The logistics industry currently holds not only one of the biggest markets but also a particularly important one. By 2017, the market was already valued at a massive $7,641.20 billion. In 2021, the market has reached a global worth of $8.6 trillion - that is, over $8,600 billion. This figure is expected to expand to $12,975.64 billion by the year 2027, which suggests a 6.5% CAGR.
Different types of businesses rely heavily on the supply chain and logistics infrastructure to ensure they are able to transport goods or stock up their stores. As a trucking company, you already realize just how much data entry, processing, and administrative tasks are involved with every freight you move. To ease the process and reduce the need for human input, a combination of your trucking company software and integrations with third-party supply chain platforms can become useful. In this post, we look at current integrations you can consider while also addressing the concerns you may have prior to selecting the right integrated solution.
Trucking Company Software As An Internal Management Solution
Prior to the evolution of technology, trucking companies had to rely on the "old school" method of filing documents, writing down reports, submitting invoices, and doing similar tasks. This often led to human error, especially during times of stress. Additionally, delays were more common, and communication with drivers was often considered a hassle.
Today, things are much different. Instead of having to write down all the details, the use of trucking company software gives business owners an opportunity to record everything on a digital system. The software often also comes with some level of automated features, which makes it easier to draw reports for specific periods or perhaps to check up on the performance of a driver.
There are multiple applications and software solutions available to help companies in the logistics industry adopt a more efficient strategy when it comes to managing freights, employees, routes, and customers.
KeepTruckin currently serves as one of the most popular options, with many trucking companies relying on this software to effectively manage internal operations. Other popular options include AscendTMS Logistics Software, Samsara, Kuebix TMS, and A1 Tracker. Of course, the specific option used by your company right now is dependent on multiple factors. You likely chose a specific system based on your needs, the size of your fleet and company, the coverage you provide to your clients, and your budget.
There are a few functions that a good trucking company platform will cover. These systems usually provide you the ability to upload driver details and sometimes even allow you to track drivers using GPS components. Some of these also give you the opportunity to effectively manage your fleet and delegate routes to specific drivers.
One problem that you may face, however, is the fact that the software tends to lack certain functions that you would expect from a supply chain platform. This can make it difficult to have everything you need in one central spot - as you’ll likely need to set up additional accounts on other platforms to perform all of the operations you rely on.
Current Concerns Regarding Third-Party Integrations
While integrated options are available, many logistic business owners have concerns when looking at the solutions that they can choose from. One of the first steps to take in order to find the right integrated system for your trucking business would be to overcome these concerns. This includes gaining more information on how the systems work, as well as being able to identify platforms that may put your business at risk.
One of the most common concerns and roadblocks currency faces is related to security. As a business owner of a logistics company, you do not want any of your confidential data to leak to competitor businesses. This can put your business at risk while giving the competition a competitive advantage. Some companies also avoid the use of third-party solutions due to a risk-averse factor. You feel that you need to have full control over every single element of the software - and that generally includes both the software loaded as well as the hardware that allows you to utilize the software.
Finding Suitable Integrated Solutions
Even though there are certain risks when looking at third-party software solutions, it is important to note that with proper research, you can find a secure system. These systems can greatly enhance the workflow within the company while also reducing the amount of human input needed to perform certain operations.
An initial step that you have to take includes planning. Without a proper plan, you’ll find it significantly harder to determine what the most suitable integrated solution will be for a specific business. This is also where the needs of the company come in.
A primary goal that logistics companies share is to maximize their potential of earning profits while also ensuring the transportation system used internally can be streamlined and properly optimized. At the same time, the business owner attempts to keep the company's expenses at a minimum while still being able to retain an advantage over the competition.
Essential Features In A Modern Day Integration
When a business owner understands the specific needs of the trucking company, finding an integration that helps to streamline certain processes does become easier. With this said, there are a few general features that companies usually consider essential functions in a high-quality, modern-day supply chain management solution - particularly when it will be integrating with the existing trucking company software that the business is already utilizing.
Two particular features or subjects that are gaining significant popularity within the trucking industry include machine learning, as well as artificial intelligence. These technologies are being used as a way to speed up certain processes and to automate a large selection of tasks.
The two technologies are used alongside a range of tracking systems that fall within the Internet of Things scope. The trackers are placed on trucks that form part of the company's fleet. This allows for automatic and easier adjustments while also providing more accurate data when drawing up reports.
There are specific functions that you should aim to achieve when using integration as a way of optimizing a fleet. These functions include:
- The ability to automatically optimize the most suitable route for a shipment. This does not only result in faster delivery times but may also be useful when looking to reduce fuel costs.
- The integrated solution should be able to prepare automated schedules that do not conflict. Schedules should be made for both the trucks used for delivery, as well as the drivers.
- Another feature to look for is the ability to provide a forecast of possible scenarios that can occur within the current supply chain the business is operating.
Choosing A Fitting Integration
When it comes to integration with a trucking company application, it is important to note that this does not always only include a single integrated solution. In some cases, the business may choose to utilize multiple platforms that can all integrate with each other. In addition to supply chain management and trucking software, companies often also use tracking platforms and accounting systems. This can further provide automation in the internal operations of the business.
Tracking systems can offer more accurate data to the trucking software. This allows the integrated AI to automatically make adjustments to routes if problems are identified. By pushing data from the trucking software to an accounting suite, there is no need to manually import important client data, set up invoices, or collect payments.
One of the most important factors to look for an integrative platform would be transparency. The developers of the software should be able to provide a comprehensive overview of the software features. Many of these developers are also able to provide you with a customized solution, which can be a more cost-effective approach compared to paying for a plan that contains features the business will not use.
The developers should also prioritize the presence of security features in the system. Any questions related to the security of the system should be answered without any issues or hesitation - as logistic companies need to ensure the safety of any data collected on internal and third-party systems.
Trucking company software plays an important role in ensuring you can effectively delegate freight transportation among drivers, keep track of driver performance, track inventory, and more. Without the right integrations, however, manual data entry work can become overwhelming and take up a significant amount of time. Consider the integration options we discussed here to help you gain a better idea of how you can enhance the overall efficiency offered by your current trucking company software system.
At Integratz, we have years of experience with setting up highly efficient systems, including trucking company platforms. We also have the expertise you need to determine the most suitable integrations that will improve productivity while also reducing the risk of errors. If you are interested to learn more about how we can help you integrate your trucking company software with other supply chain options, then get in touch with us. Schedule a meeting, and we’ll discuss our options that can help your business grow.