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When Is Trucking Software Right For You?

04/03/09

When Is Trucking Software Right For You?

  03:15:02 pm, Categories: efficiencies , Tags: automation, efficiencies

What does your trucking or freight broker software do for you?

It is always interesting to see at what point a trucking company or freight brokerage will decide they need software to help them manage their business. Some will do it at the outset realizing that they need to be organized and efficient from the very beginning. Yet others will manage their businesses manually until they hit a certain pain threshold where they have to do something. Either their customers are demanding electronic communications for invoicing or load tenders, or their staff is spending more time shuffling paper than managing the business efficiently.

What ever the stimulus is they begin to shop for a solution. This is where things get interesting. There is an established need for software to allow employees to manage the business as efficiently as possible. By "manage the business", what do we mean? What is it that software does for a transportation company?

Efficient communication

Initially it's all about visibility of information, and the ability to share that information. If a company has a system which displays or communicates information clearly and effectively then decisions can be made more quickly and with more accuracy, resulting in execution, or implementation of a decision resulting in action. Work will be done with more accuracy and efficiency. With an accurate picture, employees will make fewer mistakes be less frustrated. The following are the integrated functions you should be looking for in a software package:

  1. Customer Communications

    1. EDI – Electronic Data Interchange
    2. Web site
    3. E-mail
  2. Carrier and/or Driver Communications

    1. Dispatching, Shipment status', imaging

      1. Mobile Communication Integration
      2. EDI
      3. Web site
      4. E-mail
  3. In-house Communications

    1. Billing
    2. Carrier Payables
    3. Driver and Owner Operator Settlements
    4. Payroll
    5. Maintenance
    6. Driver DOT Safety
    7. Carrier Insurance records
    8. Accounting
  4. General Reporting

    1. Governmental required reports
    2. HVUT and IFTA
    3. Payroll Tax reporting

      1. 941, FUTA, SUTA
      2. W2 and 1099s

The paper processes and records that a company is forced to utilize without the benefits of good trucking software or broker software system is almost overwhelming. Some companies decide to purchase systems that help them manage only one part of the whole. The problem is they are still juggling everything else. Quite often companies will buy an accounting package, then they will buy a dispatching software, and yet again they will buy software that may help them with logs or road and fuel taxes.

So there is less pain, but there is still the pain of manually entering all of the information into multiple systems. Now try cross referencing the information between the different systems. At the very least it is difficult and at the worst it is next to impossible. So they have traded one set of frustrations for another. Now they are wasting as much time managing multiple software packages with multiple databases as they would have with their old manual paper systems. It reminds me of the old Johnny Cash song "One piece at a time" and the end result is often the same, a mess.

When you decide to invest in trucking software, or freight brokerage software, don't try to build it one piece at a time. This is the tool that will allow you and your team to manage your whole business. So take your time, and think about what you are investing in. It's not just software; it's the tool you will use to manage your business, your customers, your employees and your future. Isn't it worth it to make sure you get a complete, integrated solution that really delivers the efficiencies you are looking for, and will grow with the successes of your business?

Please contact TruckMaster today; we welcome the opportunity to help.

Kurtis Brown
TruckMaster Solution Provider
TruckMaster Your Trucking Company

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