Finding the best transport management system for your business can be a challenge, but the benefits are immense. Implementing the right system can reduce your overall transport spend, reduce the amount of paper, stop revenue leakage, and make your whole business run more efficiently. Here are 10 top tips to consider when choosing the right one for you, and your team:
- Keep it simple. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Find someone who has done it before, talk to your competitors, and listen to recommendations. The system needs to be simple to use. You want something that will enhance your business, not complicate it.
- Research the programme. Look for a system that’s been designed specifically with transport management in mind. If your system is going to add value, it needs to seamlessly integrate with your accounting package. This could be a great time to evaluate how well your accounting system is working for you too – it could be the perfect time for a change.
- Is it cost effective? The right programme will certainly save you time and money in the long run, but you need to be prepared to spend some time learning about the programme and what it can do for you. Try choosing a programme that has a good free trial period to really work out if it does everything you need it to do. Be sure to ask what the set-up costs are, if you will be locked into a contract, and if there will be ongoing costs for help and support? This will help you determine if you’re getting value for money.
- Don’t fear technology. Technology is the way of the future, it CAN be simple to use, and it has the ability to make your life much easier. Sit down for five minutes with your tablet or smartphone and have a play, you might be surprised how easy it is.
- Cloud-based. The beauty of the cloud is it means your information is available to you at any time, from anywhere. You could be sitting on the beach or out in a boat fishing, and you can still effectively manage your business.
- One data entry. This is key to efficiency. You want to know that one single data entry into your transport management system will flow on, significantly reducing time spent double entering data. Ask the question, does one data entry flow through to invoicing?
- Mobile app. Is there a mobile application? A mobile app is a game changer in terms of communication, ensuring your drivers have all the correct information they need for a job at their fingertips, all the time. Check if the app works on both Apple and Android devices.
- Go paperless. Cloud storage means everything is saved online, so you can move to a virtually paperless office. Contacts, daysheets, pricing, invoicing and reporting – all online. Your transport management system should free you from the monotony of paperwork.
- Multiple users. Does your system allow unlimited users, or do you pay per user? It’s handy to have multiple dispatchers or users being able to use the same information at the same time, so everyone is on the same page. Do check if you have the ability to choose different levels of access for users.
- Support is key. Support is invaluable, especially as you’re learning and getting to know your transport management system. Make sure you’re able to contact someone at all times if you have a question or problem.
Read more here in the latest Owner Driver magazine.