All of us that are very experienced in the logistics and transportation industry is witnessing the huge adaptation of technology in the last 20 years. GPS made a huge debut almost 15 years ago and continued with small upgrades over the years, then we saw ELD coming, MacroPoint and many other Fleet Management Solutions coming and all of them claiming to be the best and provide amazing added value to your business.
The fact is that over the last 20 years, market became highly saturated and it’s not easy to make a decision which fleet management software to buy/use because all of them are claiming to be the best and stressing the advantages and at the same time hiding the disadvantages.
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Exploring the market and deciding which Fleet Management Software to use is the process that can take months and many working hours which translated to cost means tens of thousands of dollars just for the exploration phase. Upon selection very often, we see that the decision was not good. Instead of selecting the perfect software for your business, you are selecting the one that is the least bad. Therefore, I wanted to explore this topic and share firsthand what you can do to avoid these mistakes.
The only perfect software you can find is the one that adapts to you. No matter how big the company providing the software is or how fancy their name sounds if they can’t make their solution perfectly tailored to you then this is not going to work on a long run.
Pre-packaged solutions offered by some of the largest vendors on the market providing off the shelf solutions hope that they can help your needs. How can a GPS and Fleet Management solution be the same if you are having a dry-van or reefer trucking company? What if you are in the services and city delivery business? You don’t have the same needs as long haul over the road trucking company.
Those pre-packaged solutions are covering some basic needs for your business but they are not unlocking the true potential your company can provide and for that reason, whatever the price you’re paying it’s too much.
Your business is constantly evolving so should your software. If you are in the business for 5+ years you can see how the market is changing so quickly that having company organization and software that supports it is becoming a matter of staying alive not a matter of making extra profit.
ELD, driver shortage, Amazon, equipment prices constantly going up are all forcing transportation companies to make more money out of the existing revenue and gain some competitive advantage that will allow them to stand-out on a highly competitive market with more than 1,2M transportation companies in the US only.
So finding a perfect software is not easy simply because you don’t know what is the software you are going to need 3 years from now. If you are searching for the one that can satisfy your current needs then you are already late. Customization and adaptation are the magic words today.
There is a huge difference between these two people and it’s time for you to start understanding this. So how are they different?
Let’s take an example of Coca-Cola that can be your customer and main client in your company responsible for the majority of the revenue your business generates.
However, a warehouse Manager working in Coca-Cola Warehouse in Atlanta, GA is your main users. If your software can be or has the potential to customize some reports or pro-actively provide real-time tracking of the shipment then your user will be happy. If your software is helping your user to perform better, faster and more efficient in his job then you’ll have a free ambassador of your business.
This champion will favor your company over any other and you’ll soon become the preferred partner. Not because they like you, they will just follow their need to perform better, faster, cheaper and you’ll be the company that makes that happen and provides added value. Listen to your users, talk to them and deliver them what they need. If you can solve their problems, they will love you forever.
Making a full circle and start thinking from a user perspective can be super-helpful. Think about this and ask yourself is your user now having any interaction with your company and are you helping them at all. Turning your software to a relationship building system can be of great help for the future company growth.
As we are all experiencing rapid changes in today’s business and we learned that software should be the one to follow the changes as well – ease of use is also becoming more and more important.
We all remember days when getting new fleet management software meant a lot of onsite training that you were charged thousands of dollars. Over the last 10 years, there was no change except that onsite training was replaced by online training sessions that would usually result in the constant need to call customer support.
What is becoming crucial is that no company or business can afford themselves huge on-boarding and training procedures and costs related to those procedures. Ease of use and top-notch UI and UX are becoming a minimum service level. Users need to be able to start using the software in full capacity at day one and can’t expect that training will be provided. Lack of great people on the market is forcing the companies to have solutions, procedures and IT systems that can be used by anyone since highly skilled workers are harder and harder to find these days.
Every business is individual and there are no two persons running the company in the same way. That is also the reason we can all see people operating in the same industry achieving different results.
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