Back-office functions are absolutely essential to carriers, acting as the backbone of the organization – ensuring that drivers are able to get on the road safely, are paid on time, matched with the right loads and more. All the while, fleet staff are also managing finding new business, making sure their data is secure, equipment is running smoothly and books are balanced.
Fleet staff must balance many different tasks throughout the day, and work in coordination with many departments to keep operations running smoothly – as well as addressing growth, scaling up operations to meet demand, and doing so profitably and with as little friction as possible. Thankfully, Trimble’s technologies assist and empower back-office teams to streamline processes, create efficiency and improve visibility, helping carriers grow and improve their business with speed and scale.
The role of back-office staff today
With most carrier organizations, every department is ultimately focused on supporting drivers. From operations and safety, to maintenance, accounting, recruitment, etc. – they’re all focused on getting the driver, the truck and the freight moving.
The next piece is finding the right freight. The transportation industry is so dynamic – a puzzle that’s difficult to get 100% perfect because something else usually comes along to change the direction or re-focus plans. What makes it difficult to adapt to these changing market conditions is having a lot of manual or slow processes in place. These days, there is so much business intelligence out there just waiting to be analyzed and turned into actionable insights.
With maintenance, the cost of parts continues to rise, and if a carrier doesn’t use a software solution to analyze the increasing costs, they may not be able to make informed decisions at scale, or fast enough to keep up. Or in the planning department, if planners have to sit and think through all the individual little decisions, they may not be able to put that puzzle together fast enough because it’s constantly shifting. Who knows what other opportunities they might be missing?
Empowering back-office personnel
Trimble’s solutions offer many benefits in so many areas of the business, but the biggest way these solutions can help back-office staff is when it comes to speed and scalability.
The trucking industry is in the midst of an immense period of growth – rates are up, freight volumes are high, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. That means that many carriers and drivers are doing well. However, in times like these with unprecedented growth when “high tides lift all boats,” the last thing an organization needs is to be worrying about the little things and being slowed down by manual processes. It’s one thing to have growth, but it’s another thing to have profitable, scalable growth that sets a business up for success well into the future.
At some point, the market will likely swing back the other way, and it’s going to expose which companies made an investment into technology that helps their people and business work more effectively, and those that did not implement the right processes to help inform their decision-making. All carriers can benefit from the edge that technology brings – that visibility and transparency – and this is the right time to make those investments.
One of the areas that has a great potential return on investment is the automation of manual, tedious tasks that could be assigned to a software solution to analyze and bring forth the best solution. Trimble Dispatch Advisor allows dispatchers to enter their parameters for assigning loads and makes the best possible matches with the information it is given. Back-office personnel still have the final say on which loads are assigned to which drivers, but it speeds up the process significantly and allows them to focus on managing exceptions – a much faster and more scalable solution than simply hiring more dispatchers.
The evolution of transportation management systems
The desire for more visibility throughout the supply chain has continued to grow since the idea of freight visibility came into the market. The same connections between internal departments within a carrier organization – telematics, maintenance, payroll, etc. – are now being pushed externally to the relationship between carriers and shippers or third parties. The supply chain disruptions over the past several years have only accelerated the need for more visibility.
Today, shippers and carriers are looking for a higher level of collaboration. That’s why Trimble remains focused on the next generation of technology to facilitate interactions and collaboration between parties within the industry.
The transportation management system (TMS) of the future is focused heavily on finding the right freight since one of the biggest areas of waste in the industry right now is having trucks chasing freight. Trimble’s Community Load Match platform connects with these freight marketplaces for shippers to connect directly with carriers, which helps both parties find opportunities that fit their business needs – an arrangement that benefits both sides and fuels scalable growth.
The back office and the connected supply chain
The supply chain relies on the successful, profitable movement of freight. There are so many back-office functions that play into that imperative and help keep the supply chain stable, from safety to maintenance.
Trimble’s role is to connect all of these departments within an organization, as well as connect organizations to external partners, to increase collaboration and help all parties make more informed decisions to create a more connected supply chain.
Ready to find out how Trimble can help your back-office teams operate more effectively? Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of technologies that can make a meaningful impact on your productivity and bottom line.