Fleetboard has been setting the standard for connected services and digital solutions in commercial vehicles for almost 20 years now. The company is strengthening its position as the market leader by taking two important steps. The first step involved Fleetboard’s incorporation into the Mercedes-Benz Trucks organization; the second step is Fleetboard’s acquisition of the habbl logistics application, along with the team behind it and the expertise they provide.
Fleetboard already offers a varied range of services and is now working systematically on the development of new digital solutions for its customers. In today’s digital age, software services have become a part of the core business of Daimler Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Trucks like never before and are inextricably linked with vehicle development and customer support activities. For this reason, the former Daimler Fleetboard GmbH was incorporated into the Mercedes-Benz Trucks business unit at Daimler Trucks at the beginning of the year. The ‘Digital Services & Solutions’ unit at Mercedes-Benz Trucks Marketing, Sales, and Services is responsible for all Fleetboard and Mercedes-Benz Uptime services and solutions.
“Fleetboard has been setting the standard in the sector since the launch of its telematics-supported Internet services in 2000. We’re also working hard to ensure that this will remain the case in the future. Our ‘Digital Services & Solutions’ unit guarantees that our customers obtain the right solution for their needs from a single source. With habbl, we now have a new and pioneering product in our portfolio,” says Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We work every day on the development of innovative solutions for transport and logistics companies and we’re also improving and expanding our existing products and services. Our focus here is always on services that offer true added value to customers in the interaction with and operation of our vehicles.”
Daimler Fleetboard acquires the habbl logistics application
Fleetboard believes that habbl is one of the most innovative logistics applications in the industry. The Trucks division of Daimler AG has reached an agreement with Eikona AG on the acquisition of the logistics application, which will optimize the Fleetboard product portfolio. The software developed by Eikona AG enables customers to easily integrate the trucks of their own fleets and trucks from sub-contractors into the scheduling process. It will also make order data available to users and simplify communication with drivers. Basically, the software ensures that everyone involved in a transport process — i.e. drivers, dispatchers, and end customers — receives exactly the information they need.
The software is a flexible tool that will replace the Fleetboard transport management solution in the future. With its strategic acquisition, Fleetboard is strengthening its existing range of logistics applications and undergoing systematic further development as the digital brand of the Trucks division of Daimler AG in order to be able to offer customers an extensive range of products for all phases of the transport process from a single source. The acquisition of habbl will soon be officially completed.
“With the help of a completely new technological foundation, we are now moving closer to our vision of seamless and digitally networked logistics solutions,” says Volker Hansen, CEO of Fleetboard and also Head of Digital Solutions at the company. “We are networking all transport processes and all parties involved in transport operations. This is not only making the business operations of our logistics customers more efficient; it’s also helping to optimize traffic flows, reduce traffic volume, and accelerate transport processes in general. habbl offers the perfect way to achieve our goal of continuously improving the added value generated for our transport and logistics customers by providing them with networking solutions. In view of the ongoing shortage of skilled workers, it’s particularly important to ease the burden on drivers by providing them with an intuitive app that offers optimal support. habbl does this with workflows that manage all process steps in an understandable manner, which helps prevent errors as well.”
Mobile app and online portal: Overview of the new product
Fleetboard’s new transport management service will supplement existing Fleetboard services such as those for operations analysis, time management, and mapping. The existing Fleetboard transport management solution will continue to be supported during a transition period that will last for at least two years. Current Fleetboard customers will receive assistance and specialized support from Fleetboard consulting experts as they switch over to habbl, thereby ensuring a smooth transition.
As both a mobile app and an online portal, and in combination with telematics data obtained from the vehicle, habbl is able to offer comprehensive information on the entire supply chain and will present this information in a clear manner at the new Fleetboard customer portal in the future.
The benefits offered by the app include precise control of drivers throughout all of the tasks of their trips, as well as an exact overview of the dispatched vehicles, including their current position and scheduled routes, and a route-archiving feature. All of this eliminates the need to work with complex workflow applications or many pages of paper. habbl collects information on the distance driven and stops made and combines this information with Fleetboard data in order to calculate a vehicle’s estimated time of arrival. This information will be supplemented in the future by data on driving times and rest intervals. The tool can send status notifications to a predefined group of recipients, and the dispatcher always knows where every truck is at any given moment, and whether and why a truck may be running behind schedule. The dispatcher sees all this information on an arrivals board similar to those used at airports. Dispatchers can use this information to replan and reschedule trips in order to save money, and they can also very efficiently send the information to end customers with just a click of the mouse.
habbl makes the coordination of transport processes much easier because it links all parties involved in the transport chain. Drivers at sub-contractor companies can use habbl without any complications. The application works with user-configurable workflows that present all process steps in an understandable manner, which also helps to prevent errors. In this way, each company can utilize its own processes without any need to adapt to prescribed standards. To this end, the software contains more than 25 modular elements that can be combined with one another in a simple and flexible manner. Barcode scans, photo documentation, electronic signatures, checklists, status notifications, and geo-fence and pallet exchange features all serve to make logistics processes more transparent and efficient. Because the specific workflow is individually transmitted for every trip, there are no limits with regard to individualization.
habbl to form the foundation for the establishment of the new Fleetboard Logistics GmbH
Once the acquisition is officially completed, habbl and the team behind it will become the main component of Fleetboard Logistics GmbH (http://www.fleetboard-logistics.com/), which will be a wholly owned Daimler subsidiary with headquarters located in Volkach near Würzburg in Germany. The founder of Eikona AG, Manuel Drescher, will become the CEO of the new company, while Harald Marx, Head of the Daimler Fleetboard Innovation Hub, will serve as a second CEO on an interim basis in order to oversee the establishment of Fleetboard Logistics GmbH and the company’s strategic orientation. The project was initiated and managed under the direction of the Daimler Fleetboard Innovation Hub in Berlin, which was also responsible for the development of the new Fleetboard transport management strategy and the establishment of Fleetboard Logistics GmbH.