At our first annual customer conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Heartbeat 2023, we gathered Powerfleet team members and nearly 40 customers and partners to discuss the key priorities and challenges they’re experiencing day in and day out. From executive sessions with Steve Towe, Powerfleet’s Chief Executive Officer, to presentations from Toyota, Albertsons, The Kearney Companies and IMC Companies, the event featured insightful customer sessions tailored to our key industries.
As a customer-first organization, we understand the importance of fostering meaningful connections and face-to-face conversations. Our inaugural conference marks a significant moment for us as we chart towards a new level of customer engagement and understanding – truly embodying what it means to be People Powered IoT. The overarching themes explored the importance of safety, sustainability, and compliance, as well how mission-critical data insights can help transform business operations and power our customers digital transformation.
As we look back on this first annual event, we were able to hear directly from our customers about how they’re using Powerfleet’s Unity platform, data-powered applications including safety, compliance, fuel management, maintenance, visibility, as well as how they use our real-world, real-time data insights to improve their operations. This gave the Powerfleet team the opportunity to hear specifically how our customers’ industries are evolving – and the software innovations that are needed to propel them into in future, ultimately informing our mission of working closely with our customers to meet their needs.
From Heartbeat 2023, a few key themes stood out from the engaging discussions and thought-provoking breakout sessions.
At the top of this list for a reason: Nothing should precede the safety of your high value assets, and more importantly, your people. As long as theft and accidents occur, there’s still room for improvement. We held several sessions across industries that highlighted the need for improved safety in the warehouse and over the road, including:
- Industrial: With an estimated 1 million manufacturing jobs that could go unfilled by 2030, coupled with a turnover rate of about 20% in the manufacturing industry, improving safety and working conditions will be key to retain drive and operator talent. Diving in deeper, Vice President, Product Management of Powerfleet, Scott Walker, shared more about the labor shortage in manufacturing; of the expected 4 million manufacturing job vacancies from 2020 to 2030, only 1.9 million of those are likely to be filled. As an additional real world industrial example, Patrick O’Reagan, Safety Engineer at Toyota North America and David Hoover, President at Forklift Training Systems, both also emphasized the importance of increasing safety efforts across warehouse and manufacturing plants, and what’s needed from a technological and solutions standpoint to progress this further.
- Logistics: Fleet and Safety Managers everywhere are being tasked to do more with less. This scramble could lead to cutting corners resulting in accidents, both minor and major. Thus, technology must be integrated across operations to focus on smart prevention and mitigation. Carl Schultz, Vice President of IT at IMC Companies, presented on similar safety measures for over-the-road logistics with chassis: LED lighting, conspicuity tape and labels, plus safety braking systems, tire inflation systems and more.
- In-Cab: Powerfleet’s Eric Frey and partner, Adam McCarty, outlined the possible hesitations drivers may feel toward dash cams; reinforcing the importance of change management, and educating on the benefits of these safety technologies. With open communication channels, surveys and demos, safety measures like this can become a welcome addition to everyday activities. With dash cams and Powerfleet’s Collision Reconstruction solution, this can also make a dent in the unfortunate upward trend in fatal truck crashes (29% increase in the past decade).
Advancing Our Sustainability Efforts
Electric vehicles (EV) are the future.
There are few who would refute that statement. Though, while the public waits for EVs to become more affordable and recharging infrastructure to improve, there’s much the trucking and manufacturing industries can do to improve.
In his Heartbeat presentation, Eric Frey, Director, Global Product Management, outlined Powerfleet’s key data-powered applications for fleet operations, among them advanced fuel and energy management. As fleets look to incorporate EVs into their operations, the larger push toward sustainability also requires improving driver efficiency by leveraging the most direct and fuel-efficient vehicles and routes. As explained, monitoring fuel efficiency over time can allow companies to discover patterns and see where there’s room for improvements.
