Contractors, material producers, brokers and fleet owners are facing an uphill battle these days. Supply chain delays, labor shortages, and COVID-19 have severely impacted the industry. Can somebody help these businesses catch a break? Profitability for businesses in the construction industry can be tough in this climate, and expansion and growth can be even harder.
While there are so many factors across most industries, including construction, that are out of the control of managers and business owners, there are things that can be controlled, including implementing a technology solution to create operational efficiency.
But first, let’s look at what operational efficiency actually means. Operational efficiency measures the ratio “between an output gained from the business and an input to run a business operation. When improving operational efficiency, the output to input ratio improves.” To put it simply, it means that you get more out of each activity than an individual worker has to put in. Creating operational efficiency can help almost every aspect of your dump truck or construction business.
Two common ways to increase your company’s operational efficiency is with the “same for less” principle or the “more for same” principle. With “same for less”, the output stays the same (you’re still delivering the same amount of loads at the end of the day), but with less effort, resource, or energy put into it. With the “more for the same” principle, company’s have a bigger output (more dump truck loads delivered each day!), but without exerting any extra effort, resources, or energy.
Operational efficiency can be increased painfully, or seamlessly. With a strong technology solution, built specifically for the trucking and construction industry, you can get your team members on board. To learn more about the ways in which a technology solution can create operational efficiency for your organization, keep reading!
Roadblocks to Operational Efficiency
There are a few key areas that slow operations down for even the best trucking and construction companies:
Scheduling & Dispatching
Visibility Into Operations
Add to that: labor shortages, parts and equipment shortages and you have a recipe for an operational disaster. While technology can’t solve every challenge that your operations face - it can help in a few critical areas.
Scheduling & Dispatching
Whiteboards, spreadsheets, constant phone calls, and text messages are not the most efficient ways to manage your dispatching - even if you have been using them for years. They’re hard to track, and making a mistake is easy. With digital dispatching software, you can schedule and dispatch drivers with the click of a button.
There are many dispatching trucking software products that are available for trucking and construction companies. Many of the products have different features that contribute to your company’s operational efficiency. Looking for a solution can be daunting with all of the options, but we suggest prioritizing these features:
- Real-Time GPS Tracking: Keeping track of where your trucks and haulers are is an essential part of building operational efficiency into your business. You can instantly tell if everyone is where they’re supposed to be, but more importantly, you have visibility.
- Route Optimization: Traffic is the worst. One bad traffic accident or closed road can instantly impact your drivers’ whole days. Effectively managing your trucks’ routes means the software will find the best routes based on different variables such as road conditions, traffic, weather, type of vehicle and much more. This feature helps you reduce fuel costs, drivers’ hours, and overall operating costs.
- Centralized Communication: A digital dispatch system with the ability to instantly message an individual or group cuts down on the number of individual messages your dispatcher has to send. It also enables truck dispatchers to keep everyone on the same page, with the same information.
- Data & Analytics: Streamlined scheduling and dispatching with the help of software can create operational efficiency almost instantly. With a deeper dive into data and analytics, the opportunity to create even more operational efficiency only increases. Software that has opportunities for custom or automated reporting gives you a chance to look at the small details or big picture, after the fact, and implement changes to your processes.
Visibility Into Operations
We’ve all heard it before: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The best way to manage your trucking operations and your business operations is by getting visibility into them. The art of creating operational efficiency in your construction and trucking business relies on an understanding of what is happening in the back office, on the road, at the plant, and at each job site.
Dispatch and the back office of a trucking or construction company is often labeled as the command center of your operation. With the help of technology, your command centers can run with insight into where trucks are and how they’re progressing through the day.
A digital solution also provides instant and accurate information, reducing human error. With a dump truck solution for haulers, dump truck drivers can punch in and out digitally, giving your team access to exact punch-in data in real-time. Allowing you to pay haulers for every minute they are on the clock.
A trucking logistics tracker also means truckers can upload their load slips digitally, instead of the manual processes of turning in their load slips at the end of the day. The back office not only appreciates not having to collect and batch tickets, but it helps back offices move away from a paper processing environment.
A logistics tracker solution makes sure that nothing is lost in transit. The software then takes this information and automatically creates invoices. Some solutions even consolidate the invoices for haulers, streamlining the invoice creation process even more. With visibility like this, your business has a competitive advantage over competitors who aren’t leveraging digital solutions.
Asset utilization is a big part of improving efficiency and profit margins. Are you getting the most you possibly can out of the dump trucks that you own?
Tracking asset utilization and resource allocation is important for two main reasons:
- Increasing the hours that each truck is out on the road and full of material is one tactic to steer your business toward more operational efficiency.
- Knowing how many hours each of your trucks is in use gives you valuable insights into planning for truck repairs and preventive maintenance that can be completed during the slower construction seasons like winter.
With better asset utilization and visibility from a trucking solution, your dump trucks may be able to complete additional loads every day -- without necessarily spending any more time on the road than they usually would.
Here are a few ways that a GPS tracking solution and trucking technology can improve your asset utilization:
Invoicing is a core business process for dump truck companies. Organizing and collecting invoices from your third-party haulers is not an easy task -- it can increase work for back-office teams, and unnecessary costs can be incurred if it isn't done in a timely manner.
With technology, digital invoicing builds operational efficiencies and contributes to more transparent business processes. Both dump truck owners and those contracting dump trucks for projects benefit from digital invoicing.
With Trux, anyone who has hired dump trucks through the Trux Marketplace will receive one invoice per week for all their hired trucking. Trux compiles all trucking into one document your team can download and organize.
As a dump truck owner, collecting payment for all of your hard work can be challenging. For many haulers, waiting 60 or 90 days to get paid can put your business in jeopardy. Trux’s trucking solution pays truckers the week after they perform a job via direct deposit.
Aside From Operational Efficiency, The ROI of Technology Can Be Impactful
For most contractors hauling is a needed part of their work but it isn’t necessarily a profit center for the business. With technology in place, the worst-case scenario is that you make your life easier.
In the best case scenario you see a 6-12X ROI if you leverage all aspects of theTrux's trucking logistics platform. Prioritizing projects and solutions with high ROI is the best way to deliver maximum value to your organization.
In order to calculate the ROI of a logistics solution, it’s important to understand the following things about your trucking and construction business:
Interested in learning more about how to calculate the ROI of a logistics solution?
Build Operational Efficiency with Trux
Trux helps contractors, brokers, material producers, and dump truck owners improve their business processes and financial viability while maximizing valuable time and building greater efficiency.
Trux Find enables businesses to access the nation’s largest dump truck marketplace, where businesses can search for dump trucks to help with projects and dump truck drivers can look for work.
Trucking Software Built Specifically for Dump Trucks
Trux provides an extra level of process automation, with the same input, by being a dump truck specific technology solution.
If you manage dump trucks, for example, are there fields that allow you to specify the type of dump truck? Can you easily bulk reorder for long-term projects? How about being able to include specific instructions for the drivers such as which gate at a jobsite to use? Can your dispatcher stagger arrival times or loadstack?
This kind of functionality in truck scheduling software is necessary for your business to run smoothly. Don’t settle for a generic trucking logistics software that doesn’t meet your specific needs.
Trux understands the unique requirements of short hauls for heavy construction.
What Are You Waiting For? Get Started Today!
You shouldn’t wait to start increasing your company’s operational efficiency. Building technology into your operational strategy today. Everyday that your business is leveraging technology for operational efficiency can positively impact your bottom line. Reach out to talk to one of Trux’s experts today.
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