How to Select Technology For Your Freight Brokerage
With new technology that is launched in logistics and transportation, there are many options available for freight brokerages that are looking to transform and gain a competitive advantage. Powerful technological tools that were once considered expensive or difficult to implement in the transportation industry have now been helping companies increase their current profit margin and one that could be available to them with the help of digitization. Every year, new technology is released faster, cheaper, and more efficient than what many traditional freight brokers previously had access to. With recent events such as last year's spread of Covid-19 speeding up this process significantly. In the midst of all of this unfamiliar territory, are you wondering how to decide which service is best suited for you? Here are some key features any 3PL should be looking for when pursuing a tech upgrade.
A basic necessity for all logistics services looking to increase efficiency, implementing automated services can save you valuable time and effort, as well as streamlining many processes that no longer need to be done by you. Automated features related to manual taskwork and billing/invoice information can be handled faster and with less probability for error. If you are interested in increasing capacity, automation is a simple yet crucial step.
Reports & Analytics Tools
A major tool that should be included in your toolbox, being able to generate predictive reports and readings can be considered a significant asset in an industry that highly values "knowing." Robert Sutton of BNSF Logistics has this to say on that: "The biggest challenge in the industry is knowing, and having visibility, to match the best load to best carrier to do that load." Having more information at your disposal can only be beneficial, and it allows for the best decision making when it comes to your freight brokerage.
To maintain your business's competitive edge, embracing integration may seem undesirable at first to brokers who question the value of sharing their information, but in fact, integrating has more to offer than not. Think of this: a secure integration done through your chosen product shares information that you want shared; for example, when conducting EDI transactions. Integration offers brokers the increased ability to stay on top of demand, collaborate with ease, and ultimately increase their profit. Allowing your technology to share your offers and needs with other parties gives you wider reach and introduces other parties to you as well.
Having access to real time market data and being able to view deliveries in real time is a massive feature that is almost expected now of many businesses, due to customers being used to online shopping services such as those offered by Amazon. Solution providers that offer digital management services as a logistics control tower, instant quoting, real-time dispatch notifications, tracking services, e-document management and more are able to offer their customers higher rates of satisfaction and visibility.
Navigating software that is user-friendly and has an easy-to-understand interface is an underrated asset. It isn’t the most important facet of your tech, but it is something that will impact your use of the product and potentially hinder you as well. The user interface can absolutely affect the customer’s experience, as an engaging UI won’t leave them frustrated and finding it inconvenient to return. And as your business expands, so will the volume of data that needs to be organized; with more volume, organization becomes increasingly important. Having grown leaps and bounds in the industry, our technological ability has come far enough that your new technology should be simple to adopt and feel convenient to use. Why settle for less?
Strategic Pricing Tools
The success of a freight brokerage depends on its ability to identify the most cost effective carriers for each of the shipments their customers connect them with. The goal is to maximize profit margin without sacrificing service levels. Strategic pricing tools are especially important when your freight brokerage begins to scale. The Dynamic Smart Rate stays on the cutting edge of automated pricing and enables brokers to capture more bids and win more business. Even if a broker has booked trucks for a specific lane for years, having access to real-time data allows brokers to adjust their pricing based on rate fluctuations or sudden changes. For brokers who run and manage RFP events to identify carriers who best match the transportation needs of multiple customers or lanes. Traditionally, collecting and selecting carriers through an RFP event is a time consuming and manual process. Broker software that has the Dynamic RFP capability allows freight brokerages to remain flexible in volatile markets.
Speed of Implementation
While speed of implementation is not necessarily a feature that brokers can easily identify. There are a few ways you find this out for yourself. First and foremost, you can ask the solutions providers how long initial onboarding and implementation has taken in the past with recent customers. Next, evaluate the complexity of the solution. Has the solution provider given enough information and resources to deploy the software and educate key stakeholders. Speed of implementation is often overlooked which results in companies waiting months or even years to fully implement the new technology and see ROI.
Modularity & Ability to Scale
Another feature that may not be so easy to identify is whether a solution is modular. This is especially important for companies that expect to scale or rapidly grow. A majority of existing solutions are highly targeted. This results in companies needing to look and implement an entirely new solution. Time, money, and productivity can be lost during this transition period. By considering long term and modular solutions, you are ensuring a smooth transition as your company continues to grow.
If you’re searching for a powerful broker software that truly complements and optimizes your freight brokerage, check out ZUUM Automated Broker. With ZUUM Automated Broker, freight brokers can automate freight management, increase on-time delivery performance, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve higher profits to accelerate growth. Click here to learn more about available pricing.