As the pace of technological advancement within the transportation industry has quickened, it has become clear that most companies stand to benefit from bringing it third-party tech partners. While the perks of in-house development are undeniable, it would be time consuming, expensive and generally unrealistic for companies to develop their own solutions to every problem. Luckily, high-quality third-party solutions already exist to fill in the gap.
When companies set out to solve a problem with technology, the in-house versus outsourcing question is often the first one that comes up. For GlobalTranz Chief Technology Officer Russ Felker, the answer lies in whether or not the solution in question is part of the company’s unique set of core offerings.
“If the solution is something that creates differentiation for us, it makes more sense to build. If it is ancillary – something related but tangential – that falls on the buy side,” Felker said. “If a solution is solving a widespread or generic problem, it makes sense to buy. A couple decades ago, there weren’t a lot of robotic process automation (RPA) vendors, so everyone was doing it themselves. Now there are, and it makes way more sense for us to choose an existing vendor.”
Felker went on to explain that while automation is at the core of the GlobalTranz business, how that automation occurs does not necessarily need to be unique.
“Our core is not to connect to the trucks and understand the ELDs,” he explained. “What we need is the data that comes off those pieces. We partner with groups like Trucker Tools to do a lot of the ancillary work in order to better serve our customers with our core offering.”
Once a company has decided to outsource a particular task, the hard work of choosing the right third-party partner begins. At any given time, the market is saturated with different companies that are – at least on paper – offering similar services. That is why factors like continuous innovation, dedication to customer service and culture fit are so important.
“There has to be a high degree of collaboration – not just with a company and its customers, but also among partners and competitors. There are some big issues we face within transportation and logistics, and most of them cannot be solved by just one company,” Felker said. “There needs to be more of an understanding and appreciation for that.”
While partnering with Trucker Tools, GlobalTranz has been invited to contribute to the conversation about current and future features, ensuring their visibility needs are met today while preparing to meet the needs they expect to have tomorrow. It is this high degree of collaboration that scored Trucker Tools the honor of being the GlobalTranz 2020 Technology Provider of the Year.
Companies that value keeping the lines of communication open are more likely to be involved in uncovering solutions to industrywide issues than companies that batten down the hatches when the going gets tough. Trucker Tools is, in large part, characterized by its openness to sharing ideas and letting potential partners in on its future plans.
“You cannot build a solution once and then use it for the next 100 years. Companies should look for collaborative partners with a built-out road map,” Trucker Tools CEO Prasad Gollapalli said. “Vendors need to listen to their customers and work fast to adapt to changing expectations.”
Honest feedback is a hallmark of a positive partnership. A demonstrated dedication to integration, collaboration and overall honesty has made Trucker Tools and GlobalTranz ideal partners. In fact, the companies’ close partnership could serve as a road map for other industry partnerships down the line.