How can transport businesses prepare for an uncertain Brexit?
To say that Brexit has created some uncertainty in the transport and logistics industry might be understating the issue. Transport companies have been asking for nearly 3 years what can be done to prepare for Brexit. So far, the most detailed answer has been a metaphorical shrug of the shoulders [i], no one knows what is to come, so how can you fully prepare?
Here is one thing you can do immediately to make any upcoming changes, challenges and requirements much easier - Update your systems and processes and Go Paperless!
What does this mean? By ensuring you have up to date systems with everything online and accessible to both employees and customers, it will make communication, invoicing and workflow management significantly easier.
By putting flexible digital solutions in place early, you will be better placed to ensure your drivers are using the correct and up to date customs, delivery & collection documents. In cases where paper forms are still utilised, drivers and warehouse staff will be able to scan or photograph documentation and submit it for immediate approval and compliance confirmation from the office team.
TrackTrans offer a full TMS, Job Management & EPOD system to allow your business to remove all paperwork and uncertainty. You can keep up to date with deliveries to ensure all the necessary compliance has been completed before your driver has left site.
Brexit might lead to one deal with the EU, WTO terms or a large number of individual trade & customs agreements. In this time of uncertainty, make sure you are doing everything within your control to be better prepared than your competitors!
Is your transport business suffering from spreadsheet sprawl?
If you’re drowning in spreadsheets, simply consign them to the shredder. Roger Murphy of TrackTrans offers an alternative approach with five very good reasons to embrace automation using the latest Transport Management Systems.
Statistics from the Road Haulage Association demonstrate just how important the industry is for the people and businesses of the UK: 98% of all food and agricultural products and 98% of all consumer products and machinery in Great Britain are transported by road freight while the sector is the fifth largest employer in the country.[i] In fact, everything we eat, drink and wear depends on road haulage services.
We see the lorries and trucks on our roads every day but how many people actually understand the challenges the industry faces in getting goods from A to B? It’s a complicated business that necessitates the effective management of drivers, fleet vehicles and third-party logistics to ensure goods are delivered from warehouse to store on time and on budget. Yet, many organisations still rely on manual systems including spreadsheets to manage today’s increasingly complex transport chains. In so doing, they risk being left behind through inconsistent processes and wasted time that costs money, customers and new business opportunities.
5 Reasons to embrace automation
Here are five reasons why it’s time to put an end to spreadsheet sprawl by deploying automated transport management systems:
End-to-end visibilityThe trouble with spreadsheets is that they are one person’s view of the truth and being manual, are often out-of-date making it difficult to know whether a job has been completed or simply deleted. Use TMS technology to allow all your staff to keep sight of customer consignments quickly and efficiently. At the click of a mouse, view the name and location of the driver, the vehicle they are using along with real-time updates of their route and progress to final proof of delivery (POD) with the customer.
Complete historical customer journey archiveEvery job recorded in a TMS solution includes details of who entered it and when, and lists every activity subsequently performed creating a complete audit trail. In addition notes and electronic versions of critical consignment records, such as scanned copies of PODs, can be attached. These can be retrieved and emailed instantly to colleagues or to customers to resolve issues and enquiries quickly and accurately without having to sift through mountains of paperwork.
Personalise customer solutionsUsing automation makes it easy to create tailored delivery plans for customers. If a customer needs 50 pallets to go to 5 stores in 5 different towns, simply feed this information into the TMS to build an efficient schedule that allocates the right drivers and vehicles and reconciles them against a detailed timeline for the collection of goods from the warehouse to delivery at the customer’s final destination - on time and on budget.
Flexible business toolIn a fast-moving commercial climate where one company’s demise can spell overnight success for another, automation makes light work of scaling up and down to meet sudden or steep fluctuations in consignment numbers, such as seasonal demand. Use today’s web-based TMS to guarantee flexibility that strategically meets changing SLAs, supports business growth and future expansion plans.
Meanwhile, the superior reporting capabilities of today’s TMS technology enable organisations to monitor their business performance with a clear view of pertinent financial information such as invoices, turnover, uncharged jobs and missing PODs that can be downloaded in an instant. Compare vehicle use against specific key performance indicators(KPIs) to identify and rectify swiftly any areas of over or under-utilisation of fleet assets, an essential indicator of how well a business is run.
Tangible time and cost savingsWhy spend significant amounts of time keying in details of customer consignments manually?; Use automation to receive orders electronically and re-deploy this time to improving customer service. Do more with less: automation boosts productivity without the need for additional headcount. Organisations can handle more deliveries in a day because processes are streamlined and each job or consignment no longer needs to be manually entered into the system.
Why drown in spreadsheets when transport management systems offer a complete and simple-to-use alternative to monitoring and tracking customer consignments quickly and efficiently? It’s time to ditch the spreadsheets – you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner and you’ll never look back!
Roger Murphy is Managing Director at TrackTrans