TMC Connect is an online an environment where TMC members can connect, engage and share critical industry information and best practices in real time.
Robert Braswell, TMC
Sharing information among members of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) just got a little easier thanks to the introduction of TMC Connect, the Council’s new member-driven, online community. The service went live in March during TMC’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.
TMC Connect (tmcconnect.trucking.org) is a social networking and collaborative work platform designed to help members and other industry professionals turn experience into practice and network among peers. It also services as a launch pad for discussions and commentary on all aspects of truck technology and its maintenance, and maintenance management.
Furthermore, TMC Connect serves as the TMC’s new online repository for its collection of recommended maintenance and engineering practices and other technical information.
Comprised of a broad collection of experienced fleets, equipment suppliers and service providers, TMC is the only industry association that is focused solely on truck technology and maintenance. Using their real world experience, members work together to create the industry’s best practices in truck technology and maintenance to help improve trucking equipment and transportation efficiencies throughout North America.
TMC is a technical council of ATA, the largest national trade association for the trucking industry.
ADDS MORE VALUE
We know the value that TMC members put on the networking and educational opportunities we provide through our conferences and programs throughout the year. To build on that value, we are excited to enter into this new phase of member communications by providing TMC members an environment to connect, engage and share critical industry information and best practices in real time.
This new community will also help TMC communicate more dynamically with its members by responding more quickly to their needs and receiving their input on critical industry issues.
This will only strengthen our ability to implement our mission of turning industry experience into practice.
Through these online industry forums, members and other interested parties can conduct study group, task force and other TMC committee work in a common, online collaborative platform. They can continue discussions and problem solving in a virtual community, plus share documents that will help advance TMC’s strategic priorities, including:
- Conducting technical meetings where both formal and informal exchanges of information, experiences and opinions may take place.
- Sponsoring and conducting technical displays of new and used transport equipment and components.
- Publishing and transmitting technical and management educational materials in appropriate formats.
- Engendering pride in the transport maintenance management field through appropriate awards and recognition activities.
- Establishing cooperative relationships with associations, research organizations and government entities involved in truck transportation and providing technical information to such groups to improve the productivity and safety of equipment.
- Promoting the fullest voluntary cooperation between designers and manufacturers of transport equipment and those who specify, purchase and manage such equipment.
- Providing technical input – through TMC’s ATA parent organization – to U.S. and international organizations that write regulations and standards to improve equipment and transportation efficiencies for the end user.
- Delineating equipment, technology and management practices through voluntary development and publication of TMC Recommended Practices.
COMBINATION OF COMMUNITIES
TMC Connect is a “community site” which features more than 140 individual communities. There are generally three types of communities at present, corresponding to TMC’s 15 study groups, 110 task forces and more than 20 active committees.
Each TMC task force now has an online place to continue working recommended practices between the Council’s general meetings. Similarly, its study groups and committees can use the service to keep its members informed on work progress, coming events and other items of interest.
All that is required to join TMC Connect is setting up an individual account with a username and password. TMC members already have accounts on the system by virtue of their membership. To make it easy, individuals can transfer their LinkedIn account information directly into TMC Connect with just a few clicks.
Participants need not be a TMC member to access TMC Connect. However, members have full access to the service whereas non-members do not. Full access includes the TMC Recommended Practice libraries, a fully searchable online membership directory and the ability to post and view a broader range of TMC communities, including the Council’s study groups and other working committees.
Non-members can view and participate in the various task force communities, as well as the community dedicated to the Council’s weekly Sirius XM satellite radio show – Tech Talk with TMC.
Users can post questions to discussion boards, view information from members’ personal blogs and access the job exchange and other information about TMC.
The TMC Connect system is geared for users of Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as any commonly used personal computer operating systems.
TMC Connect is an evolving community. The Council will be introducing other new tools and features to enhance the TMC Connect experience in the coming months.
As TMC Connect participants use the system more and more, the richness of the repository of information will grow, effectively becoming an online institutional memory of TMC activities.
TMC Connect is striving to become a one-stop shop for fleet education, supported by the industry’s only user-driven best practices. It is where the trucking industry will come to turn experience into practice.
Robert Braswell is the technical director of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), North America’s premier technical society for truck equipment technology and maintenance professionals. He also serves as the community manager for TMC Connect, the organization’s social networking and collaborative work platform.