Choosing the right trucking software for your company can be an overwhelming & daunting task. The landscape is littered with software offerings and catchy buzzwords.
How can you navigate all the software out there and get a good fit for your trucking company?
Yes, this is my daughter, looking out at St. Louis from the Arch. Just as overwhelmed as you probably are.
The Right Trucking Software For You DOES Exist!
It’s out there! Just use these tips to help narrow down the playing field and make sure you set some time aside to research and demo as much as possible.
Remember: Trucking Software is supposed to help your business and save you money. You need a return on your investment.
Continually evaluate your return on your current systems and suggest or implement solutions.
1 – Clearly define your needs
If you’re looking for owner operator solutions you certainly do not need brokerage features! Make sure you clearly define your needs.
Maybe you need mileage integrations but do not need a host of LTL features. Maybe you’re an auto hauler or oil field company with special needs.
Narrow down the software selection on these needs immediately.
2 – Determine Your Remote Agent / Remote Work Requirements
Do you have remote agents? If so a Cloud or Internet based solution may work better than an old mainframe. Desktop trucking software CAN be used remotely via a Cloud server or Remote Desktop services. Do not write desktop or client/server trucking software off before checking them out.
Make sure to examine both categories. Getting a remote desktop server may have more of an initial cost for year 1 but a dramatically lower cost from year 2 on!
3 – Get A Free Trial
We require potential clients try our software free for 1 or 2 weeks. No exceptions. Trucking software is not a one size fits all software space and we need to work together to find the right fit.
If the software does not fit your company you need to know before you buy it!
Run some REAL data through as if you were using the system and see how it feels. Ask support questions as you come across road blocks. Did they get you through them quickly? Do you feel more efficient?
4 – Automation
Automating tasks is a corner stone to building a scalable business. Trucking software should automate some tasks and cut the time you spend doing non income producing activities.
Check your current business systems and make sure the trucking software you choose fits into these systems and eliminates some steps.
Dr Dispatch can do recurring load templates for example. This can cut weekly data entry time by 77%!
EDI, Fuel Integration, Rating, all are important automation tools that your company can explore.
5 – Support
Support after the sale is very important. Get some references and talk to them about support response and customer satisfaction. Ask the company for analytics data. For example at Dr Dispatch we respond to 95% of our support requests within the first 15 minutes!
Here’s our response times via email for this year
2012 Email Response Times
Make sure you can verify the trucking software vendor can handle your support needs via references and published data if possible.
6 – Back Up
Make sure the solution and your IT department are talking about data back up early on. Come up with a holistic solution. Do not just copy your trucking software data to a thumb drive and call it done.
Make sure you set an automated system up to back EVERYTHING up. For that reason we recommend dedicated backup software and offer a cloud backup solution ourselves.
7 – Know About The Cloud
The Cloud is nothing more than a group of computers on the Internet providing a transparent service.
The interesting takeaway on the Cloud is dynamic scaling of resources. A Cloud hosted web server can start off small and grow as your traffic grows. A Cloud hosted trucking software solution can handle remote agents and scale with your business.
The Cloud is not a magic business bullet that you MUST have to keep up. The Cloud is nothing more than Internet servers providing a service. You don’t have to muck about with the hardware and can pay per use.
Yes I’m Biased
But not at your expense. I believe Dr Dispatch has one of the best pieces of trucking software available with flexible pricing and modules. I know for a fact that we may not be a good fit for your company.
I do encourage those looking for software to give us a try.