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Document Management – Imagine this

08/07/09

Document Management – Imagine this

  02:55:18 pm, Categories: efficiencies , Tags: document imaging

The trucking industry, it seems, is riddled with paper. From fax confirmations to bills of lading and invoices, managing each step of a shipment is covered with paper. In addition to shipment documentation for proof of delivery and related receipts, there is also internal documentation for drivers; from logbooks, equipment safety checks, expense reimbursement forms, and the many receipts they collect. In the office, we tend to duplicate the paperwork at least once if not twice so there is always a backup copy 'just in case.' Then we create or own original documents to send to customers, vendors, contractors, and employees.

I'm old enough to remember the days before desktop computers were the norm, (early 80s) and the many people who claimed we would soon no longer need paper. Our data would be managed with and by the computers. Of course, we all know what happened, paper sales went through the roof, as we developed new ways of analyzing data and all of the reports that came with that. The term 'paperless office' became a well-worn joke as the 90s ended.

However, in the last few years there have been some significant changes in technology that while may not create “paperless offices” will certainly create 'less papered offices.' First, computer manufacturers continue to create larger faster machines with cheaper and cheaper storage. Second, any good trucking software system now allows you to “print” to a file or PDF format instead of paper. Last, scanning technology has continued to get faster, and provide higher quality images. The result is that we no longer worry about running out of hard drive space, most documents we used to print on paper we are viewing on screen and/or transmitting electronically and may never actually print to paper, and if we do receive a paper document we can easily and quickly scan it.

While this 'technology' has been around for years, it has never been easier or cheaper to implement, nor as easy to actually use then it is now. The good news is that it's only going to get easier, and cheaper. Remember when Gigabyte was the new measurement of “big” with regards to hard drives. Now of course it's Terabyte, and we're looking forward to Petabyte (1024 terabytes). In addition to the these improvements we can not ignore the advancements mobile communication devices and the networks upon which they work have made in the last few years. Blackberrys and iPhones for instance have document management capabilities, and almost all of even the cheapest mobile phones have cameras. With these devices we can send and receive email or text messages, with some we can view and edit documents, and record digital images.

Each image takes just a few hundred kilobytes, and can be cheaply, quickly, and easily duplicated and or stored. With TruckMaster's trucking software you can use any of these images by attaching them to any record in the system for later retrieval. TruckMaster's unique design and system integration doesn't require you to spend thousands of dollars on additional hardware or software licensing. Document imaging is just one more valuable tool in the TruckMaster tool belt that comes as a standard part of every TruckMaster solution.

As you work through the next week, each time you search for an invoice, bill of lading, proof of delivery, driver log, maintenance receipt, claim picture, or just a freight confirmation, please remember they could all be just a click away in your TruckMaster system.

TruckMaster can bring you as close to paperless as you wish to be. To 'see' what we mean, contact TruckMaster today for a free on line demonstration.

Kurtis Brown
TruckMaster Solution Provider
TruckMaster Your Trucking Company

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