There are a lot of different examples of productivity software in the freight industry.
The most obvious, and the most important, is a TMS. Your TMS helps you manage your day-to-day shipment life cycle, including quotes and orders coming in. But there are also things that can be added onto a TMS, like automation and the experience to make sure that the shipment lifecycle is automated correctly.
If your TMS isn’t doing that, other TMS providers can do that for you, or sometimes add-ons can integrate with your current TMS to provide automation.
More Productivity Software Options
Some other examples of efficiency are tracking software systems that can be integrated with your TMS. These ensure you know exactly where your shipments are at all times. This tends to be more important on the truckload side, obviously.
And then there are tools that actually sync up with your emails so that you can manage communication that way. There are AI tools, for example, that can actually sync up with your TMS to connect and automate your messages.
As emails come in, an AI tool can automatically create an order in the TMS. This reduces a lot of manual data entry. In some cases, an AI tool can actually respond to your client with a quote or a tracking update. It can also help sort documents that are coming in.
Productivity Software in the Freight Industry
Productivity software is used in the freight industry because it’s an extremely low-margin industry. Volume is really important. You have to use software in the freight industry to try and automate certain processes that are too time-consuming.
Also, labor is not cheap in this industry. It’s really important to find tools that can help you be efficient. We’re in the middle of a freight software revolution because so many new tools are being invented. They use AI and automation to make freight companies super-efficient.
If you’re trying to determine good productivity software versus bad productivity software, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. If you can find something that automates the process, that’s the most pertinent factor in today’s industry. It’s even more important than exactly which TMS you’re using or which important reports can be generated through your TMS.
Again, the most important thing is, can you automate the process? When a shipment gets punched into your TMS, can you automate its path through the shipment lifecycle without too many touchpoints?
Empowering Employees with Automation
Freight companies pay a lot of money for people track shipments, call or email to find out where a shipment is, and provide quotes on shipments. If you can eliminate those touchpoints, you can empower your staff with automation. AI tools will allow them to do their jobs more efficiently.
You can also see the difference in how many quotes go out, how many quotes get booked, and how overwhelmed your staff is.
If you’ve purchased software that is supposed to make you more efficient but your staff still seems pretty stressed out with the day-to-day activity, then that particular software might not be right for your business.
Switching it out for the right software will make your company more efficient, your operations reps lives’ a little easier, and a better experience for your customers and your customer service reps.