Adapting to emerging technologies and solutions is nothing new for businesses, but for many industries, the past twelve months have sped the adoption of digital technologies by three to four years. To stay competitive in the marketplace, businesses need to take on new strategies and practices as they arise.
89 per cent of all businesses have already adopted a digital-first strategy or plan to do so. To keep up with the expected rise in demand in the years to come, Australia’s transport industry needs to ditch manual processes and paperwork – and in doing so operators and managers will experience fleet-wide benefits in more ways than one.
Let’s look at some digitally transformed sectors to discover how going paperless will enhance your operations.
Retail & Hospitality
Online shopping has been around for decades now, but in the wake of COVID-19, many retail brands have completely digitised their operations to manage lockdowns, social distancing and so on. By digitising their inventory management, retailers have stock levels immediately to hand, while also allowing customers to check inventory online without having to go to a physical location.
Digitising customer data means that you don’t need to spend ages sorting through paper receipts or ledgers to find a customer’s purchase history with your fleet. Bringing your staff roster online also provides total transparency across the business – if a customer requires a delivery, managers can compare the roster with live GPS tracking to instantly view who is working at which location and assign a worker to the job at hand to streamline job management.
Today’s consumer wants a seamless shopping experience and swapping from paper-based to digital receipts gives shoppers the convenience they strive for. Instead of receipts that often get lost in the depths of your bag or lie around slowing fading into illegibility, digital receipts are stored right on your smartphone and can be pulled up at any time.
Alongside retail, the hospitality sector has rapidly shifted to digital over the past 12 months. Home delivery of food is now easily available through a slew of mobile apps. As part of their COVID-19 policy, restaurants are using QR codes for contract tracing and managing the number of visitors.
Many establishments have also done away with the physical menu and have swapped it out for a QR code, allowing customer to view the menu and order via their smartphone from the table. This reduces double-handling with the waiter, while also slashing your overall waiting time. At the end of the experience, your receipt will be sent directly to your inbox, eliminating the need for paper.
These digital changes have offered customers in the retail and hospitality sectors an improved customer experience, and similarly, transport businesses that go paperless will deliver the same enhanced services.
Traditionally, financial institutions have been very paper-centric with their internal and external processes, so it comes as no surprise that in recent years, the banking sector has undergone a massive digital transformation to eliminate paper-based practices.
As many of us have experienced first-hand, one of the biggest benefits of banks going paperless is receiving statements, bills and other important documentation electronically. No more worrying about your sensitive financial info getting into the wrong hands – all your private data is securely stored in your inbox and saveable on your computer.
Not only does going digital empower customers but moving away from paper-based processes provides complete transparency for staff. Banks are used to handling and dealing with paperwork every day, so moving forms online ensures that sensitive info isn’t accidentally misplaced or inadvertently shared, and allows team members to understand how things are currently tracking and what needs immediate attention.
Today’s bank branches are mostly devoid of staff, and only provide limited functions. Their attention is on online banking, providing app and phone services that streamline the banking experience and eliminate the need for people to go to their nearest branch to make a simple withdrawal or deposit.
For transport operators, storing your documentation digitally via an all-in-one platform ensures knowledge is shared to all staff and anyone in the fleet can access this data at any time they like. By constantly circulating up to date information, you’re helping to improve teamwork while improving decision-making and compliance.
The first electronic health record was created back in 1972, yet it’s only recently that most healthcare institutions have digitised their documentation to store them electronically.
Not only has going digital reduced the amount of physical paperwork hospitals and healthcare professionals have to manage, but it’s ensured sensitive patient data is kept secure. Some physicians prefer to send specialist referrals via mail, but this can get lost or accidentally sent to the wrong person. Storing these files digitally ensures sensitive info goes straight to the person intended and keeps patient data out of the wrong hands.
By improving the accessibility of information, the healthcare industry is harnessing historical data to inform their decision-making and practices. If a patient is submitted with unusual symptoms, doctors can easily filter past patient data to look at any correlating trends and identify the issue at hand.
The advancement of technology has also led to the rise of telehealth services, whereby doctors and specialists can service the community via phone or video call, within the comfort of their own home. No more having to sit in a waiting room with half a dozen sick people. These days, prescriptions are sent straight to the pharmacy for instant pickup. Some pharmacies even offer home delivery, meaning that you can receive your medication without leaving home.
Similar to healthcare, the shift from paper to digital documentation will enable transport operators to learn from past data and use this info to shape their practices. For example, if you notice a spike in speeding offences, you can drill down to identify when and where these issues are occurring, educate drivers and create a custom scorecard that will help them to curb dangerous behaviours.
Smart fleet management solutions can even use historical data to draw your attention to issues you’re aren’t aware of. For example, monitoring past routes can highlight instances of unnecessary fuel use. This can prompt you to optimise your routes, and you’re not just saving money on fuel, but you’re able to stay compliant with specific customer requirements and complete more jobs.
It’s estimated that 45 per cent of paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day. Making the move to a paperless workforce won’t just greatly diminish your business’ environmental impact. As we can see from other industries that have made the jump to digital, going paperless will ensure knowledge is easily shared across your fleet, will allow you to learn from your historical data, and most importantly, help to improve customer service.