Covid-19 has transported businesses ten years into the future. Maybe more.
Trends that were already playing out before the crisis have rapidly accelerated. “Covid-19 has fundamentally changed how trucking companies work, all the way from 20 truck carriers up to 2,000 truck carriers,” says Steve Divitkos, Microdea CEO. “Technology adoption is increasing across the transportation industry as companies look for new and efficient ways to run their back office remotely and to minimize contact between their drivers and staff.”
The three big trends that come to mind in the transportation and logistics industry are mobile, digitization and automation.
In the 2010s the primary way people access the internet moved from desktop to smartphones. This shift made apps like Uber and Instagram possible and popular.
Now, the fact that almost every truck driver has a smartphone in their pocket is making it possible for them to submit paperwork from the safety of their cab using a mobile capture app.
During Covid this is helping keep drivers safe, minimizing contact between drivers and staff, and preventing the need to exchange physical paper.
This method for submitting paperwork was already on the rise because it cuts hardware expenses, makes life easier for drivers, kickstarts billing immediately upon delivery and, with the right TMS integration, eliminates indexing entirely.
Mobile was a trend before. It’s essential now. And it will become the standard in years to come.
For years, companies across industries have been undergoing digital transformations to avoid becoming the next Blockbuster or Sears. Companies with digital at their core, like Netflix and Amazon, are the future.
This was obvious before Covid-19, but has now become impossible to ignore. In light of the pandemic, trucking companies have scrambled to make their processes more digital and paperless to facilitate remote work and empower staff to keep things rolling from anywhere.
But this move is by no means new. Microdea, a document management and back-office automation software provider, has been helping trucking and logistics companies digitize their processes for the past 25 years. From invoicing, settlements and collections to accounts payable, driver documents and carrier contracts, Microdea helps companies streamline processes, increase efficiency and boost their bottom line by using digital technology and paperless solutions.
Covid has simply accelerated that future, leaving those who are standing still further behind than ever, in an old world to which we will not return.
A third and final megatrend that's been playing out for decades is automation.
When you make documents and data more digital, you create an opportunity to automate tasks that before had to be done manually. This is where trucking companies typically see the greatest and most immediate return on investment.
With workflow automation you can automate tasks like:
- Indexing and repetitive data entry
- Tagging document types
- Checking to see if billing documents have arrived
- Verifying amounts
- Creating and sending invoice packages
- Updating the general ledger and ERP systems
- Sending settlement sheets
- Sending collection reminders
- Distributing PODs or uploading them to customer portals
- Ingesting emails and email attachments
Imagine running a back office where all those tasks got done without anyone lifting a finger, with staff handling only exceptions.
That's the future trucking companies are accelerating toward at breakneck speed. That's how you increase cash flow while reducing costs. That's how you survive this recession and come out the other side with a leaner, more profitable operation that has the right systems in place to support rapid growth when the recovery comes.
Covid-19 has transported the transportation industry ten years into the future. If you can't say the same about your business, you're further behind than you think.
The Great Acceleration is upon us. It’s time to shift your transformation into high gear.
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