Auto Transport Software is a term often used in the car hauling industry. But what does it really mean? Depending on who you ask, it can be a specific tool, an entire platform, or a general phrase for all technology used by auto transport companies. This can be really confusing, especially if you are new to the industry or trying to implement a specific technology. And before you can decide which technology to leverage, you first need to know what the types of auto transport software are and which make the most sense for your business.
Here we will walk you through the different types of auto transport software, what they mean, and why Carriers and Shippers might need them.
When most organizations mention an auto transport software, they most frequently are referring to a Transportation Management System (TMS). A TMS is technology that helps businesses track and manage loads, gain visibility into your operation, manage billing and invoices, and automate manual workflows. Or to put it more simply, it helps both Shippers and Carriers move cars easier and run their businesses more effectively.
In an Ohio State study, 92% of executives across the transportation industry said that a TMS is their most critical tool for their business.”
Most TMS partners have a Carrier TMS and a Shipper TMS solution to fit specific needs within the auto transport industry. This helps each segment of auto transport communicate more effectively, increase performance visibility, and build better operational processes. A more advanced TMS will include integrations into other important technology like accounting software or a CRM, as well as, direct connection to important tools like a load board or mobile app.
If you aren’t currently leveraging a TMS for your business, it is worth starting that journey. In an Ohio State study, 92% of executives across the transportation industry said that a TMS is their most critical tool for their business. There are a lot of Carrier and Shipper TMS offers in the industry, so make sure you know what your TMS needs are and then find that right partner to help you fill those gaps with their TMS.
The second most common auto transport software reference is the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). A CRM is a very common tool used across many different industries and does just what the name suggests – helps organizations manage relationships with their customers or prospective customers.
When trying to identify which CRM works best for your organization, first look into CRM and TMS or load board connection abilities.”
While a CRM is a well-known type of auto transport software, it is more commonly beneficial to Shippers like an auto transport broker. As carriers get a majority of their customers through load boards, brokers are dependent on efforts generating leads through website traffic, lead list renting, and marketing campaigns. So a CRM is instrumental in the success of an auto transport broker as it streamlines the management of gaining, managing, and nurturing customer leads. Examples of commonly used CRMs in auto transport are Salesforce and jTracker.
Carriers can leverage a CRM, as well. The best use case as a carrier is to implement a CRM if you tend to operate with a lot of direct customers and need help streamlining the sales process.
When trying to identify which CRM works best for your organization, first look into CRM and TMS or load board connection abilities. This not only helps you truly streamline your workflows, but helps build a more accurate and efficient business management process.
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool has typically been used by car haulers to help centralize processes, increase performance visibility, and manage accounting. It’s mostly popular amongst general freight and supply chain management, but car haulers have leveraged an ERP usually when they are starting out.
…MercuryGate study found that more than 86% polled respondents said that an ERP alone is not enough to manage transportation.”
While an ERP makes big promises to being a one-stop shop to manage transportation, it continually falls short to the abilities of a TMS. And while the ERP features are targeted to fit finance and accounting needs, it still doesn’t provide as much financial and business visibility as the TMS.
If you’re an existing ERP user and find that it has been beneficial to your needs, then it might be worth keeping. However, the MercuryGate study found that more than 86% polled respondents said that an ERP alone is not enough to manage transportation. So if you’re looking to keep your ERP, considering integrating with a TMS to really boost and scale your business. If you’re looking for a more cost effective solution, check out a more advanced TMS that is part of a car hauler platform, and therefore comes with even greater capabilities.
There are many types of technology built to help your auto transport business, but not all are necessarily equal. Now that you are able to define the different tools and features, you can begin the process of finding the right auto transport software for you.Published on December 8, 2020
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