The Path to Success with Back Office Automation

In our latest episode of McLeod Insights, we sat down with Dave Dunn, FlowLogix Imaging Specialist here at McLeod Software. 

Dave got his start in the trucking industry two decades ago. Over the years, he has become well-rounded in both payroll (bill process, invoicing, accounts receivable) and trucking operations. When he first began his career, there wasn’t much automation available. 

“When we moved to McLeod Software, it gave us a huge opportunity to implement some of its optimization with imaging and FlowLogix,” Dave says. 

According to Dave, the biggest hurdle his team had to overcome was learning to trust the automation software to do its job accurately. Issues with automated driver payroll, for instance, can translate into time spent on the phone with drivers mitigating underpayment issues. 

Issues like these amplify the importance of incremental automation–a process that can help prevent widespread technology-related issues. 

Incremental Automation Can Prevent Problems with Technology Adoption

When trucking and logistics companies are ready to implement new automation technology, incremental automation can help prevent widespread problems associated with adoption and migration. It can be difficult to get team members to accept change and new technology, especially if they’re going to be impacted significantly. 

If your team doesn’t fully understand the new technology, they’ll be quick to distrust it because they aren’t sure how it’s going to work. Therefore, they become cautious of its functionality, and it can take a long time to earn their trust in the program. 

Instead of switching over completely, implement your new technology in small implements, one piece at a time or in phases. As you implement each piece explain to your team exactly what is happening. Give them a chance to see and validate the changes. Over time, it becomes easier for them to adopt those new developments. 

The Importance of Staff Buy-In

Staff buy-in is critically important when it comes to adopting new technology, particularly because they’ll be the first to use the software and confirm that it functions properly. 

“They’re the frontline,” Dave says. “They have to trust the system and validate it, because they’ve got to do the testing to make sure it’s right.” 

Driver buy-in is equally important. According to Dave, it’s challenging for drivers to adopt any system that alters the way they go about their regular routine. 

Automation Checks and Balances

Establishing checks and balances in your automation implementation so your automation processes are more difficult to abuse. For example, at a past company, Dave says drivers figured out how to take advantage of the automation system in order to get advance payments without getting charged an extra fee. 

“Drivers quickly figured out that if they ask for a $300 loan for what it only costs $200, then they would pocket the extra hundred dollars,” he says. “It would come out of their paycheck as an advance, but they wouldn’t be charged the advance fee because of it.” 

Luckily, Dave’s team picked up on the problem quickly, and were able to put checks and balances in place. They required drivers to submit a lumper receipt, then double-checked against the order information and the receipt to ensure the right amounts were being sent out, and fees were being applied where they should be.

Wrapping Up

Automation technology can revolutionize a trucking business, particularly if it frees staff of redundant, repetitive tasks. While all back office operations don’t necessarily need to be automated (and especially not all at once), the ones with the least amount of effort–but the biggest benefit to your company–should absolutely be considered. 

If you’re ready to begin automating more processes in your logistics or trucking company, reach out to us to learn more about our software solutions. 

To listen to the full podcast episode featuring Dave Dunn, click here.