In a recent webinar entitled Leveraging the Right Tech Partner To Scale Your Brokerage, Trucker Tools’ Founder and CEO Prasad Gollapalli and C.L. Services’ President and CEO Jeff Lantz discussed the strategy and lessons learned by C.L. Services through the company’s digital freight technology implementation. Thanks to its digital strategy and collaboration with Trucker Tools, C.L. Services has been able to improve carrier engagement and load tracking compliance, become more efficient in covering loads, and successfully scale-up and grow. During the conversation, Lantz spoke about the challenges the company faced prior to implementation and how the company has used technology to increase its revenue by more than 100 percent over the last three years.
Here are Lantz’ five tips on implementing a successful technology strategy.
1. Choose the Right Tech Partner
“In evaluating technology and the technology vendors that we use, we look for technology companies that are going to be really progressive,” said Lantz. “In the past, we ended up with technology vendors that were stale and stagnant. The technology itself was good, but it just didn’t keep progressing with times. We want a technology partner to constantly be looking for new ideas to make their company better, that’s willing to listen to us and let us share ideas with them on things that can help them improve. As you are on your technology journey, you have to really be open minded and make sure that everything is built under platforms that can easily connect with APIs, with the TMS you’re using and be able to connect with all of your partners out there.”
2. Target Technology That Delivers Value to Carrier and Shipper Partners
“We like to be very transparent with our carriers and with our customers, so we provide portals so that they can go in and view any data that they want to access,” Lantz explained. “I attribute customer retention and our carrier relationships to the technology that we use,” said Lantz. “Technology has played a role in our retention of our people, too. I look at it like baking a cake. You have to have the right ingredients. Some people think digital freight matching means it’s going to be purely digital with no people involved and that everything is going to be accepted and moved via the Internet. I don’t think this is the right approach. I feel like that it takes a good mix of technology and people to be able to be a quality organization.”
3. Prioritize Tech That Makes Your Employees Lives’ Easier
“As we’re moving through this journey, we see more and more demand for technology from our customers and our carriers, but the first piece of it for me is really how it helps our people,” Lantz shared. “We want technology to make our employees’ lives easier because there’s nothing that I hate worse than seeing somebody sitting here working until 8:00 P.M. at night when I’m walking out the door. There’s a lot of really cool technology coming down the pike that we know is going to make their lives even that much easier. The whole goal for our company, our people and our culture is to make this job as much fun as possible — and it can be very fun. I look at technology as a huge stress reliever for people. Once you get them on board with it and they understand it, they’re not as stressed out. Then they will do a much better job of servicing our customers and servicing our carriers.”
4. Implement Tech That Produces Results Quickly
“Implementing technology and really getting your people on board does take a little bit of time,” Lantz said. “Once you get your people on board with the technology and they’re able to share their experiences out there on the floor and teach one another the tricks of what the technology can do, it just takes off like a firestorm. A lot of our technology is very flexible to where our team can customize the tech themselves out there on the floor to work for their own personal environment. Once they start to learn how to do that and how to get creative themselves, it’s like a light bulb. So it does take a little bit of time to do that, but the time lost from doing that compared to the amount of time that you gain on the other side is huge.”
5. Target Tech That Keeps Carriers in Your Network
“As far as carrier engagement goes, Trucker Tools’ technology helps us build relationships with drivers and it brings a higher safety standard into play, too, for these drivers on the road,” Lantz explained. “We run our own trucks and have our own assets and we don’t want drivers touching the cell phone when they’re on the road. We primarily use Trucker Tools for digital freight matching. Trucker Tools’ app is the most downloaded app out there and it is a very simple for our drivers to use. We have some owner operators and they accept their own loads with the Trucker Tools app and they love it because of all the other features that it has on there. They can use it to find truck stops when they’re running out of hours. They know that they can pull off the road and get to a safe spot, so there’s a lot of benefit to the app. We push everything through Trucker Tools.”