By Nick Darman, Founder and CEO at Alvys
With the ongoing trucker shortage, the collapse of I-95 impacting the northeast, and consumer expectations growing in delivery times, trucking companies continue to battle challenge after challenge. On top of the macroeconomic forces, issues such as communication breakdowns, time-consuming quoting of spot market loads, and delayed invoicing plague the industry from achieving smooth logistics operations.
If we as an industry learned anything in a post-pandemic world, it’s that real-time visibility of your supply chain and business processes are essential. But for most, their systems are still disconnected and siloed. To overcome these challenges and prepare for the future of the industry, trucking companies need to effectively organize, utilize, and analyze their data.
Address supply chain and business process challenges with visibility
Logistics challenges can most effectively be addressed when there is complete communication and visibility into the supply chain and business processes involved. It’s very common for a break in the chain of communication to occur when, for example, a dispatcher receives an update like a late pick-up, and it’s not communicated effectively to other team members in different offices. If the dispatcher fails to promptly relay the “late pick-up” status to the team, only the dispatcher and the driver would be aware of the situation.
In your own business, I’m sure you can think of many more scenarios where for one reason or another, there is a break in the chain of communication. Technology can solve this problem, without burdening drivers to do more. In our experience, we’ve seen businesses reduce manual entry times from 15 minutes to just 2-3 minutes by leveraging a transportation management service (TMS).
Increase accuracy and efficiency with TMS
Much of the trucking industry is operating with simple and disparate solutions – pen, paper, excel, and email. The pandemic taught us that it’s time to digitize, embrace cloud–based solutions – like advanced TMS software – which can connect all the relevant parties, but also reduce errors and manual entries. Take the scenario of issuing an E-check, one must update several systems (accounting) and people (the driver) to complete the process, but with an advanced TMS you can reduce your steps and save time, improving overall efficiency.
Real-time visibility of your supply chain and businesses processes is essential in a post-pandemic world.
Once your data is in a core repository like a TMS – data analytics can be applied to help make decisions around the market. You’ll be able to compare your month-to-month performance via shipping date, date of delivery, or invoice date and gain insight into each driver and asset. You can create these reports much quicker, saving time and driving efficiency.
For example, Trans-Motion, a trucking company which manages not only a fleet of 50 power units and 150 trailers but also I-80 logistics brokerage, can now toggle between the two companies and streamline accounting into one system through their TMS. They have eliminated their physical paper trail and can even split loads between company trucks and outside carriers, easily. As a result, Trans-Motion now has more streamlined processes, experienced cost and time savings, improved reporting, and overall made day-to-day responsibilities easier for employees.
Drive your business in the right direction
Looking ahead your business might be excited by the possibilities of ChatGPT and other AI-driven technologies making headway right now. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize several industries including trucking and logistics. But without migrating to a cloud solution, like a TMS, that centralizes and organizes business data, your business will not be able to benefit from an AI-based solution.
In the macroeconomic environment we’re currently facing, businesses tend to pull back on innovation and adopting new technologies. However, trucking and logistics companies shouldn’t take their foot off the gas. Now is the time to get ahead of the competition by more efficiently and effectively managing your business.
Nick Darman serves as Founder & CEO for Alvys. With a hands-on approach for accurate market analysis and financial modeling, he is now leveraging his expertise to solve some of the most pressing issues today’s supply chains face.
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