The phone is ringing. Customers are hounding you. They want to know where their load is. You'd like to know too, but this is trucking and anything can happen on the road. Customers demand real data to handle delays, adjust personnel, and manage their gates and they're not easing up anytime soon. So you call your carriers. They tell you their driver is 20 minutes away from their destination. You want to believe them...but that was 20 minutes ago.
What do you do? What can you do?
These stressful situations are all too familiar. For decades, a lack of end-to-end visibility has plagued the trucking industry, continually costing transportation businesses millions of dollars and work-hours. Confusion, dishonesty, and excessive check calls have become the norm because the trucking industry still relies on bad data.
Bad Data Hurts Trucking
Anyone who's been in the game long enough knows any information coming over the phone is only as reliable as the driver behind the wheel. Any information you can doubt is bad data. Don't be fooled by your Transportation Management System (TMS) either, because most data coming through EDI from other brokers and carriers is also based on word of mouth. Dispatcher check calls? Best guesses. Guesses that add up to a stream of phone calls, emails, and damaged reputations.
Software solutions exist that are designed to stop the exchange of bad data, but they haven't been affordable or accessible. Shelling out the thousands (if not millions) of dollars to purchase tracking hardware and software is out of the question for the small-to-medium fleets literally driving America's economy. Larger fleets that can afford tracking and TMS find themselves stuck in long, expensive contracts which prevent them from trying newer, cheaper, and more efficient technologies. This older generation of enterprise-grade software is hurting competition and our economy by limiting available business for smaller fleets and forcing larger fleets to invest resources and human capital into overpriced, outdated technology.
Technological barriers for both small and large companies in the trucking industry have fostered an environment that creates bad data. When we purchase software, we assume it will provide increased accuracy and visibility, but if our software is being fed bad data from someone who can't afford comparable or compatible tools, the features we've paid arm and leg for aren't providing value. Bad data has become the industry standard as a result of this imbalance in technological access. We've accepted the fuzziness. We've told ourselves that the time we constantly waste on check calls and emails comes with the territory, but the truth is:
We don't have to.
The landscape has changed. We've witnessed the wide-spread adoption of powerful mobile technology at every level in the industry and teams can now exchange information online, in real-time, faster and cheaper than ever before. There's no longer any reason you and your customers should have to deal with the consequences of bad data. The trucking industry deserves data with integrity.
Data with Integrity, For All.
We've spent the last year working with some of the nation's largest shippers to build an accessible, affordable application to solve bad data. We call it Parade.
Parade offers EDI-compatible, track and trace services to carriers, brokers, shippers, and 3PL's of any size for free. Parade's unprecedented accessibility ensures anyone can receive the same, accurate data in real-time, providing unparalleled load visibility regardless of a company's budget.
Parade fits neatly into a team's pre-existing workflow and dramatically reduces the manual labor involved in getting loads from point A to point B. Carriers can use Parade to communicate back and forth directly with a customer's TMS software, gaining access to new business they may have lost in the past due to not having the required technology. Dispatchers and customers can use Parade to follow their loads end-to-end from any computer or mobile device, which means less check calls. And on the rare occasions a customer does call with their favorite question: "Where's my load?"
You'll really know. And that's data with integrity.
A better experience exists for transportation. Bad data shouldn't cost you when the right tools for the job already exist. At the end of the day, exchanging data with integrity isn't just better for business, it's better for trucking.