If you're a contractor, chances are that managing hired haulers, or even your own fleet of trucks, can often be a headache. From making call after call to find available trucks to not knowing where your haulers are until they show up on-site, there are many aspects of the process that can cause a lot of hassle and stress.
Many contractors have sought to solve these problems by using a transportation management system. But is this move right for you? We'll help you decide by going over some of the biggest pros and cons of using a transportation management system.
Pro: Simplifying Hired Hauling
When it comes time to hire a hauler, you've got your work cut out for you. If you're like most contractors, you need to spend a significant part of your day working through a list of local trucking companies, calling each one and checking if they have any drivers/trucks available. This way of hiring is incredibly inefficient and time-consuming.
Some transportation management systems eliminate the need for this altogether. A few have built an online network of truckers, who are accessed according to their availability and proximity. You can automatically send your jobs out to these haulers, and get confirmation when one of them has accepted. No more hunting down truckers. Just post your job and get a driver in as soon as a few minutes.
Pro: You Can Digitize All Paperwork
Contractors have to handle a lot of paperwork in their day to day lives. Most contractors have developed systems to the flow of documentation and feel comfortable with their process. However, there are downsides to only working in paper documentation, it's messy, hard to keep organized, requires storage, and can lead to all sorts of delays and disputes if it's not handled promptly.
While a transportation management system can't eliminate paperwork entirely, it can automate most of the associated tasks and keep things organized in one central location. Some programs automatically collect and store up-to-date insurance documentation from truckers, relieving you of the responsibility. Additionally, load slips can be created and kept as digital copies, invoicing can be consolidated, and payroll can be automated. Such features can remove the majority of complications that come with traditional paperwork.
Con: Change Management Is Difficult
Organizations build muscles around processes over many years. Beginning your journey with a Transportation Management System will require reevaluating those processes and changing your organization to get the most out of the people and technology.
However, it doesn’t have to be all bad. The transition is the challenge but there is a large reward on the other side. Your key players will gain more confidence in their roles with the new tools they have to stay in control, on budget, and up to date.
Con: Not All Transportation Management Systems are Created Equal
Of course, you will only get what you want out of a transportation management program if you choose one that has the right capabilities. Not all software systems are designed with the same features or service models, so it's possible to end up with a system that doesn't cover what you need, or charges you too much to unlock the function you want.
The worst part about this is that adopting any of these programs takes a fairly significant investment, so you want to make sure that you've verified your chosen brand can deliver before you take the leap.
TRUX has built a reputation as a valuable partner for contractors because we provide all the features you need, and do it with terms that are favorable to you. Our software is built to serve as an all-in-one hauling management system that makes your job easier. We even offer a demo so that you can try it and see if it's a fit for your business.
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