April 22, 2015
Ryder Goes Paperless with Android-Based Tablet Solution for Truck Rentals
By Christopher Mohr
TMCnet Contributing Writer
Ryder announced recently that it started implementing a tablet-based solution that replaces paper forms customers used to fill out when renting a truck. The solution is accompanied by another application that streamlines the process maintaining the company’s vehicles.
According to a press release, both applications were developed on the Appian business process management (BPM) platform developed by Reston, Virginia-based Appian Corporation (AC). AC serves several large industries like energy, finance, healthcare, insurance, retail, transportation and manufacturing.
The entire rental process can be handled using an Android (News - Alert)-based tablet running on the Appian BPM platform. All steps like checking the rental vehicle in and out, signing all required forms, photographing the vehicle to document its condition, and releasing the vehicle for future rental can be handled using the tablet device.
This same technology is also being used to keep the rental trucks running. An application on the tablet allows employees to enter all maintenance activity and store it in a central database. This makes it easy to retrieve for future maintenance and provides a history that can uncover potential problems so they can be fixed.
These applications are a continuation of technology investments Ryder has made in the past. Using a browser, customers can reserve trucks, edit user profiles, and look for available vehicles and rental locations.
One of the biggest benefits Ryder will enjoy from going paperless is standardization of its processes. Software can be written in such a way that it enforces business rules in a way that paper forms cannot. With paper forms, it is easier to omit certain information; a tablet application will not allow the rental process to continue without all required information being provided.
This concept can be applied to maintenance of the vehicles. The process of checking in a vehicle and making it available for subsequent rentals would not be allowed to proceed without certain conditions being met. This ensures that when a vehicle is rented in Chicago and later dropped off in Phoenix, employees at the latter site will be able to know detailed information about a given vehicle dropped off at its site.
The concept of a paperless office used to be one that had a lot of hype, but never panned out, because instead of eliminating dependency on paper, technology made it possible to use more of it faster with high speed printers.
That is no longer the case. Anyone who has shipped or received a package would already know this. Going paperless is a much more efficient process since it better enforces business rules and eliminates errors from entering paper form data into a computer. It’s only a matter of time before the companies still relying on paper forms modernize as Ryder has.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino