How we work is changing every day—and not just as a result of COVID-19. The speed and scale of change is unprecedented, as businesses work to embrace digital and generate value for themselves and their customers. Many are finding that enterprise and industry marketplaces offer a good way to move forwards rapidly. We found RIO, the digital brand of the TRATON Group, previously known as Volkswagen Truck and Bus, an inspiring enterprise marketplace.

RIO is built on the premise that there is considerable wasted capacity in the logistics industry

The TRATON group estimates that there may be as much as 30% to 40% of freight capacity lost on average on every shipment. This adds up to huge amounts of wasted money, time and energy. Coupled with increasing customer demand for faster delivery, this lost capacity needs to be put to work. RIO is built on the basis that connecting the supply chain is the best and most efficient way to do this. It also recognises that there is a huge need for better connectivity and use of telematics to improve driver safety, maintenance, and environmental impact of the transport industry.

RIO is an open digital platform supported digitalisation of logistics

RIO is a cloud-based platform that pools digital solutions designed for the transport and logistics industry. It describes itself as the ‘brand for the digitalisation of Volkswagen’, but in practice is open and manufacturer-independent. It can therefore be used by any organisation or individual in the industry. It provides both RIO services, and services from partners on its marketplace, to help businesses to digitalise their logistics.

RIO works across the whole supply chain

 One of the benefits of RIO is that it can be used across the whole supply chain. In fact, it is not just possible to do that, but the platform has actually been configured to make that happen routinely. It supports transparency and coordination from consigner through transport company, shipper and dispatcher to end-user. RIO also works equally well for small or large companies.

RIO offers bundles to users, to make it easier to get started

RIO offers a complete ‘starter kit’ to users called RIO Essentials. This brings together all the key functions, and is provided free of charge after registration. This means that users immediately have access to a range of smart applications, such as operational analysis, and an app called Fleet Monitor. All businesses have to do to get going is install a RIO Box in their vehicles. This simplifies the set-up, and therefore reduces costs.

RIO is using AI and analytics to provide useful insights to its users 

RIO enables businesses to bring together information about their fleet, including tractor units, trailers, drivers and superstructures, with information about the business, such as orders. It combines this with external data, for example, about weather and traffic, to provide useful and actionable real-time insights that improve operational efficiency. RIO’s functions include maps of vehicles’ current positions and trips over the last 10 days, and analysis of fuel consumption, mileage and average speed of all vehicles. Improved logistical efficiency then translates directly into lower environmental impact. 

RIO is constantly working to improve

RIO is very new—it was only announced in 2019—and its services are constantly being improved. Recent additions to the portfolio have included RIO Geo, which expands on the services and speed available through RIO Essentials, RIO Advance, which increases the storage time for RIO Essentials data, and RIO Compliant, which focuses on compliance with legal requirements such as driver time and tachograph regulations.

RIO’s Pocket Fleet brings fleet management to smartphones

Pocket Fleet is designed to help fleet managers stay in touch—and control—at all times. It provides maps and summary tables on smartphones. This means that managers can respond to customer queries, and also deal with any unforeseen events that may arise out-of-hours.

RIO has a number of options for partnering with other businesses

RIO recognises that more data is likely to add to the value for its customers. It therefore encourages potential partners to consider sharing data as a way to benefit both businesses and mutual customers. Partners also gain from access to RIO’s data. RIO recognises that this may be a big step for some businesses, and allows partners to use the interface free for their first shared customer for the first three months, giving time to ‘try before you buy’. After that, RIO charges a fee for access.

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