Best Practices for Dispatch Operations

In our latest episode of McLeod Insights, we sat down with McLeod Customer Advocate, Thorny Embly, to discuss how trucking companies can capitalize on their technology investment to best serve their customers and improve their overall business processes. 

Let’s take a look at some of Thorny’s advice for TMS best practices.

Maximizing Your TMS for Your Business

Thorny says the number one issue he discusses with customers on a regular basis is how to maximize the cost of their software. 

“Software is not cheap,” he says. “If an owner or managers are investing in software, then capitalizing on that expense is really important.” 

However, according to Thorny, many businesses don’t maximize their software in all of the areas where they could be using it. Beyond dispatch, your TMS can provide a wealth of data that your business can leverage in real-time. If your business is still writing everything down on paper before putting it in the system, a TMS can save you time and streamline your processes.

By leveraging the data your TMS aggregates, you can get information out to your drivers, vendors, and team in real-time. 

“In the environment I came from, our drivers called in on every load, and we manually entered that information into the system before we upgraded to a mobile comm provider,” Thorny says. “The necessary part there is getting good data into the system, because it supports making good business decisions.”

Your TMS can analyze market rates and how your company is performing. It can also help you get the right information to the right people on your team, including dispatchers, operations personnel, and upper level management. Relying on your TMS as only a back office product for billing will keep you from realizing its full potential. 

“If you’re not maximizing your company’s use of the product, then you essentially have an expensive software paperweight. You’re leaving an opportunity to improve decision making on the table.”

Why Transportation Companies Switch to a TMS

A TMS allows transportation businesses to get better control over their data. This allows them to measure their costs, load profitability, and determine their best lanes. A TMS can also streamline your processes and help save your company money.

Another feature that attracts transportation companies is the flexibility of the base product, according to Thorny. Different trucking companies, logistics providers and decision makers use a TMS in ways that work best for them. They can choose what data they want to gather and how they want to use it for their business, within the construct of the TMS.

Cloud-based data aggregated by the TMS allows decision makers to work in real-time. Drivers and operators can receive information much faster, which affects the profitability of loads. It also allows vendor data integration and lets support personnel receive information, approve purchases, and cut checks faster – often immediately.

“If you have access to your mobile comm provider, you can link up your data with your vehicle maintenance provider,” Thorny says. “I can do my analysis, or export different reports into your spreadsheet and recompile the data. It really allows you to create those reports that are customizable and saves time.”

In addition, businesses can keep their operational processes in the TMS. Meaning, processes that generally happen outside the TMS, but are part of its built-in capability.

Does Your Transportation Company Need a TMS?

According to Thorny, a company can recognize needed changes when they spearhead a culture change. Implementing shifts in the company culture often reveals areas that need to be improved. 

“I’m a huge proponent of organizational process improvement,” he says. ”It must start at the top and be supported by all the levels of business.”

Organizational change can be challenging, and the market allows so many businesses to stay in their comfort zone. However, Thorny says that staying in their comfort zones can actually limit a business’s ability to grow, evolve, and become more efficient – and, as a result, more profitable. 

To hear the full episode of McLeod Insights featuring Thorny Embly, click here