on how to deal with it. Many of the suggestions are specific to topics like warranties, engine parameters, maintenance schedules, etc. that apply to the trucking industry. However, emphasis was also placed on more universal issues and problems that might face any industry, including: knowing what you’re looking for in order to get the correct tools; focusing on what needs attention and what is actionable; avoiding information overload; and ensuring that data is controlled and secured.

But there’s another major issue that every business and industry faces and that’s a natural human instinct to resist change. And in a time where most of what we know and are used to is being challenged constantly, the resistance can grow. And change, when it comes to technology, is truly inevitable and is increasing at an exponential level. If you don’t think so, consider this:

  • By 2020, 80% of adults on earth will have a smartphone
  • Internet penetration is now 88% (vs. 77% in 2010) and access speeds have almost tripled
  • Americans spend 5.6 hours a day online
  • More than 1,000 new apps are created every day

Resistance comes in a variety of ways, ranging from inertia (“It’s working just fine as it is,” or “this is the way we’ve always done it”) to a discomfort with technology in general to a concern about the costs of implementation and training.

To optimize change management, there are some things you can do:

  • Get beyond just building reports. Develop technologies that not only provide reports but also require or drive actionable and measurable activities.
  • Embrace technologies that consider front line employee efficiency and look to reduce the pain from their world. Employees will likely embrace technologies in which they see benefits – personally and for the company.
  • Be careful not to overuse data to micro manage employees. Some is needed, but don’t lose sight of the big productivity picture.
  • Be careful of the monthly knee jerk reactions that will save the world. Give your technology and employees a reasonable chance to prove their value.
  • Technologies change very fast and it’s easy to justify waiting for the newest version of any technology. However, be careful not to wait forever, or to get roped into analysis paralysis – the world may pass you by.
  • Create supporting plans for communication, risk analysis, and reinforcement.
  • Involve employees in the process as early as possible.

At NationaLease, we acknowledge the incalculable value of relevant data. With that in mind, we embarked on a new technology that captures data directly from our affiliates’ Dealer Management Systems (DMS) and puts that data in a central repository. The data is then prepared for key performance indicators and reporting. Titled, “NationaLease Fleet 20/20” this technology is capable of providing asset management, vehicle maintenance reporting, utilization, customer damage reporting, etc… Our customer can have a customized KPI dashboard made of critical manageable and actionable information. Our goal is to provide KPI’s and reports that both our customer and our internal network can utilize to make faster and more informed decisions.

Learn more about NationaLease Fleet20/20 and how technology can help you address your fleet maintenance concerns by contacting Travis Yeomans at tyeomans@nationalease.com

Joe Puff

About Joe Puff

Joe Puff is the Vice President of Truck Technology and Maintenance for NationaLease. He has more than 35 years of experience in complex sales and fleet operations, including extensive experience in commercial vehicle maintenance. Joe is responsible for advising NationaLease members and the National Account team of new truck technology, industry trends, and maintenance best practices.

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