You’re the CTO of a new digital supply chain company launching an innovative product that provides insight into freight movement for carriers and shippers. As your developers start to build the application, they realize that one of the first things your customers need is a way to calculate miles and easily display routes on a map. The team suggests a well known map provider that they use when driving. But you realize that those maps are designed for cars- and your customer base needs miles and routes for commercial vehicles. Is that the best way to develop your application? What are the key differences between map providers and why should you care?
Here are the top 3 reasons why choosing the right map provider will set you up for success.
1. Truck Specific data.
Not all map providers are designed for the trucking industry. In fact, most are specifically designed for automobiles. Do your customers need to run routes using the most up-to-date road network that takes into account bridge clearances, left-hand and dangerous turn restrictions, and height, weight, and load restrictions? This map data is critical for operational efficiency and driver safety - so it’s critical for your customers.
Providing your clients truck specific mileage and routing data could very well be the deciding factor to use your solution. Both shippers and carriers need to know the exact mileage between an origin and a destination for contract rating, driver pay and load matching. And these calculations could vary greatly depending on many key factors.
What sets us apart? We’re the industry standard commercial truck data you can’t find anywhere else. Throughout our solutions, all mileage and routing calculations take into account over 30 different vehicle configurations, height, weight, and load constraints, as well as roadway restrictions and allowances. This allows your clients to pinpoint exact calculations, no matter what they’re shipping or the specific attributes of their fleet. Loads will be booked more efficiently, drivers will be paid more precisely and lanes will always be priced accurately.
It’s also important to make sure that your map provider has a wide range of services to ensure consistency for your customers. With all of the different products being offered in the market, it’s very easy for a company to utilize many unconnected technologies, each with its own set of information. In the mapping world, this can lead to consistency issues with route optimization, tracking, ETA calculations and navigation.
Our portfolio of mapping, routing, and navigation solutions (including our full suite of APIs) is rooted in the same routing engine and commercial map data, ensuring consistency from the back office to the vehicle. In essence, the miles calculated and routes generated throughout our products will match - so when you offer PC*MILER for back office planning and CoPilot Truck for commercial in cab navigation, your customers can feel confident that business operations are consistent, transparent and technologically sound. Miles planned = miles paid.
3. Breadth vs. Depth
Always remember your audience and what matters to them. While some map providers have lots of crowdsourced information, it is usually not particular to the needs of truck drivers. What about parking availability for long haul drivers? Facility entry and exit gates at warehouses and distribution centers so drivers avoid dangerous situations? Amenity information at truck stops? When map providers specialize in industry specific data, it makes a huge difference in efficient planning and keeping drivers safe.
From the ability to ingest HOS information into ETA calculations to allowing drivers to configure their breaks based on truck stop amenities to having over 65,000 polygonal geofenced truck specific places with labeled entry/exit gates and roads to avoid or favor, the level of data relevant to a driver at all times is unparalleled.
As you can see, selecting the right map provider is one of the most important product decisions you’ll make. Make sure that you’re choosing one that has what you need in order to stand out from the competition.
Using commercial map intelligence to drive business process innovation and ultimately helping technology partners and customers achieve their goals is what motivates me everyday. If you ever have any questions, or want to talk further about how we can help your business be more efficient, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Strategic Partnership Manager