August 16, 2021 | TruckerTools

What Is a True Digital Platform?

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Not all technology is created equally. Some technology solutions automate and digitize only a portion of your day-to-day activities, which means they only offer limited cost-savings, time-savings and efficiency gains. A true digital platform is a comprehensive one that automates and digitizes most if not all of the most repetitive manual activities in your day-to-day operations. A true digital platform offers you significant cost-savings, time-savings and efficiency gains because of its comprehensive nature. Truly comprehensive digital platforms offer scalability, the ability to grow your business without hiring on dozens of new employees or restructuring your business — gains that can’t be had with stand-alone or incremental technology solutions. True digital platforms equip brokers/3PLs like you with the tools needed to navigate volatile markets, develop new lanes with ease, and become an attractive partners to shippers and carriers. 

What is a true digital platform? Read on to find out how you can identify a true, comprehensive digital platform and how it can help you increase your revenue, maximize productivity and better understand your business and its operations.

The Biggest Differentiator: Real-Time Updates

One of the most significant differences between stand alone, incremental technology and true, comprehensive digital platforms is time. When you use a comprehensive, true digital platform like Trucker Tools’, you can see where capacity is and will be available in real-time. You also can track loads, receive digital documents from drivers, communicate with drivers and carriers, and give carriers the ability to book your loads all in real-time. When you use technology that isn’t real-time (for example, load boards to find capacity) or you do things manually (for example, check calls to track loads), there’s a time delay in which you have to wait for feedback from the carrier or driver to make a decision. This time delay is truly problematic, especially in a business like logistics in which timeliness and responsiveness is everything. 

Real-time data is a big deal because it helps you and your teams make better decisions faster. With the real-time information that true digital platforms provide, you’re not wasting time calling carrier dispatchers or drivers seven or eight times on a single load to track a load. You’re also not spending hours on load boards trying to find capacity to cover your loads. You can access the most up-to-date information in real-time, right on your computer screen. The ability to make more informed decisions faster helps you better meet your shippers’ needs, while streamlining communications with drivers and carriers, which they always appreciate.

Digital Freight Matching: Much More Than Just Email Parsing

Any true digital platform also should include robust digital freight matching capabilities. Digital freight matching simplifies how you search for and secure capacity as a freight broker or 3PL. With the digital freight matching included in Trucker Tools’ true digital platform, you can search in real-time for available capacity from within your customized list of preferred carriers with a few mouse clicks. You also can search for out of network capacity in a matter of seconds, tapping into the capacity provided by the more than 165,000 small carriers who are already on Trucker Tools’ platform. With a true digital platform that includes digital freight matching capabilities, you can turn to one platform for all of your capacity needs. With one source for capacity that you can easily search quickly, you can cover loads faster and gain insights into specific lanes, which is especially helpful when you’re growing your book of business. 

The makers of stand-alone, siloed technology such as email parsing programs and individual load boards may try to convince you that their one-trick-pony capacity-related technologies have everything you need. But the truth is that when you invest in stand-alone technologies for sourcing capacity, these solutions from different tech vendors can’t give you a big picture view of your operations like a true, comprehensive digital platform can. Stand-alone capacity tools also don’t necessarily work well together and/or share data with each other. 

With true digital platforms like Trucker Tools’, you can cover loads faster because all of your capacity information is on one easy-to-access platform. You don’t have to dump data from different sources (load boards, emails from carriers, phone calls to carriers) into an Excel spreadsheet and spend hours sorting it and wondering if the data is already outdated. Simply perform a quick, real-time search within the digital platform and then reach out to the carrier to finalize the booking. That’s it. You can add another layer of efficiency to your capacity activities by using load booking automation tools like Book It Now®, which — you guessed it — is included in Trucker Tools’ digital platform.   

No Manual Calls, Manual Data Entry Needed for Load Tracking

If you’re like most brokers and 3PLs, your team is making as many as 10 phone calls per load to track loads and then recording the location updates by hand in a spreadsheet of some kind. Using check calls and manual data entry to track loads is extremely inefficient and not very accurate. In order to get a location update, a member of your track and trace team must make contact with the driver or dispatcher. If a dispatcher or driver doesn’t answer the call, you have no visibility of the load. With check calls, you also have no way to verify the accuracy of the location provided and when the location is recorded in a spreadsheet, it’s subject to human error. 

With the load tracking tools included in true digital platforms, you can view the real-time location of loads right on your computer screen. Your track and trace team doesn’t have to wait for a call back from a driver to get a location update and then manually enter it into an Excel spreadsheet. True digital platforms like Trucker Tools’ use the GPS technology in the driver’s phone and the Trucker Tools app to provide you with accurate load location updates every five minutes. With the real-time digital visibility provided by true digital platforms, manual phone calls and data entry aren’t necessary. Instead, you can instantly view the real-time locations of trucks and take action immediately if there is a delay or if you see that the driver has gone to the wrong location. 

Read How Trucker Tools Empowers Brokers and 3PLs To Grow to find out how you can use Trucker Tools’ tech to grow your business.

Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ comprehensive digital platform. 

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