Transporting companies handle a lot of goods (and/or people), but they also handle a lot of data. To remain competitive in the marketplace, they must be good at handling both. Customer data, employment data, market research, billing, accounts, the list of data that even a medium-sized business must handle is endless.
Today, your clients expect instant responses and expect that you will be able to reply to them with information “on demand”. When someone calls to ask about getting something, or someone, to a given destination, your sales team should be able to reply quickly and accurately with schedules. If someone wants to know whether there has been a delay, they should be able to get an answer promptly too.
The Cloud Makes Communication Quicker
Even a decade ago, tracking your vehicles was a slow and painful process. Loads would need manually processing at each stage of the delivery process, and if something went missing, it was difficult to retrace the steps. The people at your customer service office would find it difficult to contact your drivers, and knowing where things were was not easy.
The cloud changes that. With cloud computing and two key innovations – “Software as a Service” and “Connected Devices,” it is easier than ever before for every part of your business to communicate with every other part. So, whether you run a coach company and you want to allow people to track the progress of their journey or you run a delivery company and want to track packages, the options are there.
Reliability and Security
Let’s take the example of a public transit company. In 2008, it was estimated that there were 10.5 billion unlinked trips taken by public transit. That’s the highest number of trips since records began. Even though car ownership has been increasing, people use transit for its affordability, convenience, and environmental benefits.
With such heavy usage loads, it is easy to understand why companies put reliability first. The prospect of an outage affecting ticketing or routing is simply too risky for any business to tolerate. Even in the world of shipping, losing track of packages, or even losing a track on which vehicles in the fleet need maintenance is not acceptable.
Cloud computing means that you can have all of that information stored on high performance, reliable servers that are accessible from anywhere in the world and that are maintained by specialists.
When your services are hosted in the cloud, they are not hosted on one server but on a ‘farm’ of servers. If the computer in your head office fails, you lose access to everything on that computer. If a part of the cloud services provider’s hardware fails, then you don’t have to worry because they can simply “move” your data and your app to another computer. An outage that might take a full day to fix with a local machine problem could be so brief that you don’t even notice it when you’re storing data in the cloud.
Simplicity and Scalability
Storing your data in the cloud, in one central location, makes life easier for your employees. You can collect data such as transit fees, usage information, times, mileage, etc., and everyone who needs access to that information can pull it from a central database. There’s no need to call the head office and ask for a report to be run and then emailed over – everyone can access the data from the same place.
You can start collecting that data today as a medium-sized company, and if you decide to grow your fleet or expand your area of operation, then you can do so easily at a later date. You pay for the resources that you’re using on the cloud hosting, and this can save you a lot of money compared to the risks you might face as a growing company trying to do everything in-house. There’s no “over-provisioning” – paying for an expensive machine that is under-utilized. There’s also no waste since you won’t find yourself having to discard or sell a server or software package that no longer meets your needs when you outgrow it.
Cloud computing saves you time and money and gives you the flexibility to scale at a moment’s notice.
Privacy and Data Protection
In the last few years, privacy and security laws have changed significantly. There are strict regulations concerning how personal data can be handled and stored. If a company is found to be in breach of those regulations, then they could face huge fines. The Privacy Act in Australia, for example, states that a business that is found to have been in breach of the data handling regulations could face fines of $10 million.
While some breaches of the privacy laws are common sense, such as “businesses should not sell customer data without obtaining their consent first,” other breaches may be confusing for those who are less tech-savvy. The government requires business owners to store customer data in a secure format, on a secure server, and the people who manage that server should also be acting in compliance with data protection laws.
Are you truly confident that the way you are handling your customer and employee data is secure right now? When transactions are recorded onto the computer, do you know where the data goes? If you do not understand what is happening to that data, then you should seriously consider working with a cloud services company that puts privacy and security first.
At MoonSpace, we have worked hard to build a fully compliant cloud services solution for your industry. We offer scalable, safe, and secure services that allow you to handle transportation data in a fast and efficient manner. We take care of backups, updates, and support so that you and your IT team don’t have to worry about those things. This frees up your valuable resources to focus on improving the delivery side of your business.
Call us today to discuss your cloud services needs.