Why Logistics Companies Need to Constantly Evolve their Tech Strategy: Fuel Transport’s Approach to Innovation

As the logistics spaces evolves with the pandemic, trade conditions, and an increased focus on the customer experience, logistics companies are implementing more digitization and automation. And many are learning that innovation is a long-term strategy that requires a constant evolution to leverage the latest technologies to meet shifting customer needs.

At project44, we’re lucky to work with forward-looking supply chains and logistics companies that are paving the way for the rest of the industry. Fuel Transport is one of innovative logistics companies we’ve joined forces with to deliver more accurate and real-time visibility.

To learn more about their tech-forward approach to logistics, I sat down with Ron McIntyre, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Fuel Transport.

John Rattay: Why is an innovative technology approach essential for operational excellence in logistics? 

Ron McIntyre: As with anything relying on technology, the logistics world is changing faster than ever. Consumers, especially with the pandemic derived shift to online shopping and ecommerce, are demanding more and more from their chosen partners in terms of delivery times, reliability, and real-time visibility. This has a huge trickle-down effect on the whole logistics industry. These imperatives have hastened the need for logistics companies to adopt new technology to streamline operations, make smarter data-based decisions, improve customer visibility and engagement, reduce manual processes, eliminate the reliance on paper, allowing their teams to be more efficient and productive. This rapid pace of technology evolution now requires that we innovate with products that are not just built for today but will evolve and propel our tech over the next few years. If we’re standing still on tech, we’ve already been left behind.

Today’s digital economy requires an intuitive and adaptable supply chain and Fuel is committed to adopting technology to allow us to monitor, control, alert and measure the activities we perform for our customers which allows them to have true elasticity in their supply chain.

Rattay: What’s driving the need for technology and innovation in logistics?

McIntyre: Unfortunately, the reality of 2021 is “Evolve … or die!” It is already apparent that logistics companies who are investing in technology are the ones that are gaining increased traction. Being able to satisfy our customers’ needs for data, transparency, and operational excellence without having the reliance on human capital is a must, not a “nice-to-have.”

The need for technology and innovation in the logistics world cannot only be a response to a demand for adoption of new tech by our customers. We must be proactive in researching, developing, and deploying technology, especially innovative ones, to allow the Fuel Group of companies to take the lead in our areas of expertise. Our adoption of new tech will allow us to make a difference, in the lives of our team members, in the business of our customers and ultimately, on their customers as well. Being a leader is not about volume, it is about culture, engagement, and future-proof capabilities; this is where Fuel excels!

Rattay: How do you stay on top of the latest logistics technology?

McIntyre: Research, research, research … and listening to our customers! Sadly, this often leads to an over-saturated exposure to new and quasi-new tech. Learning to winnow the wheat from the chaff of the constant barrage of information provided to technology leaders has to be paramount or else you will quickly drown in sales pitches. Networking with peers and following technology leaders and companies, like project44, is also an effective way of gauging the winds of change. Unfortunately, those winds can often blow you off course if you are not firmly manning the rudder of your innovation ship.

Rattay: Why is real-time visibility important for Fuel and your customers?

McIntyre: By engaging with real-time visibility platforms, Fuel expects to be able to reduce the reliance on human capital to perform track and trace processes. Doing this will not only free up our talented team members to perform more value-added services, it also increases the amount of data we have available as well as the accuracy and timeliness of that data. By investing in these capabilities, we are investing in our staff and in our customers.

Rattay: Why did you choose project44?

McIntyre: We chose p44 because of your focus on utilizing modern tech to solve an old problem. Your focus on API-led integrations matched up to Fuel’s vision of the future. In addition, the culture of p44 resonated with the people-driven culture of Fuel where we focus on empowering our team.

Rattay: What’s coming for Fuel in 2021?

McIntyre: Fuel is focused on employee and customer success and we will be adopting technology, both the mundane and cutting edge, to meet this commitment to success. Innovation is in our DNA so we are looking at not only buying off-the-shelf technology but also engaging with partners and staff to develop really inventive technology.

We don’t want to give away too much but we hope to be able to make further technology announcements in the coming months as we look at all the disruptive technology that is hitting our industry; DLT and blockchain, RPA, ML and AI, Big Data Analytics, IoT and robotics. Everything is on the table, and it is an incredibly bountiful table!

We’re excited to work with Fuel and help them deliver real-time visibility to their customers. Read the press release to learn more about our partnership.