Many of us went grey or were prone to premature balding. Weathered wrinkles, shaky hands – a few may have even experienced an ulcer along the way. These were the dark days of manual or paper-based dispatch systems. This was me at 28.
For those willing to take the “leap of faith,” there is in-fact an effective tonic that can help relieve many of the daytime headaches and sleepless nights faced by a dispatcher or operations manager. Yes, we are talking aboutautomating your transportation management systems.
Oh, to reminisce about the old days of “plastic tags & Velcro,” or the ever popular “card” system. These were the principal tools of a manual dispatch system that relied on pen and paper or magnets, and it was often administered by an individual who had an authoritative voice and a thick skin. These guys had a tough job and if you haven’t experienced the thrill of victory (i.e.: completing 60 to 600 pick-up and deliveries in a single day without having an aneurism) or the agony of defeat (forgetting about an customers order, an available truck or a spotted trailer), it may be difficult to understand why an automated system is an absolute necessity, today.
We are in a world where the competition in our segment is fierce. The better your service levels are and the more efficient your communication is between your customers, drivers and vendors, the more sustainable you become. The crux of the matter is this – to increase your business’ size or capacity, one of two things must occur: adding additional manpower OR adding new resources that leverage time. For many, this is a difficult reality. Moreover, any change made within an existing operational environment can be extremely difficult. The mental and emotional willingness to divert from what may seem comfortable is at the forefront. Nobody ever said it would be easy.
Fortunately, those that have adopted the belief that change is not only necessary, but an absolute, have already begun to reap the benefits that a modern transportation management system will provide. From quote, to order, to dispatch to delivery, to carrier settlements, invoicing, KPI’s and reporting – these things are now all available at your fingertips. Transmissions and conveyancing are largely done in a digital environment; so whether you use a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart-phone, your transportation company and your book of business are as mobile as you need them to be.
Should you reach a point where you have little hair left to lose and the pain is becoming unbearable, the logical choice is to make a change. Any of us who have suffered through the years on a manual system need to take the steps and weigh the short-term discomfort against the long-term benefit. If you are willing to step out on that ledge, you might discover that it doesn’t hurt as much as you thought it would.
When you are ready, we’ll be here to catch you…
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