The rapid rise and advancement of technology sent industries far and wide scrambling to innovate and keep up with the latest best practices. If the company didn’t adapt, it was left struggling to stay in business. But now, technology has become entrenched in how companies operate on a normal day-to-day basis, and rather than merely keeping up with the latest trends, many companies are searching for the next big thing to get ahead of the curve. That’s how industry leaders are creating more efficiencies within their work and, ultimately, are driving better profit margins.
Time is money. That’s why a freight brokerage needs to conduct every part of its operation quickly, efficiently and correctly. Laborious manual processes tie up your staff and eat into your profits. So do errors that people need to go back and correct – essentially performing the same work twice. Also, faulty communications can add hours – or days – to the time it takes to move a customer’s freight, not only incurring extra costs but also, perhaps risking the loss new business from that customer in the future.
Let’s take a look at how to avoid wasted time in three phases of a freight broker’s business – acquiring and keeping customers, matching loads with the right carriers, and monitoring freight in transit.
Imagine being put in charge of finding ways to boost your company’s bottom line. You automatically think of two ways: a huge influx of profitable new business or a significant reduction in operating costs.
However, you know that option number one isn’t likely. So, you begin rummaging through the books looking for any and every way to save a penny. Knowing that your top three costs are equipment, driver wages and fuel, which is easiest to control?
No matter your fleet size, if you have a fleet, you need to maintain that fleet. The results of not doing so can be catastrophic – units taken out of service, safety violations, and drivers and customers angered by loads that can’t be delivered. On the flip side, maintaining a fleet, regardless if you have an in house shop or you use a vendor for your work, promises a fleet that is ready to serve your company and your customers when you need it.
Federal regulators have dished out plenty of lemons over the years, burdening trucking companies with time-consuming and expensive regulations. With the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STF) rule taking effect last month, carriers have yet another opportunity to merely comply with the regulations or to make lemonade.
Trucking companies that haul intermodal loads are like jugglers. Think of all the balls you need to keep in the air: rail schedules, port schedules, shippers’ requirements, government mandates, container movements, equipment maintenance, customer billing, driver payments. You might be handling both single- and multi-container moves, full containers and less-than-containerload (LCL) freight. You can’t afford to let anything drop.
Trucking companies require effective fuel management. Sending drivers off with fuel discount cards is one way to cut refueling costs. But it’s not the only way. In fact, it’s not saving you enough.
It takes more than pre-negotiated discounts to control fuel expenses fleet-wide, especially under differing driving conditions and routes. Not to mention fluctuating fuel prices and use tax rates that vary from state to state.
Make it work – a phrase that’s become part of the business-world lexicon, thanks to the combined influence of reality TV and the web. Closer to home, it’s the logical approach for transportation management and fleet management providers to embrace – but companies short on technology and heavy on effort may spend vast amounts of time trying to make it work without much progress.
How often do you send freight to the wrong location? How much money are you losing due to inaccurate weights? How do you measure a dock workers’ efficiency? How many OS&D claims do you make, and how many are successful? How much paper work does an average dock worker process in a day?
Among the more impressive functions on the market today is scheduling and truck routing software – applications that refine your business model with cost-efficient, service-oriented last mile capabilities. This tool can significantly reduce costs related to delivery, labor and equipment while at the same time improving productivity and guiding your company to more informed business decisions. When searching for final mile software consider these steps: