In the home of the free and land of the brave, we are known for ostentation. Everything is bigger in Texas, and that state may have more to do with our image around the world than any other. However, this gluttonous appetite is neither sustainable or healthy and so in many ways we are weaning ourselves off of the things we’ve come to use too much. Technology is going a long way toward realizing that goal.
According to AllSpecies.org, “If everyone on our planet used as many resources and created as much waste as the Average American, we would require four and two thirds Earths to sustain us.” And that’s if we Americans could even afford to purchase the quickly diminishing resources at their rising costs. The global financial crisis has forced citizens of the Earth — even Americans — to reconsider our lifestyles, the extent of our wastefulness and ways in which we can conserve resources. America’s voracious appetite for goods and energy now requires a change in diet: technology and efficiency. Technology has become the primary means that businesses, governments and individuals are using to save money.
New Uses for Current Technology
Successful companies in the current economy are those that have adapted current technology in innovative ways as opposed to reinventing the wheel. One company, SavingStar, recognized the link between store loyalty card usage, consumer purchasing data and coupon-driven buying. Enrollment and coupon claims are completed entirely online, purchases with coupons are recorded automatically and even consumers’ coupon savings are paperless and completed via PayPal.
Smart phone apps that have proven popular with consumers often point the way to successful technological adaptations that save money and resources. CheapGas! provides an overview of gas prices close to the user’s location. Another PayPal app allows users to “deposit” paper checks by submitting smart phone photographs, thereby avoiding a physical trip to the bank or even the expense of postage to mail the deposit.
Tangible Adaptations of Technology
Technological applications don’t have to be conducted entirely in cyberspace to result in significant savings. Indeed, it is within the energy and supply-driven industries that the most significant savings are reported. Qualcomm has been a leader in this field by adapting current technology to specifically promote efficient fleet management in trucking companies. Qualcomm’s Hours of Service system is an example of bringing efficiency, accuracy and automation to replace the old paper-and-ink means of documenting driver hours — a driver’s log — in place since the regulations first became enforceable in 1938. Individual drivers are limited by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations to minimum rest times and maximum hours behind the wheel. Compliance with these regulations not only promotes safety but also avoids costly fines to the company. However, meeting customers’ needs through timely deliveries is essential to any trucking firm’s bottom line in terms of fuel spend and time spend.
Successfully adopted technological-based programs will continue to reap savings far into the future. Even as the economy shows signs of improvement, trucking companies utilizing Qualcomm programs will provide freight delivery more efficiently, safely and inexpensively than competitors without such advantages.