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Optimize Your TMS by Embracing Mobile Devices

Man Standing in Front of Transport Truck

Every smartphone these days comes with a camera, and even some telematics devices have cameras – why not start using this technology to help you get the most out of your TMS? Some Transportation Management Systems allow you to save images and pdfs so that all your important shipment information is in one place. Even better, some TMS can connect to your driver through an app or telematics device so that these digital images of important documents can be sent to the TMS right away, saving you time and effort on organizing your files.  If you haven’t explored this option already, here are a few reasons why you should consider giving it a try.

The Technology is Already Readily Available

Being competitive in trucking today often means adopting new technology that can help your drivers work more efficiently and safely. However, you may not be getting the most out of these devices. From separate telematics devices that stay with the truck, to mobile apps on cellphones, there are often many features that go undiscovered or are simply underused. One of those features is the camera. Some telematics providers have built-in camera functionality that allow your drivers to take photos of completed paperwork that can be sent as part of a Trip’s Workflow. Other telematics providers have chosen to develop mobile apps for drivers, which can leverage all the functions available on smartphones, including cameras. Even more conveniently, TMS providers are coming out with mobile apps for drivers that act as companion apps to their dispatching software. These apps allow your driver to snap pictures of completed paperwork that gets saved to their current Trip, which then gets sent directly to the dispatching software – collecting paperwork can’t get any easier than that!

Saves Stress for Drivers and Dispatch

While Driver’s trip envelopes certainly still serve a purpose, the process of collecting, storing, and retrieving physical paperwork can often be a source of stress for drivers who are already dealing with challenging driving conditions and long hours on the road. Creating an immediate digital copy may be an extra step in your driver’s workflow, but the relief of knowing that the information has been stored and, in some cases, immediately sent back to dispatch outweighs any additional work they may have to do. Giving your drivers tools that can eliminate the stress of managing paperwork is a great way to improve working conditions for those behind the wheel, and the dispatchers that work alongside them.

Reduces Departmental Backlogs

Waiting on important information from other teams can often grind your company’s workflow to a halt. Less efficiency ultimately means less money. Creating a digital copy of important documents using cameras on smart phones or telematics devices allows this information to be provided immediately to the people who need it. Your safety departments, billing departments, and dispatching teams will be able to carry on with their duties of creating, managing, and processing trips and assets without waiting for drivers to return to a terminal. This often means you can close trips sooner, process payments sooner, and invoice customers sooner… so you can calculate your profits sooner.

Creates a Digital Library of Information

The best way to organize and store your digital copies of important documents is to leverage a powerful TMS system. This will allow you to first store documents, then save the documents to relevant areas of your dispatch software so that they can be referenced later. This can be anything from saving a POD to an Order, to saving a copy of a driver’s documents to that driver’s profile. You can even save important equipment documents to your trucks, trailers,and other assets. While some trucking companies may find that using a file system on their computer or network may be sufficient, you will see the best returns for your efforts by using an optimized Transportation Management System to store and catalog your documents.

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However you choose to maintain your important trucking documents, you should always ensure that you keep a complete library that is easy to search in case you need to reference those documents again. While paperwork is often an inconvenient part of the job, it is necessary to ensure that your business is running smoothly. Incorporating modern camera technology, available in smart phones and telematics devices that are already present in your business, is an excellent way to stay competitive and agile in the trucking industry.

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