Look up the definition of efficiency and you’ll find a few variations of this basic idea: getting the most done with the least amount of wasted effort or expense. A contractor tracking solution helps you do just that. In a well-organized and reliable way, these solutions make it possible for contractors to manage their operations with the utmost control and ease.
Why is efficiency suddenly on everyone’s radar these days? One reason could be that your inbox, as well as your competitor’s, is chock full of messages hawking the benefits of contractor tracking solutions--with efficiency usually somewhere near the top of the list. As advancements in technology have evolved, so has the concept of efficiency in the workplace. But efficiency really isn’t a benefit in and of itself. Efficiency is a goal.
Once the goal is achieved, you should see these byproducts, the built-in benefits, of operational efficiency:
- Cost reduction
- Process improvement
- Simplification and standardization
- Organizational growth
These benefits are a direct result of improved efficiency, and they are only possible with change.
Is Operational Efficiency One of Your Current Goals?
Maybe your day is so packed with routine tasks, putting out fires and trying to keep your projects on schedule and on budget, that you feel like you don’t have time to stop and think about your workflows and processes. There’s just no time to even assess if you need a tracking solution or not. But if you’re taking the time to read or scan this article, then most likely, you’re dealing with stuff on a daily basis that’s bogging you down and giving you indigestion.
Instead of reaching for another antacid, take a minute to go through these questions:
- Are you making multiple phone calls or sending texts throughout the day to find out where your haulers are?
- Are you often behind schedule because you can’t find reliable haulers quickly enough?’
- How frequently do your drivers make deadhead trips?
- Do bottlenecks and slow turn-around times drive you crazy?
- Do change orders throw everyone into chaos?
- Is it a pain to keep up with who-got-what-message when a change occurs?
- Does your back office have to chase down missing tickets?
- Are you tired of waiting months to get paid because the paperwork hasn’t been completed?
Congratulations! In just a minute or two, you completed an assessment of your operational efficiency. Granted, it’s not the most sophisticated way to measure where you stand, but you gained some valuable information. If even one of these scenarios rang true for you, making efficiency one of your business goals is a step in the right direction.
Read on to find out how you can leverage a contractor tracking solution to realize the benefits of improved efficiency. Because when you get right down to it, a contractor tracking solution is the most efficient tool you can use to hit the goal of efficiency.
Improve Efficiency in Key Areas with a Contractor Tracking Solution
As the name implies, a contractor tracking solution solves the problem of inefficiency hiding just under the surface in several key areas of a construction business:
- Hauling logistics
- Back-office functions
Although these areas are interdependent, if you want to improve efficiency without the help of a digital solution, you’ll need to focus your efforts on one area at a time. Once you’ve succeeded with one, you can move on to the next. The advantage of tapping into the power of a contractor tracking solution is that it integrates efficiencies, allowing you to experience positive results simultaneously across the board.
Hauling Logistics Run Smoother with a Contractor Tracking Solution
Hauling is the lifeblood of your operations. You want it flowing without any blockages. A digital logistics platform allows you to easily create a schedule, dispatch the appropriate number of drivers, stagger arrival times, manage load stacking, handle change orders and reroute drivers when necessary--all with just a few clicks. And if the contractor tracking solution you choose features a mobile app, you can manage your hauling from the jobsite, the office, or even from home.
- Cost reduction: Because a contractor tracking solution allows you to plan ahead, you’ll save money and time by eliminating deadhead trips and dispatching the right number of trucks to keep projects on schedule. By being able to stagger arrival times and reroute drivers when you see they aren’t on track, you’ll cut down on minutes wasted in line or prevent someone from getting lost or heading to the wrong jobsite. That saves on fuel costs and ensures every moment on the clock is spent moving projects forward. Plus, digital punch-in and punch-out for drivers means no more rounding up to the next quarter-hour. You’ll only pay for minutes of actual work. How does reducing your trucking cost by 2% for hourly work sound?
