Mobile resource management, or MRM, refers to monitoring and tracking a variety of mobile assets. In the trucking industry, these are generally heavy-rigid local delivery trucks and semi-trailer heavy-vehicle combinations. On construction and mining job sites, these mobile assets may include heavy machinery and other equipment used on-site. In delivery fleets, the assets are often box trucks and other motor vehicles.
The physical setup of a mobile resource management system includes hardware installed in vehicles and personnel utilising mobile devices while operating vehicles or assets. These devices connected to a software interface via a server in the cloud and provides data for decision-making in asset management.
Mobile resource management originated as vehicle tracking, which remains its most widely-used application. The introduction of GPS (global positioning system) and GIS (geographic information system) devices led to their integration in vehicle fleets to monitor locations and to assist in vehicle routing.
As mobile resource management evolved, additional functions beyond simple vehicle tracking gained in popularity as organisations found that MRM technology enabled them to realise improved efficiency, productivity and safety.
Importance in managing resources
As more fleet and asset managers recognise the value of MRM, market penetration of this technology continues to increase. While MRM units in service are estimated to reach 14 million in the US, growth in MRM use in transport fleets (10% growth) has seen a slower uptake compared to local service and delivery fleet solutions (15% growth).1
The introduction of Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) in 2018 will change the trucking space drastically and will drive strong adoption of these solutions to improve compliance.
Mobile resource management offers a wide range of benefits to enterprises operating within the trucking/transportation, construction/heavy equipment, delivery and related industries.
Equipment tracking with a high degree of precision, with status and management updates to report on current condition. This assists managers in determining where equipment is located, which assets are ready for operation and which may require attention.
Enables dispatchers and allocators to determine the most efficient routes for deliveries or onsite disposition, to avoid delays, traffic problems and weather issues, accommodate route restrictions on vehicle height or weight, and manage delivery schedules in real time.
Monitoring engine and equipment operation can form the basis of an automated maintenance schedule that optimises efficiency, and can alert managers and operators of potential issues. This can avert costly breakdowns and downtime, as well as preventing premature wear to extend asset life.
MRM can help reduce fuel consumption by recording individual assets’ engine idle times, on-road travel, and excessive fuel use caused by aggressive driving practices or onsite workflows that cause operational bottlenecks. Analysis of engine hours and kilometres travelled can confirm that vehicles and equipment are used only as authorised.
Electronic logging of work hours, fatigue monitoring, and detection of unsafe driving or harsh equipment use can help prevent accidents, identify vehicle operators who require additional training and reduce unnecessary wear or abuse of vehicles and assets.
Geofencing (electronic boundary lines) helps managers ensure that equipment moves only when authorised, with immediate alerts and location tracking that facilitates recovery.
GPS tracking allows fleet managers to reorganise delivery routes and assignments in real time, to reduce fuel consumption and kilometres travelled, and maximise the number of deliveries per day. For site and construction managers, electronic records of completed projects provide a basis for job estimating.
Paperwork is reduced and administrative hours minimised with the ability to store documents electronically. Automated billing, timesheets, payroll, invoicing and proof of delivery from the one platform. In transport, mobile resource management includes electronic compilation of documents for compliance, inspection, and other forms you may would want to automate.
1 “Current Trends in Mobile Resource Management”, Trucking Info