Over the course of the next five weeks, we will be exploring a series of topics to help contractors, fleet owners, material producers, and brokers create efficiency by improving dump truck logistics.
There are five key levers that impact dump truck logistics. Each post in this series explores one topic in-depth. By the end, you should come away with a greater understanding of what steps your company can take to improve trucking logistics and your bottom line - with the help of truck logistics software.
Here are the five key levers we’ll be diving into:
- Automated Creation and Consolidation of Hauler Invoices
- Electronic Scheduling and Hauler Communication
- Better Asset Utilization
- Paperless Ticketing and eTicketing
- Real-time and Historical Tracking
Improve Dump Truck Logistics Through Automated Creation and Consolidation of Hauler Invoices
It is all too common in the construction industry for projects to stay open for months. Teams have to wait for hauling invoices, load tickets, and other documentation to come through before projects can be closed out. This is a point of frustration for the back office and a constant source of stress for fleet owners. Paper documentation is easily lost or misplaced and getting paid relies on 100% of the paperwork getting turned in on-time. The reality of managing trucking invoices is often far from ideal. Starting with a better method for managing the paperwork is key to improving trucking logistics.
We have heard stories of contractors that close out a project, only to receive a hauling invoice for $20,000 - $50,000 weeks later. The ripple effects of poor trucking logistics management are felt dramatically in these situations. Your team will need to do some investigation work to determine if the invoice is valid and if so, how much you owe the hauler. In the end, it could turn out that you owe the hauler thousands of dollars, eating away at your margin - or - it could be that they double invoiced you.
There is a better way.
The best trucking logistics software is able to give you more visibility and accuracy for your trucking logistics. All job data is logged through a platform and can be easily tracked down for company-owned dump trucks and hired hauling. Fleet owners and brokers are able to trust that all load slips are accurately accounted for in the app, and depending on the logistics software you use, invoices may be automatically generated - saving fleet owners time and ensuring accuracy for contractors and material producers.
The savings seen by construction professionals leveraging logistics software is fueling growth and that starts with ensuring the back office can run smoothly. To learn more about how you can fuel growth for your company, jump to the first article in our series, “Back Office Efficiencies Fuel Business Growth”.
Electronic Scheduling and Hauler Communication Improves Overall Efficiency
There is nothing easy about dump truck logistics. There are many moving parts and things can change quickly! Dump truck drivers are constantly reassigned and rerouted throughout the course of the day. Every one of those change orders impacts the overall schedule and requires communication to the hauler. Haulers must be kept up to date with the latest information about where they need to route or reroute themselves. What is the most efficient way to communicate those changes? Certainly not text messages and endless phone calls.
Keeping track of these changes is difficult at best. Somehow, construction professionals have made due with whiteboards, pen and paper, and phone calls for decades. However, with growing demands on the industry and increasing customer expectations, the tried and true methods of organization are being tested.
For many fleet owners, contractors, material producers, and brokers the answer is technology. Dump truck logistics software is gaining traction among the nation’s top construction firms and material producers. Why? Because digitizing schedules allows for more organization.
With digital software, it is easy to create a schedule and manage changes throughout the day. Dispatchers are able to drag and drop haulers onto new assignments and send messages alerting them to any changes with just a few clicks. The second article in this series focuses specifically on why digitization is key to efficient dump truck logistics. We explore the downstream impacts of efficient scheduling and communication.
Better Asset Utilization Means More Profit
It isn’t enough to know that your dump trucks are out of your lot. To truly maximize your profits and master dump truck logistics, you need to know that your trucks are on the road earning a high enough rate to cover your costs.
Rather than having valuable assets sitting in a lot, what would it mean to you if you could look for work on an open marketplace? Think Uber for trucking. Connecting with more work in your area allows you to fill gaps in your schedule. And with a digitized schedule, you will be able to more easily identify where those gaps are. On the other hand, if you have a large project - or a project in jeopardy of not being completed on time - how much would it be worth to your business to access more trucks in a moment’s notice?
Whether your trucks are sitting empty or your project timelines are in jeopardy because you don’t have the trucks you need, creating better asset utilization allows you to ensure you are not leaving money on the table. Trucking logistics companies are creating easy solutions with mobile and desktop applications to improve your asset utilization. If you would like to learn more, part three of our series will focus specifically on whether inefficient asset utilization could be costing your company money.
Paperless Ticketing and eTicketing Are Timely Solutions for Inefficient Dump Truck Logistics
Paperless ticketing and eTicketing have been looming on the horizon with the construction industry for years. COVID-19 has forced the conversation to go mainstream. More and more material producers are placing an emphasis on establishing software that allows them to meet state DOT requirements and digitize their ticketing data.
These changes also have downstream impacts for construction companies and haulers. If you implement a truck logistics app that has eTicketing functionality, you will be one step ahead of your competition. Knowing the great emphasis material producers are placing on eTicketing makes it more likely you will be selected as a key partner if they know you are committed to modernizing the way you manage tickets.
As State DOTs scramble to establish guidelines, it can be difficult to navigate the changing environment. Leveraging a software solution may be the easiest way to quickly and easily comply with new state regulations. An investment now in software that enables eTicketing will be a good long-term strategy. Even though the pandemic has increased the pressure on the industry, this trend is one that is likely to continue well into the future. If you are interested in which states have posted guidelines, check out part four of this series.
Without Real-time and Historical Tracking How Do You Measure Dump Truck Logistics Efficiency?
The final lever we will be exploring in this five-part series is how to create more visibility in your trucking business management. This is often one of the first things we hear about from customers looking for a software solution to manage their fleet. They need more visibility.
It is important to keep track of your trucks throughout the day. Even more so, it is becoming important to the end customer to have increased transparency. As much as you don’t want to answer the question, “Where are my trucks?” - they don’t want to have to pick up the phone to ask.
Adopting truck routing software to see where your trucks are throughout the day helps keep fleets focused and jobs on track, but more importantly - it builds trust. The construction industry has had to rely on phone calls, text messages, and word of mouth for years to gauge productivity and establish relationships with partners.
When you introduce technology, the time it takes to trust a new vendor or to weed out vendors you don’t want to work with in the future is significantly reduced. The ability to establish good relationships quickly allows you to be more productive and take on more work.
Additionally, when you can easily provide up to date and accurate information about your performance, you are more likely to land repeat business and win more bids. We would not be surprised to see the expectations around transparency and visibility continue to increase in the coming years. The contractors, fleet owners, and brokers that adopt technology now will be the same people that see their profits continue to grow - even in potentially challenging times.
If you are interested in this high impact topic, take a look at our deep dive into how logistics visibility equals more profit for construction professionals.
Focusing on Logistics Now Will Improve Your Business For Years To Come
We are excited to dive deeper into dump truck logistics efficiency over the next five weeks. We hope the topics covered today and throughout the rest of the series will help you build a logistic business plan that promotes efficiency & collaboration for your internal teams and helps you build better relationships with your customers.