May 13, 2022 | Trucker Tools

Avoid Death by Excel: How Trucker Tools Can Automate Broker and 3PL Operations of All Sizes

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If you’re a freight broker or logistics provider on the smaller side, you may still be using Excel spreadsheets to manage customer details, carriers, tracking, operational costs, loads and other key data for your business. While Excel may seem like a no-brainer for your operations, it can’t match the value that real-time algorithm-based technology can offer. Using manual Excel spreadsheets in your operations makes your business vulnerable to human errors, limits how productive your team can be, and impacts how current and prospective customers view your company. The good news is that you can automate operations, raise your profile with shippers and reduce operating costs with scalable technology like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity — whether you’re moving 500 or 100,000 loads each month.

A Deep Dive Into the Pitfalls of Excel

Even if you’re a smaller broker or 3PL, using Excel as a primary technology in your day-to-day operations leaves you vulnerable to human error. One typing error or the accidental deletion of a row of data can cause a lot of damage. If you have multiple employees managing, entering and editing data in shared spreadsheets, the potential for mistakes increases further. Excel also can’t provide you with business intelligence or any analysis of your operations, either, which makes it difficult to truly know your cost per load and other key financial information about your business.

One of the biggest reasons to consider ditching Excel as a core database for your operations is that it’s hugely inefficient. Spreadsheets are a place to store data, not for recording the ebb and flow of rates, costs, loads and other details that are often in flux. You can’t automatically share information on available loads with drivers and carriers in real-time or update your customers on where an individual load is with an Excel spreadsheet. Everything must be done manually and that takes time – and any extra time required in the logistics business translates into lost potential revenue.

How Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity Can Increase Efficiency, Reduce Costs

Smart Capacity automates some of the most repetitive tasks in your day-to-day operations, including load tracking. When you use Smart Capacity’s load tracking in your business, your team members can view the real-time location of loads in a matter of seconds. All it takes is a few clicks on a computer to see if a driver has gone to the wrong receiving dock or is stuck in traffic. Where most load tracking technologies falter, Smart Capacity excels. The companion Trucker Tools’ driver app does more than just track loads for brokers. It also provides truckers with real-time info on fuel prices, routing, parking and more, which is why it’s been downloaded 1.6 million times and is the industry’s most popular app. Using Smart Capacity and the driver app can greatly reduce or eliminate check calls, thereby saving your team (and your carriers and drivers) time and reducing your cost per load.

Smart Capacity’s digital freight matching reduces the time your team members spend on the phone cold-calling carriers about their available capacity. Instead, your team can quickly search by lane, dates, equipment type and more in a matter of seconds. Unlike other capacity sources, Smart Capacity’s digital freight matching is a real-time technology, which means your team won’t be chasing capacity that has already been booked by another broker. When searching for a truck with Smart Capacity, you can search from a customized list of your in-network carriers or the general marketplace. Once your team members find the right truck for a load, they can send a message to the driver or carrier through Smart Capacity. The trucker receives the message in the Trucker Tools driver app, while carriers receive it via Trucker Tools’ free carrier platform, which is actively used by 195,000 small and mid-sized carriers. Another option is to call the carrier that has the capacity available. With Smart Capacity, team members also can easily book reloads and additional loads in a single conversation with a carrier.

Using Smart Capacity’s Book It Now® adds another level efficiency to your operations. Book It Now® allows drivers to digitally book your loads through the Trucker Tools app and carriers to book them through Trucker Tools’ free carrier platform.

Move More Loads Without Increasing Your Headcount

It’s important to recognize the value of time saved in your business. Automating some of the most repetitive manual tasks in your operations with technology like Smart Capacity creates new opportunities for growth. You can essentially do more with the same team. In simple terms, if your team can cover loads faster with Smart Capacity’s digital freight matching and use digital load tracking instead of check calls, they can use their freed-up time to move additional freight. For you as the owner or manager of the business, that is great news because it means you can increase your load volume without hiring on new staff.

Read “Seven Ways Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity Helps You Foster Carrier Relationships” to find out how Trucker Tools’ tech can help you build and strengthen carrier relationships.

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