Recently, the software companies started to realize the significance of a good software system for the owners, managers and employees at trucking companies. This resulted in various attempts to revolutionize the trucking software world, some of them quite unsuccessful. Currently, there are hundreds of various software packages available to try and buy, and each of them offers particular features to the users. However, our research in the matter discovered that only 4 of the existing web-based software packages offer every possible feature and can be used by more than 1000 employees simultaneously, compared to only 2 installed software packages with the same characteristics. Below you can find all the features these software packages offer and why they are important for your trucking company.
Number of Users
When it comes to selecting trucking software, you will need to know how many people in your company will be using it simultaneously. Make sure to add some extra people to the actual number as business expands and new employees are always an option and you will be in trouble if the number of people in your company becomes more than what the software can support. Currently, the different packs support different number of users: 1; 2-9; 10-49; 50-99; 100-499; 500-999; 1000+. For now, only 6 software packs support 1000+ users.
As for deployment of the trucking software system, there are two options – web-based or installed. We prefer and recommend the web-based options as it can be accessed from everywhere and from various devices. If your drivers need to access the software system on the road, they can do so through tablets, smartphones and laptops, or from a computer in a hotel/motel which does not have the software installed. On the other hand, those software packs that require installation will still require Internet access in order to synchronise, but will be accessible only through devices where they have been already installed. It is needless to say that they are highly unlikely to support installations on tablets or mobile devices.
There are various features that the software pack can provide your trucking company with. We will list and explain all of them here so that you can check if the software you are examining supports those you need. As mentioned above, only 6 software packs currently offer all the features that we will mention below and can be used by more than 1000 people simultaneously. 3 more products offer them and support fewer users at a time.
Accounting Management – if you are dealing with accounting on the road, better consider an Internet-based trucking software pack. Whether you choose Internet-based or installed pack, you will certainly need it to have accounting management support. This means that everything regarding your trucking company will be at one place – in the program, so you will not get confused by several accounts, software packages and programs.
Billing & Invoicing – it is good to have this feature in your trucking software management because you will be able to directly send a bill or invoice to the client while you are sending a truck or trucks off. This and the account management system will help you tie everything together and facilitate the management and organization of your company.
Bills of Lading – needless to say, if you have opted in for the above two features, you’d better have software that can issue bills of lading, too. It will contribute to the simplification of the whole process and will save you time and resources.
Client Database – once you have worked with a client, it will be easier for both them and you to save their details in your system. Not every system offers to create a client database, but this is a useful feature and your clients will appreciate not spending time giving you their details again and again. You will also be able to ask your clients if they agree to receive newsletters and other promotions and use the data in the database to distribute them
Dispatch Interface – the dispatch interface is a really important feature and its design is crucial for the smooth work of your trucking company. Imagine dispatch interface where you cannot understand anything at all – this will slow down the whole process of dispatching and create confusion and problems. Always check the dispatch interface when choosing trucking software for your company – it must be easy to use and user-friendly.
Driver Compliance – some of the trucking software packs give you the opportunity to save information regarding your drivers and trucks and when the time for dispatching comes, you can search for a driver who is capable to perform the task directly from the system. Driving hours, tonnage, experience, last long rout etc. can be some of the search options.
Driver Data – this feature will help you manage your drivers and add more exhaustive information about them. You can have a personal file for every driver and update it regularly with their achievements, characteristics, routes, trucks, accomplished tasks etc.
Driver Logs – in the driver logs you can see when the drivers have left or arrived, when are their next routes and other information. Some trucking software packs allow you to customize the logs, others come pre-defined. Check out this feature carefully, because it may turn of much use and provide you with the convenience you need.
Expense Tracking – one of the most important features a trucking software pack can provide you with is expense tracking. This will show you what you pay for and how much exactly you pay and will give you precious insights about how to cut off some unnecessary expenses.
Fuel Optimization – this feature is of much use for the drivers as it will help them manage the levels of fuel and ‘use’ it economically and efficiently. If the fuel optimization feature is working properly, it will help you pay much less for fuel than before.
IFTA Reporting – with this feature you will be able to track the mileage of each driver, monitor the activity of your fleet and calculate the taxes you are currently liable to.
Maintenance Scheduling – maintenance is something you can easily forget when your mind is somewhere else and there is much confusion in the company, but the tracking software packs that support this feature will remind you when it is necessary to perform it. You will get notifications and reminders so that you can make sure everything is in order.
Mapping – with the mapping feature you are practically having a GPS system that will allow you to choose the best possible route for a delivery or task and will give you a lot of options on the road – zooming in maps, showing a lot of details etc.
Mileage Tracking – this feature may be similar to the IFTA Reporting but it may be quite useful if you want to have statistics only for the mileage covered for your drivers. It will precisely and accurately count the miles and give you regular statistics.
Route Optimization – finding a better route will help you deliver faster and use less fuel. This feature is a must for every trucking software pack out there, so make sure you get it when choosing one.
To cut a long story short, there are a lot of features and functions you should require when looking for software for your trucking company. Make sure you choose with attention, because there are really expensive and useless packs and, again, there are a lot of really good trucking software programs that are quite affordable. Good luck!