Troy Searle

TransVirtual

Founder and CTO

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Tell us about you, and your career journey?

I grew up in a family transport business in Newcastle, where I started out washing trucks in high school to make some pocket money. When I left school, I started a heavy vehicle mechanic qualification and soon moved into a role as operations manager within my family’s business. From here, I moved up the ranks into accounts and upper management, which is where I first identified the need to look at more efficient ways to streamline and automate processes. During this time, I also studied computer science at university for five years, in order to start developing software that offered solutions to the pain points and inefficiencies experienced by transport and delivery companies. With this degree, a software development company was born...

In your opinion, what are the top 3 trends in your transport industry niche that everybody should look out for in the next 5 years?

A boom in eCommerce, driven by the COVID-19 lock downs and shifting consumer trends, has seen an increase in business to consumer (B2C) deliveries to more sophisticated and discerning consumers.

Over the next five years, we’ll see three particular trends dominate the transport industry. First, a heightened demand for real-time visibility and instant communication - consumers want to be kept up to date with accurate information. Second, with more consumers working from home, evening and weekend deliveries will grow to cope with larger volumes and secure alternative delivery points like smart lockers and hubs will provide 24/7 access to shipments. Third, there will be an increased focus on sustainability and reducing carbon footprints though supply chains.  

These three trends require transport and delivery providers to expand their uptake of technology solutions to drive efficiencies and pivot to new service provision options. Traditionally, this has been easiest in areas of high population density, such as metro and capital cities - an increase in the sophistication of coverage and service in regional and remote areas is required to keep track with growing expectations.    


How does your company innovate?

Transport and logistics is a heavily connected industry. No single company, even the big multinationals, can service every location in Australia with a single fleet. Networks of connected companies are used to cover vast areas, and the efficient and reliable transfer of data up and down the supply chain is critical to keeping freight moving fast.

TransVirtual has built solid relationships with the industry heavyweights to become the preferred Transport Management System (TMS) across many networks. While TMS providers specialise and target niches, enterprise options are beyond the reach of smaller companies and the multitude of basic TMS options fail to provide the tools and features required for fast-growing companies.

Successful businesses are quickly outgrowing basic delivery platforms, which hampers growth opportunities. Unlike other TMS providers, TransVirtual boasts an accessible platform that’s both approachable to small business, but powerful enough to satisfy the requirements of enterprise clients.  


Why is encouraging innovation, new ideas, and applying new technology (particularly within the transport sector) important?

Despite all the talk around autonomous vehicles and disruptive technology, the transport industry in general is still very much dependent on outdated and manual processes - even the top end of down.

As margins are constantly being squeezed, efficiencies need to be realised in order to remain competitive - companies need to take a much smarter approach to deliveries. As the solution is evidently not to throw more resources at the problem, technology is the key.

Any transport business which remains stuck in the manual paper-based ways of the past, rather than embracing the new digital world, will feel the pain and quickly lose market share.  

Encouraging ongoing innovation and new ideas is vital for continuing to advance the industry and create better experiences for the entire transport network. For example, taking sometimes complicated technical tasks, such as more complex route optimisation algorithms, and integrating these seamlessly and authentically into the workflows of drivers, makes the technology more approachable and easy to use.

The answer to bringing transport businesses into the modern age is to link every customer, agent, sender, receiver, depot, driver, administrator and manager through technology, to enable them all to access the information they need. The overarching goal for the industry is to provide complete visibility through the entire network.  

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