Whoever has been in the trucking business would know that it is not only stressful but highly challenging. Some days, you would feel more stressed than ever and even want to quit. Are such vile thoughts crossing your mind? Well, you better sign in to LoadStop TMS today and optimize your trucking operations!
When in the trucking business, many things could primarily upset you—bad weather conditions, bumpy roads, faulty vehicles, and irate customers. It can be a lot to deal with at times.
Reach out to any truck owner or fleet manager, and they will tell you the same—the trucking business is not a piece of cake. It comes with plenty of setbacks and challenges. You can expect to spend several hours daily doing paperback and managing accounting processes. You may miss the IFTA due dates and end up paying hefty fines.
What's more? Your vehicles, especially tractor trailers or semi-trucks may require unexpected repairs and maintenance that could eat up all your available cash. Or, you could worry about the rising fuel charges.
But, let's not forget that when things look bad, there is always a silver lining. Many of these difficult situations can be prevented or minimized using effective, robust transportation management software (TMS).
Not only can you simplify complex trucking operations but also increase the bottom-line. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction. To cut it short, a reliable and professional TMS solution can optimize each aspect of your trucking operation. Read the blog to understand how.
Why Should Trucking Companies Use a TMS?
Before well-known and affordable SaaS solutions came into being, it was usual for large-scale trucking companies to invest in expensive software licenses and their servers. However, small-scale trucking companies could not afford the costly setup and maintenance costs.
Poor data security and no system support made it impossible for smaller trucking companies to consider this type of technology.
Because small-scale trucking companies could not afford the expensive technology, they often had to experience inaccurate business reporting and constant miscommunication between dispatchers and drivers.
As automation and technology evolved over the last few years, data analytics has become increasingly crucial for transportation planning and fleet management. To keep up with the competitors and stay in business for a long time, trucking companies need to transition from manual data management to a robust cloud-based transportation management system.
Therefore, if you are using manual methods such as paperwork, it is time to consider switching to TMS. Below, we have outlined a few reasons why you should use a TMS for your trucking business:
- Lowers operational costs and improves your bottom-line
- Real-time load tracking visibility
- Improved cash flow
- Saves time by automating data collection, reporting, invoicing, etc.
- More accurate forecasting
- Efficient dispatch management and route planning
- Accurate reporting and stats
- Enables better data security and easier data access through the cloud
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Streamlines your work processes
By considering a TMS for your trucking business, you have a competitive edge in the market and can better perform your business operations and meet customer expectations.
Now that you have understood why you should use a TMS let us know how you can use it.
Implementing a TMS into Your Business
Typically, the implementation of TMS into a trucking business is considered difficult. However, a TMS offering ease of accessibility can be implemented without any problem.
To begin with, it is essential to sit down with your team and any stakeholders who will be involved in the TMS implementation process to discuss your reasons for choosing a particular TMS. This step will ensure your business's goals are aligned with your actual operational processes and capabilities and the entire process is as seamless as possible.
When choosing a TMS, it is important to look for three things which are mentioned below:
Stability: As a trucking entrepreneur, you would want to choose a TMS backed by a reliable and well-established company and have an innovative and creative mindset.
Flexibility: The TMS should be capable enough to handle multiple commodities and offer flexibility and scalability.
Service: Last but not least, the TMS provider should provide excellent customer service, complete transparency, open and clear communication, and treat your trucking business like a partnership.
Besides comprising the features discussed above, your TMS should also be able to offer these features:
- It should be extremely user-friendly, offering an easy-to-use dashboard and highly customizable.
- It should integrate with your existing systems as smoothly as possible
- It should be cloud-based. Make sure it is not locally hosted on your business property.
- It should provide robust and constant customer support for everything, including maintenance, support, and system configuration.
As soon as you are done with the implementation process, your next step would be to optimize the TMS according to your business model, vertical, commodity type, and hardware requirements.
TMS Helps You Become a Better Trucking Owner
As a trucking owner, you need to control the daily operations and know where all your money is going. That way, you would see a significant improvement in your business.
Remember, your primary goal is to build a strong reputation in the market as a reliable freight company. It is important to have returning customers because only that can increase your profits. To make that happen, you need to access real-time data.
A TMS helps improve the entire trucking operations when integrated with an ELD. It gathers your hours of service (HOS) and RODS data, such as mileage and fuel use, safety-related information, vehicles' locations, engine speed, hours, load, and idle time.
All of this real-time data helps trucking owners improve the business efficiency in several ways, which are discussed as follows:
Hours of Service (HOS): A good TMS will automatically record hours of service (HOS), reducing paperwork. The ELD mandate requires most commercial motor vehicles (CMV) to have an ELD for this specific purpose. No one has the authority to amend the data apart from the authorized carrier staff.
Safety: You must ensure your rig complies with the safety protocols and standards.
Dispatch and routing: You can have all your shipments' dispatch and routing data in one platform where you can easily access it.
Maintenance: It is important to provide frequent maintenance to your vehicles. A good transportation management system will track what has been done and maintain the records. It will also inform you when it is time for you to take your vehicles for repairs and maintenance again.
IFTA reporting: ELD data help TMS calculate fuel usage taxes and ensure IFTA compliance. This will reduce errors and help prevent fines or penalties.