Let me paint you a picture.
You’re in your office – maybe it’s a home office, maybe you have a business location with a handful of team members, or you’re big enough for a full scale office building.
Regardless, you’re at the office, and you’re scrambling. A customer – big or small – called and they want to know about their bill of lading. Or maybe they’re asking about the invoice for their shipment. Or they want the documentation about their specialty shipment.
Whatever it is they want, you have a problem.
You can’t find it.
Someone filed it somewhere, you’re pretty sure, but where they filed it and how you can find it right now is the big worry on your mind. You might have kept the customer on the phone while you looked, but if you don’t find that document soon, you’ll have to tell them you’ll call them back or email it to them when you get it.
You probably won’t tell them the reason you don’t have an immediate answer for them is because you can’t find one pesky piece of paper, but they’ll know anyway.
Small or large, all freight brokers run into the same growing pains. Systems that worked when the brokerage was small (or just smaller) don’t scale with your business as it grows. A one or two (wo)man team can take care of a handful of shipments with plain old pen and paper tracking, but to grow, you need something more sophisticated.
Imagine a different scenario.
That same customer calls, wanting to know some details about a specific document.
Instead of hunting through your filing cabinets, or emailing your assistant, Carol, you can just click in to your BrokerWare™ portal, search for the customer’s name, and find the exact document they’re asking about.
In a matter of seconds, you’ve found the document, answered their question, and the customer has left the call feeling confident about their choice to use you for their freight shipment needs.
That’s what a transportation management system should do for your brokerage.
There’s plenty of day to day needs that your brokerage has that a TMS should be able to handle for your business without a hitch.
But it’s that moment when you really, really need a piece of information right now that differentiates the software that gets you by, and the software that helps set you apart.
You’ll still need to manage the filing of physical documents, but why worry about where they are once they’re filed when you could have digital copies right at your finger tips?
Why print out each document, each time, for each customer, when you could generate them digitally and email them to the customer for each shipment?
Save time, save paper, save that ridiculously expensive printer ink.
Plus, your customers feel informed about their shipment, which builds trust in your freight brokerage – meaning more repeat business.
When you first started your brokerage, it was fine to have stacks of papers on your desk that were related to all of the shipments you managed.
Maybe you were a bit more technologically sophisticated, and scanned in or created digital copies of the documents you needed, sorting them on your computer into tidy folders. Maybe those tidy folders are covering your entire desktop wallpaper, because the good intentions you had for organization went out the window as your business grew.
There’s a better way.
Stop cluttering your desktop with folders for each of the customers you manage, and actually see that nice picture of your family that you set as the background two years ago.
Instead, let your TMS organize it all for you. Assign documents to shipments or customers, and let the software do the heavy organizational lifting for you.
Manage a team that needs access to all of these things? No problem. Each user you grant access to within your BrokerWare™ portal gets access to exactly what you allow them to – so they can manage the documentation they need to, and you can still see it all at a high level.
Organizing documentation for your brokerage in an efficient, easy to access way that’s accessible online, anywhere, does more than just make your office more efficient.
Your customers are able to access the information relevant to them, too.
When you use a TMS such as BrokerWare™, you can provide a customer portal for your clients to log in to and check on their shipments.
That scenario from earlier? It never had to happen at all. The customer could have logged in and checked for the document they needed themselves, saving you the time of taking the call and looking it up.
Sure, they can still call and ask you to do it, and it’ll still be a matter of seconds to find the document you need.
But giving your customers the option to find the information they need, when they need it, is something they’ll appreciate in a major way.
There’s a reason our customers rate us as the #1 software for transportation management.
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