Finnish organisation develops electronic transport sector tools to bring haulage firms into the digital age
A recent survey by the Finnish road haulage operators’ organisation SKAL revealed than only a quarter of its member firms were using electronic systems to document their operations. Alarmed at this modest level of preparedness for the rapidly advancing digitisation of logistics, the organisation was motivated to tackle the challenge of developing a suitable electronic solution for haulage firms. SKAL will present its new Aski+ solution at the General Assembly of the International Road Transport Union IRU in Oman.
SKAL has more than 5,000 members, and over 10 percent of these businesses responded to the organisation’s Transportbarometer (SKAL Kuljetusbarometri) survey in autumn 2016. The ability of transport enterprises to use electronic solutions was a key focus of this survey. Findings suggested that road haulage operations all too frequently depend on human memory and paper checklists for managing contracts, vehicles and staff skills.
Established in 1936, SKAL is both a lobbying and member services organisation that has encountered several situations over the years where small member firms have run into difficulties due to a personal impediment of the owner. The risks are greatly magnified in such cases if access to key details depends on someone’s memory. With no suitable commercial solution available for the specific electronic documentation needs of haulage firms, SKAL teamed up with Visma Consulting to develop one. Completed a year ago, the Aski+ solution facilitates secure administration of business agreements and records, bringing order to operations. The solution can also be readily customised for deployment beyond the confines of Finland.
Thanks to its profound knowledge of the transport sector, SKAL was fully aware of haulage business requirements: the system had to be secure, user-friendly, and able to provide a very wide range of information processing functions. Aski+ requires only an Internet-connected terminal device, such as an office or portable PC, or a tablet computer. The system can manage information related to contracts, vehicles and staff. Aski+ also provides reminders concerning such aspects as the expiry dates of contracts and the limits of staff competencies.
The system can accommodate all details of haulage equipment, including trailers, tools and demountables. The owner can also apply Aski+ user privileges to prevent unauthorised disclosure of personal data.
Users of Aski+ have been very pleased with the solution, and continue to recommend it. SKAL is engaged in further development work with a view to incorporating a customised cost accounting tool for haulage businesses. Users of the system report lower stress levels when access to important details no longer relies on the owner’s memory and on notepads left in the office. The system also frees up business resources for developing operations in an era when major changes continue to reshape the haulage sector and innovations are sorely needed!
For further details, please contact:
Iiro Lehtonen, Managing Director, SKAL, tel. +358 40 502 8181
Petri Murto, Director, SKAL, tel. +358 40 762 2140
Heini Polamo, Communications Manager, SKAL, tel. +358 40 506 0131
A member of the IRU for many years, Finnish Transport and Logistics SKAL is a lobbying organisation that represents businesses providing road haulage and logistical services, with a membership of some 5,200 road haulage businesses throughout Finland.
www.skal.fi/en, Twitter: @SKALry