Improving your operational efficiency, i.e. the cost effectiveness of your internal processes, provides one of the quickest and affordable pathways to growing your profit margins. Making your brokerage operate more efficiently, however, requires more than just considering and/or reducing your fixed operating costs. You also need to choose comprehensive, affordable technology-based solutions that are designed to increase operational efficiency.
If you don’t have a plan for reducing the inefficiencies of your operations in 2020, you may be missing out. Check out our five tips for raising your brokerage’s operational efficiency in 2020.
1. Invest in the right technology
Do you build or buy what your operation needs? Building custom-made technology-based solutions, such as freight tracking mobile apps, can literally cost you millions of dollars. Once the solution is finished, you face the ongoing expense of integrating your custom-made solution with each of your business partner’s preferred technology. Buying or licensing technology-based solutions through the right third party solutions provider is much more affordable and takes ongoing platform integrations off your plate. Choose technology that is affordable and that can integrate with your partners’ preferred platforms.
2. Reduce the time you spend finding and booking truck capacity
This is the year to focus on operational efficiency. You probably know your fixed costs of operating, but it’s important to also understand time per task as a variable expense. For example, do you know much time your staff members spend on booking truck capacity for open loads? Finding methods to book capacity faster or more efficiently can provide significant cost-savings. Tools such as Trucker Tools’ Book-It-Now can greatly reduce the time that you spend searching for and securing truck capacity. Drivers searching for their next load after they are empty and brokers manually searching for equipment on multiple platforms is inefficient. Trucker Tools’ fully automated Book-It-Now matches your open loads with your preferred carriers and automates your process for finding and booking capacity.
3. Increase carrier utilization
Booking freight with carriers with whom you’ve previously done business saves time, reduces on-boarding costs, minimizes cargo risk and makes the transit experience more predictable. Despite these benefits, you may struggle to book repeat loads with carriers. Using a capacity marketplace such as Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform allows you to easily post loads to your network of preferred carriers in a matter of seconds and reduces the time you spend using multiple load boards or sifting through emails to find capacity. With solutions like Trucker Tools’ digital freight platform, you can search within your preferred carrier network by location, date and equipment type, and you can book reloads with carriers in a single communication. Another benefit: predictive load matching shows you carrier capacity before it’s ever posted publicly.
4. Which freight visibility tool should I choose?
When considering which visibility tools to use in your operations, it’s important to choose a digital freight tracking platform that is popular with carriers, that can integrate with other platforms and that will reduce the time you spend on load tracking. More than 800,000 carriers currently use Trucker Tools’ free, multi-functional driver app, which includes a powerful visibility tool that can be integrated with your TMS. Using highly accurate, carrier-centric solutions like our free driver app can reduce check-in calls significantly, which increases operational efficiency. Trucker Tools’ visibility platform also integrates seamlessly with shipper platforms such as MacroPoint, Project44 and FourKites, which can further improve operational efficiency for your brokerage.
5. Increase cashflow by collecting Proof of Delivery (POD) documents quickly
Using the GPS native to the trucker’s smart phone and geofencing technology, the Trucker Tools driver app automatically prompts drivers at the end point of the load to upload proof of delivery. This can be a huge time saver for your brokerage. Collecting POD docs from carriers in a timely manner can be difficult. You may even have staff members solely dedicated to calling/emailing carriers for PODs. Having in app doc upload capabilities reduces the time your staff members spend trying to track down PODs — and helps you get paid faster. Worried about the integrity of digital POD doc uploads? The workflow of the Trucker Tools’ driver app only allows for a photo to be taken live. Files cannot be altered after the photo is taken.
Looking for more tips on making your brokerage/3PL’s operations more efficient? Read How Tracking Key Efficiency Metrics Can Improve Your Brokerage’s Bottom Line. To learn more about the efficiency gains Trucker Tools can provide, schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools digital freight matching and visibility tool.