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06/23/2022

Walmart implements onboard technology to improve drivers’ experience

Walmart has implemented two technology tools that provide real-time visibility into the day-to-day operations of its network of more than 12,000 drivers.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Walmart is creating a world-class experience for private fleet drivers through an integrated partnership with Platform Science.

According to Scott Donahue, vice president of innovation and automation product, who revealed details of the partnership in a post on the retailer’s website, private fleet drivers are critical to the company’s success. 

[Read more: Walmart gears up to achieve zero emissions by 2040]

“That’s why we are committed to improving their experience,” Donahue said. “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, Donahue said. “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.”

Noting that Walmart has a rich history of transformation, Donahue noted how the new approach leverages technology to transform the lives of drivers by eliminating friction and unlocking their potential.

[Read more: Walmart, Avanlee Care help families coordinate grocery needs for aging loved ones]

By utilizing Platform Science’s telematics infrastructure solution to deploy the NTransit app, drivers are provided with an array of improvements, including: 

  • 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 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. Its 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; and
  • 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."

[Read more: Pharmacy Innovator of the Year 2021: Walmart connects with communities

Donahue said that the Platform Science and Walmart collaboration has resulted in a significant increase in driver satisfaction, "reflecting the best-in-class experience we want to provide."

He added that Walmart plans to continue improving and evolving its onboard systems based on feedback from its drivers and store associates, so that its 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," he said.

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