- Process improvement: Contractor tracking solutions replace time-consuming, clunky manual processes, with automated systems. By getting rid of whiteboards and paper, they streamline the scheduling and dispatching workflows to significantly shorten the time it takes to complete those tasks.
- Simplification and standardization: Customized fields and easy-to-use dashboards mean everyone is on the same digital page. This reduces confusion and ensures that all the relevant information is included with every job.
- Organizational growth: One of the most exciting benefits from switching to a digital management platform is your newfound insight into how to best use your trucks to scale your business. If you use the Trux solution, which gives you access to the nation’s largest network of technology-enabled dump trucks, you’re able to take on bigger projects without the capital expense of adding to your fleet.
Overhaul Communications with a Contractor Tracking Solution
Most contractors depend on phone calls or text messages to line up drivers for the day’s schedule--which can mean wasted minutes waiting on confirmation. Then after things get rolling, phones come into play for letting drivers, job sites and customers know about changes to the schedule. Each time, contractors hope that everyone got the necessary information. Contractor tracking solutions provide instant communication to all the relevant parties at the same time.
- Cost reduction: How many times have you had a driver sit in line waiting to pick up a load? Or how about when a bottleneck at a delivery site keeps your truck idling in line for way too long? These costly miles and minutes can be avoided by the real-time connection a digital solution provides. You’re alerted to the problem. Then based on all the information you have at your fingertips, you can react with confidence and send a message to everyone involved. Looking to get ahead of the issue? Scheduling with digital tools helps ensure you have the right volume of trucking on each job.
- Process improvement: Any time you’re able to remove unnecessary, repetitive steps from a process, you’re better off. Instant bulk communication eliminates a string of phone calls or text messages, plus it reduces confusion because you can include all the details about the job or change in one place. It’s easy for drivers to find the info they need to stay on schedule. Plus, dispatchers love being able to trust that the whole team has the information they need to get the job done.
- Simplification and standardization: Again, the messaging will look the same no matter who or where it comes from. This is just one more way a digital solution fixes communication breakdowns.
- Organizational growth: Contractor tracking solutions give you real-time information concerning the progress of each active driver. You can pass ETAs along to your customers. Keeping them informed and updated is a surefire way to increase customer satisfaction--which can translate into repeat business and referrals.
Empower the Back Office with a Contractor Tracking Solution
The back office is really at the mercy of the drivers. At the end of the day, both figuratively and literally, this team must have all the documentation they need to make sure everyone gets paid on time and that customers are paying the business. All too often, projects stay open for months creating frustration for haulers and headaches for the back-office. Contractor tracking solutions ensure that accurate data from the field reaches the back office team in an accurate, timely, and organized manner.
- Cost reduction: The most direct way a solution saves you dollars is simply by reducing the time the back office has to spend tracking down tickets and batching them. With a digital platform in place, drivers will upload their load slips throughout the day. The manual data entry step is taken care of automatically by the software. It can also automatically create and consolidate hauler invoices--another huge time-saver that can add up to 728 hours per year in time-savings.
- Process improvement: Doing away with spreadsheets and other paperwork leads to faster, more accurate and better organized record keeping. Both accounts receivable and accounts payable are streamlined by automated processes.
- Simplification and standardization: When hours, jobs, loads and costs are tracked in real-time and input digitally into your system, everything from verifying hauler routes to invoice generation is simplified. Taking out the processes that are vulnerable to human error makes standardization, well, standard.
- Organizational growth: Those saved hours mentioned above? In addition to impacting the bottom line, they free up team time to focus on more revenue-generating aspects of their job.
The Quickest Route to Efficiency
Can your business run efficiently without the help of contractor tracking solutions? Up to a point, yes. But we can’t deny the transformation of the digital revolution. Without an automated logistics platform with a robust set of digital tools, you’ll never run as efficiently as your competitor who uses one. Want to take a more in-depth look at gaining efficiency through a contractor tracking solution? A Trux demo is a great place to start.
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