Just a year and a half ago I published an article on how the mobile world is here and how cloud computing is making data and applications easily accessible. Today, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project, 56% of Americans use a smartphone and 35% of Americans use a tablet computer while the use of desktop computers are on the decline. Progress tells us that there really should be an app for everything.
One of the great benefits of technology is it promises to help us be more efficient. No more sifting through binders and Post-it notes to find information. We may have eliminated the paper, but how are we managing this vast amount of information that is essentially on digital Post-it notes and binders? How can we analyze, or even make informed, educated decisions on the spot?
In addition, there are many other factors school transportation departments must be concerned about as they provide essential services to students. We are experiencing increased environmental and societal occurrences with regions being impacted by more hurricanes and mud slides. Meanwhile, bullying among students is on the rise. In addition we have to manage navigating around where sexual predators are located so we can do our best to avoid having children within those proximities.
Here is where districts should turn to their technology partners to say, “What are you doing to help us manage this?” or “How can we have an action plan in place to respond quickly and effectively to an emergency situation?” Technology is advancing quickly and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do this from wherever you are.
As a society, we have become accustomed to fast information in the palm of our hands. So it is expected that the same should be true of school districts or anyone you’re talking to. As far as student transportation is concerned, we have to be prepared to respond to questions and address the concerns of district administrators, board members, as well as parents with accurate and immediate information.
For these reasons it is imperative that the dialog be open with vendor partners to find out how solutions can be developed to help bring your information together from its various sources so you can make informed decisions. As an entrepreneur and concerned parent myself, my company and I make every effort to plan for what districts’ challenges may be, and where technology is going to help us create answers. We believe the best decisions can be made and real challenges overcome when we work together as a community.
Conference trade shows can be used as a great opportunity to do just this. Vendors commit substantial amounts of time and resources for the opportunity to interface on a real level with the people who keep our businesses thriving. We take seriously the comments we receive and services we provide to help our clients provide safe and quality transportation for our precious cargo. I expect this year will provide significant opportunity to grow our relationships and see what responsible minds can build together.
Antonio Civitella is president and CEO of Transfinder. Visit www.transfinder.com for more information