Looking to reduce business costs? Start with eliminating the paperwork by using technology.
If 10 hourly employees spend 15 minutes per shift doing paperwork at $30 per hour, it can add up to $18,750 a year. When managers spend 3.5 hours per week on paperwork. It costs a month of productivity annually.
There is a better, more efficient and cost-effective way, according to Trisha Fridrich, self-described operator-turned-tech-nerd.
“Anything you write on a piece of paper or put into a spreadsheet can be automated,” said Fridrich, who shared her insights with motorcoach colleagues during a recent UMA Town Hall.
Fridrich, in her role as Technology Solutions Architect at the L&W Team, is passionate about data and finding ways to “use technology to turn that data into dollars.” When operators empower their teams with technology to automate processes, they make those employees more productive.
She says everything from expenses and reimbursements to driver pay calculations and employee health questionnaires can be automated. Those parts of management that require empathy are not suited to being automated, she said, but most other things are.
Fridrich encouraged operators to “be creative and open to change” when approaching automation, and to “start with the worst processes first.”
She encourages businesses to begin by seeing how technology can resolve some of the biggest issues taking up staff time. Automation can particularly be useful for compliance.
In addition to cost savings, technology is one way to assure that a process is done the same way every time.
“Technology completes tasks the exact same way every single time — humans don’t do that, but robots do,” she said. “A lot of our processes in the transportation industry should happen the exact same way every time.”
Fridrich has put her tech skills to work organizing grassroots lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry during the pandemic.
She predicts that those companies that harness the power of technology to make their companies more lean and efficient will be in the best position as business begins to pick up again.
“I know that the industry is going to recover because people love to travel,” she said. “I think operators who invest in technology now will recover quickly and more profitably than people who continue to do things the way that they used to.”
Watch Fridrich’s entire UMA Town Hall presentation here.