Innovation can solve practical problems in your logistics business. It also can help strengthen customer relationships, attract top talent, increase employee engagement and increase revenue. The pandemic and its impact over the last year have pushed everyone in the transportation industry to be more innovative. As Connor D. Wolf of Transport Topics writes, “Supply chains and logistics operations have been on the front line of the pandemic. They’ve kept essential supplies moving despite significant transport disruptions, movement restrictions and dramatic volatility. Those complications have instead accelerated the need to innovate.”

Innovative ideas don’t just suddenly appear, of course. As the owner of a logistics business, you have to create a workplace that fosters innovation to keep pace with your competitors and help drive the industry forward. Digital technology can play a major role in helping you create an environment in which employees are more engaged, willing to problem-solve and come up with innovative ideas that benefit your logistics business — and perhaps even the industry at large. 

Check out these three ways to encourage innovation in your logistics business with digital technology. 

1. Use Digital Technology To Reduce Repetitive, Manual Task for Employees

When your employees are spending all of their time on repetitive manual tasks, they likely don’t have many opportunities to problem-solve or come up with innovative ideas. Doing everything by hand doesn’t exactly inspire innovation. Check calls, for example, have been used for many years to track loads, but they are quickly becoming a relic of the past, as are load boards. Your employees know that there is a better way to track loads and it’s with technology.

Digital technology such as Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform encourages innovation in your logistics business, creating new opportunities for your teams to problem-solve. To inspire your employees to be innovative, consider using digital technology such as Trucker Tools’ digital freight tracking platform to reduce or even eliminate check calls. Once you reduce or eliminate check calls with Trucker Tools’ GPS-based digital tracking, your employees won’t have to spend all of their hours making phone call after phone call. Instead, you can have them problem-solve exceptions, delays and other foreseen events that go beyond making hundreds of repetitive phone calls just to track loads. 

2. Simplify Workflows, Reduce “Red Tape”

Another way to encourage innovation in your logistics business is to simplify workflows for your employees and reduce “red tape.” As Gary Hamel and Nancy Tennant write in the Harvard Business Review, “Any process that significantly impacts investment, incentives or mindsets needs to be re-engineered for innovation.” Overly complicated workflows and processes make your business less efficient and, even worse, make employees feel disillusioned about the work that they’re doing. When you simplify processes in your operations, an increase productivity usually follows, which benefits everyone in your company. 

You can use digital technology such as Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform to simply your workflow for finding and finalizing truck bookings. Using phone calls, emails and load boards to locate available capacity can be a multi-step, complicated process. Opting instead to use Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform reduces the number of steps required to search for and secure truck capacity, thereby simplifying workflows and eliminating proverbial red tape. With digital freight matching, team members can quickly search for in-network and out-of-network capacity in real time with a few mouse clicks — and without picking up the phone, sending an email or logging onto a load board’s website. 

3. Foster a Company Culture That Values Innovation, Betterment

In a recent webinar with Trucker Tools entitled “How To Kick Start Your Company Culture,” England Logistics’ president Jason Beardall spoke about how company culture can encourage innovation in a logistics business. According to Beardall, creating a company culture that values innovation starts with making betterment and problem-solving part of your organizational culture and core values.

“Company culture is the character of a company as defined by the core values of that organization,” said Beardall. “When I think about myself as an individual, I think of my desire to grow, develop and become better. A lot of that hinges upon how I define and want to define my personal character. I don’t think that differs from an organization as a whole.” 

“Company culture is the character of a company as defined by the core values of that organization,” said Beardall. “When I think about myself as an individual, I think of my desire to grow, develop and become better. A lot of that hinges upon how I define and want to define my personal character. I don’t think that differs from an organization as a whole.” 

Beardall went onto to say that a company culture built on process improvement, betterment and growth can make employees excited to come into work because they want to work with their colleagues to solve problems and find ways to do things better. When your team members know without a doubt that your business encourages and rewards betterment and problem-solving, they’ll be much more likely to come up with fresh, innovative ideas.

Watch the webinar “How To Kickstart Your Company Culture” on demand. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ real-time freight tracking, digital freight matching and Book It Now®.