For most retailers, supply chain innovation can feel like building an airplane while flying it. Walmart recognizes that the pilots — or in this case, our private fleet drivers — are critical to our success. That’s why we are committed to improving their experience. Not only are we offering industry-leading benefits, compensation and development programs, but we have implemented two technology tools that work together to create a world-class driver experience and provide real-time visibility to the day-to-day operations of our network of more than 12,000 drivers.
In collaboration with Platform Science, a telematics infrastructure and transportation technology leader, every Walmart Private Fleet cab is now equipped with an intuitive, interactive tablet device that fully integrates with NTransit, a driver workflow application developed by Walmart’s product and technology teams. This customized onboard computer system provides private fleet drivers with a world-class technology experience, the business with real-time visibility and our customers with what they want, where and when they want it.
How Walmart and Platform Science are Leading the Industry in Supply Chain Innovation and Automation
Walmart has a rich history of transformation. Our latest approach leverages technology to transform the lives of drivers by eliminating friction and unlocking their potential. By utilizing Platform Science’s telematics infrastructure solution to deploy our NTransit app, we provide drivers:
- Better Visibility: Knowing what we own and where we own it, in near real time, is our mission. The integration provides near real-time visibility of where our assets are within the fleet to ensure freight arrives on time and in the correct location. Stores can anticipate load arrival times and effectively plan their days and labor around truck deliveries. Additionally, Walmart customers will benefit from this increased visibility and efficiency. They will see our shelves stocked in-store and have access to a more accurate inventory of products available for purchase online.
- Enhanced Communication: Walmart has one of the largest private fleets in the country. Our onboard technology helps drivers communicate more closely with stores by integrating with store applications, providing a more seamless delivery process. As the driver approaches a store, geolocation technology detects the driver’s location, sending push notifications to store associate’s handheld devices, allowing them to plan for a quick unload and turnaround. We can also deploy secure audio messages directly with our drivers to ensure they receive important information while they are in the field.
- Productivity and Retention: By removing manual touchpoints, our goal is to create a frictionless workflow so drivers can spend more time driving the truck and less time waiting at fulfillment centers or store deliveries. Platform Science and NTransit integrate seamlessly to coordinate scheduling and navigation, so drivers can hit the road to their next destination without keying it in. Like any job, unplanned activities sometimes require the driver to do more than steer the truck. Our new system creates accountability by allowing drivers to communicate what they accomplished on the road. That way, they are compensated for any miles and non-driving activities beyond what was initially planned.
Using Technology to Go the Extra Mile
Our drivers are giving the technology the green light. A point of pride for the Platform Science and Walmart collaboration has been the significant increase in driver satisfaction, reflecting the best-in-class experience we want to provide. We plan to continue improving and evolving our onboard systems based on feedback from our drivers and store associates so our supply chain associates can do their jobs with safety, courtesy and pride. Walmart will continue to invest in disruptive technologies to take flight in today’s complex retail environment.