When you hear the phrase “operational efficiency,” do you think of mega carriers and Fortune 500 companies? If so, it may be time to rethink your definition of operational efficiency and consider what it can offer your trucking business. The truth is that one of the most effective methods for boosting profit margins in your business is to increase operational efficiency.
In simple terms, operational efficiency is when you maximize your revenue relative to the time and money you invest in running your business. One of the easiest ways to do this in your owner operator or trucking business is to use technology-based tools to automate your business operations. “Small businesses often get bogged down with repetitive tasks. You can likely automate many of your frequent tasks. Automating repetitive steps can increase your bottom line,” says Derek Miller of SCORE, a division of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Check out the following five tips for automating repetitive tasks and increasing operational efficiency in your trucking business, whether you’re an owner-operator or small to mid-sized trucking business.
Optimize Routes and Fuel Stops with Smart Route Planning
Using tools like the real-time routing & fuel optimizer that’s included in the free Trucker Tools driver app can help you quickly find the cheapest and most easily accessible fuel on your route. Simply enter your starting and end points, truck details and number of gallons in your tank at the start of your trip and the routing & fuel optimizer will find optimal fuel stops along your route. The routing & fuel optimizer also displays how much money you’ll save on each optimized route.
Use Load Tracking Apps That Reduce Check Calls (and Respect Your Privacy)
To further increase operational efficiency in your trucking business, use load tracking tools that reduce or eliminate check calls from brokers and 3PLs. The digital load tracking tool included in the Trucker Tools driver app can be used with any broker and also integrates with the broker’s transportation management system, which means the broker doesn’t have to call you to get an ETA. It’s important to note that Trucker Tools’ load tracking only tracks your location when you’re on a load and you have to agree to be tracked for that load. When load tracking is turned on, you receive a smart phone notification that includes the name of the broker/3PL receiving the tracking data and the associated load. You always have the option to pause or cancel load tracking directly in the app.
Instant, In-App Digital Upload of POD Documents
Another way to increase efficiency (and get paid faster!) in your trucking business is to upload photos of proof of delivery documents when you finish a load. When you use the load tracking tool included in the free Trucker Tools driver app, you’re automatically prompted to upload proof of delivery when you finish the load. In-app doc upload allows brokers and 3PLs to initiate payment faster and is more efficient than scanning, emailing and/or faxing PODs to them.
Automate Load Searches and Load Bookings
To reduce the time spent on finding and securing loads, consider using Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform, which can be accessed for free via the Trucker Tools driver app. With Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching, you can search for high-quality freight with your favorite brokers in a matter of seconds instead of spending minutes or hours on the phone with brokers.
You can even book loads directly in the Trucker Tools driver app, no phone calls needed, if a broker posts a load as a Book-It-Now load. Book-It-Now fully automates the load search and load booking process for you. When you book a Book-It-Now load in our driver app, the appointment is automatically scheduled in the broker’s transportation management system and you (and your carrier dispatcher) receive an automated email confirming the load. The confirmation email also includes suggestions for future loads/reloads.
Choose All-in-One Tech That Provides Multiple Benefits
Our final tip for increasing efficiency in your trucking business is a pretty simple one: choose technology-based tools that are multi-functional and designed to help you run your business more efficiently. Using tools that check these two boxes ensures that you’re making technology work for you instead of vice versa.
With 17+ tools and features that are designed to simply your life on the road, Trucker Tools’ free driver app is designed to both reduce the number of apps you use in your daily operations and to help you operate as efficiently as possible. In addition to load tracking, digital freight matching, automated load booking, route and fuel optimization, and doc upload features, Trucker Tools’ free driver app also provides you with real-time information on truck stops, rest areas, Wal-Mart locations, parking, nearby medical facilities, truck washes, weather, nearby repair shops, DOT locations, weigh scales and more.
Looking for additional ways to boost your profit margins? Read Business Tips for Owner Operators and Small Trucking Companies. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/.