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Technology and transportation companies have not always been the best of friends. The time has arrived, however, when the cold abstraction of technology meets the warm and fuzzy human element. Or at least the possibilities abound for those who have the foresight. Companies like Uber Freight and Convoy and CargoChief and FreightFriend are invested in driver and carrier solutions, as well as hundreds of companies investing in technology in order to create a better experience for the driver, such as Volvo trucks.

Trucking companies should not lose focus on the driver. They are still a main cog in the transportation wheel. Savvy companies know this and utilize technology to help solve retention issues, which, with patience, will lead to stronger quarters.

Visual surveillance, public transport, and street lighting will command nearly one quarter of spending by smart cities this year, according to new figures from research house IDC.  While the exponential growth of digitization and technology floods the transportation industry in particular, one of the increasingly most effective ways for carriers to protect themselves is through video surveillance.

Today, a number of companies sell heavy-duty cameras that provide strong and reliable durability for long-lasting performance in any trucking and commercial vehicle application. The newest cameras feature field-of-views displayed on sharp, hi-res monitors, which, among other things, can make blind spots a thing of the past. Recorded footage will also protect against any false claims, increasing ROI every year and ultimately saving carriers money.

Serena Da Rold, program manager at IDC, said in the report: “Intelligent transportation and data-driven public safety remain the largest investment areas, but we are also finding significant pockets of spending and growth in back-office and platform-related use cases, which are less often publicized but increasingly happening behind the scenes in cities around the world.”

The IDC report said it expects strong, continued investment by the private and public sector in urban areas. The competitiveness of the market means solution suppliers should take a data-driven approach to developing products and services, and understanding buyer trends.

Along those very lines, companies like Driver Engagement provide a software system that engages, communicates with, and proactively monitors, all drivers at a carrier for satisfaction, with the purpose being to improve driver retention. Their purpose-built Driver CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software provides a single place from where the carrier manages every driver interaction, whether it is driver requests, news, policy books, vacation scheduling, payroll distribution, surveys, scorecards, rewards and recognitions, or any other driver-related matters.

“We have found that by being proactive and organized, carriers remove and reduce friction from their driver interactions, leading to drivers feeling appreciated and cared for, rather than being neglected,” says Colin Ruskin, Driver Engagement’s CEO.

“We’ve been hearing a lot from drivers that nobody cares about them. And I got the same kind of feedback. Caring and respect are very abstract. How do we make it real? When someone complains about it, how do people respond? So when we set out to build a CRM, it was with the idea that we were listening to the drivers,” says Ruskin.

“A lot of carriers that are using our platform are finding positive results, but there’s no magic. You have to keep feeding, loving, caring just like with any human relationship. You can bring donuts to people, but still not everyone’s going to be happy. You have to follow up, engage. Just because you bought a race car, doesn’t mean you’re going to win the race, but without it, you’re definitely not going to.”

While technology continues to permeate industries in and around the world, it doesn’t have to leave you out in the cold. Technology is just another tool in the box, and can be used in creative ways to provide a human touch to improving challenging issues like retention in a capacity-stricken year.