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Tandem Apps and the Driver

Apps have come a long way since the days of client/server. Back then, they were applications  (all those syllables!) or programs (how generic) or software (sounds complicated) requiring some serious hardware to power through and deliver key functionality. Processing power generally meant big, clunky, and sometimes slow.

BigRoad Driver app

App + App = Awesome

Hit the fast forward button to today, and voila, we’re in the midst of an official apps craze made possible by mobile. Processing power in smartphones and tablets could probably power small villages. And with that comes high expectations. People now expect apps running on mobile to deliver the same speed and quality of experience as the desktop. Rich media delivered via HD display is commonplace. These mobile apps power up in a few short seconds and are ready to rock and roll. Today’s apps are more approachable – at your fingertips in seconds via a very personal device.

That’s great news for BigRoad. Our strategy is based on the fact that mobile apps are easy to use and are a huge part of everyday life. Life on the road is better for drivers with an app that keeps you connected to work and friends, and makes doing your job a heck of a lot easier.

By now, you may have heard some of the propaganda we’re spreading about what BigRoad can do for drivers and fleets more generally. If you haven’t, check out the website.

We’re also preading the notion of Tandem Apps. It’s kind of like tandem driving where a pair is greater than the sum of its parts. Instead, it’s two apps kicking butt and taking names. Read on.

TANDEM APPS from BigRoad

BigRoad offers two separate apps that can be used on their own, but can be way better as a tandem. Each app serves the other with status updates, automated documentation sharing, and rich analytics that help fleet managers and drivers identify and realize productivity gains.

BigRoad Driver is a free mobile app for Android smartphones and tablets designed to make life simpler for drivers. Features include in-app messaging for smart phones, HOS documentation, and real-time navigation with traffic.

BigRoad Fleet is a web-based desktop application for use by fleet managers and dispatchers to more effectively assign work,monitor operations, and adjust on the fly to changing conditions.

As Tandem Apps, the mobile app and desktop app inform each other both passively and proactively. The interactions a driver has with the mobile app automatically updates what a user of the desktop sees.

Check out the following 3 scenarios to figure out what we mean.

Tandem Apps Scenario 1: Driver status transparency

Murray, a longhaul trucker and BigRoad Driver user, is about to wrap up his shift after a long run across the midwest. It’s early afternoon and he’s coming up on his HOS limit. He decides to stop at a rest stop, and indicates in BigRoad Driver that he’s off-duty. That stops the clock on his hours served, which is tracked and documented by the app. His HOS and GPS status is also visible to his dispatch office, which has a clear view to his progress on a shipment, and now knows Murray’s availability to accept new work.

Tandem App Scenario 2: Shared Docs

The next day, Murray rolls into Chicago early am to make a delivery. He receives a POD, takes a photo of the doc, and uploads it to BigRoad. Back at the office, dispatch is alerted to the completed delivery and can reference the document seconds later. No need for Murray to call dispatch or fax in a POD.

Tandem App Scenario 3: Messaging records

Throughout the week, Murray has been using the In-app messaging within BigRoad as a quick way to communicate with dispatch without the need for phones calls. He’s a little unclear about specific instructions for a drop in Lansing, Michigan so he references the messages with dispatch from earlier in the week. In the heat of the moment, having that handy reference to all the messaging handled between the two apps is great. Sure enough, the drop in Lansing has a short time-window so he’ll make sure he doesn’t miss it.