To make this a reality for our customers, we unveiled the launch of Powerfleet’s Sustainability data-powered application during Heartbeat, which will empower our customers and businesses worldwide to drive green initiatives by modernizing and aligning fleets with their corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. As our second data-powered application and part of Powerfleet’s fleet intelligence platform, Unity, this module will allow customers visibility into CO2 emissions, vehicle efficiencies, eco scoring by tracking emission-increasing behaviors, and leveraging historical data to better budget and plan across operations.
As more and more companies are prioritizing ESG and their transition to EVs, we recognize the responsibility we have as trusted advisors to provide green technologies. Our teams are excited to help customers minimize their carbon footprint and material waste, enhance maintenance and fuel efficiency, comply with government mandates, and reduce operational costs while accelerating growth.
Optimizing Your Technology Footprint
Among the hurdles facing Logistics Managers, a lack of data is not one of them. In fact, managers are drowning in data overload. For example, semi-tractors generate tens of megabytes of data daily! The trick to making sense of it all is platforms, like Unity, designed to ingest massive amounts of data, harmonize this data from disconnected sources, and generate actionable outputs to unify and improve your business operations.
Collecting technology solutions to disseminate every data point is going to bury your organization, not just in data but in technology that you’re not going to use. At Heartbeat, we discussed the importance of using what you buy – and for some, a modular approach can assist in this. Plus, the more flexible and system-agnostic each solution is, the better it will integrate with what you already have. Data must lead to actionable insights, so leaders must critically evaluate the tools that will help them sift through data, discover the patterns within and enact change.
To round out the event, we were thrilled to announce the launch of our Customer Advisory Board (CAB). At Powerfleet, we are committed to delivering the best customer experience. With that, we ensure our customers have a voice and influence over the strategy and roadmap of our products and innovation. We are excited to welcome the new members to our engaged Powerfleet community that continues to grow and make meaningful progress each year.
As we reflect on Heartbeat and the key challenges that our customers shared, we’re committed to taking these conversations back to our teams and creating new innovations that will help shape the industry and improve our customers’ operations.
Events like Heartbeat are a great opportunity for us to gather with our customers and discuss in person the core issues they are facing every day. Thank you to all the customers, partners, and Powerfleet team members who attended and presented! Your feedback will help us deliver better solutions and help drive our plans for next year’s event. For those who couldn’t make it this year, we welcome you to join us next year in Chicago. The official dates will be announced at a later date, stay tuned!
I think we have some work to do on this to regurgitate what we announced – details below
We launched our second data-powered application, Sustainability, at the end of June – empowering businesses worldwide to drive green initiatives by modernizing and aligning fleets with their corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. This module is part of our fleet intelligence platform, Unity, and will enable our customers to minimize carbon footprint and material waste, enhance maintenance and fuel efficiency, comply with government mandates, and reduce operational costs while accelerating growth.
The capabilities within our sustainability data-powered application include, but are not limited to:
- Visibility into tons of CO2 emissions product and saved by our customer’s fleet
- Vehicle efficiency by identifying high and low emission vehicles in real-time. Customers can reduce CO2 by determining which vehicles need maintenance, or even replacement with electric vehicles (EV).
- Eco scoring by tracking emission-increasing behaviors, such as idling, per each driver. Our customers will gain insights into ‘miles lost’ from inefficient driving, along with the opportunity for positive or incentive-based training.
- Budgeting and planning by using historical data on vehicle efficiency and eco-scoring to predict fuel and energy use.
- Conversion to electric vehicles (EV) by leveraging detailed fleet summaries of both electric and gasoline powered vehicles, serving as a guide for electrification. Customers can narrow down the macro data set into real-world, decision-grade insights including the make, model, year, tailgate emissions, and more – powering the insight into which vehicles are the cleanest, and which need to be transitioned to electric and when.
More and more companies are prioritizing ESG and their transition to EV due to government initiatives and mandates, rising costs of fuel, and social expectations from consumers. We see this shift in importance reflected in our existing customer base as well as with our prospects.
To keep this focused as an event recap, we didn’t bullet out the capabilities but stuck to the high level overview and linked to the press release in our newsroom.