Every transporter you meet in India, they are always on the phone and always busy. Busy chasing some loads, tracking what happened to delivery of a truck and so on. Everyone from dispatch clerk to manager and all the way to senior management are always working on a reactive mode. Every one is working on a day to day basis reacting to issues that come up. There is very little planning and pro active steps taken to improve operational efficiency.
Most of the times, transporters get to know of a problem either when their customers call them about late delivery or when they don’t get payment for a specific shipment. Typically, payment cycle is 30-60 days after the delivery of the shipment and knowing issues about delivery so late is not helping anyone.
In spite of growing business across geography with various branches/office, they use very little or no technology to manage operations. Most of their current technology is focussed on managing the payment / invoice and not on managing day to day operations. Hence, transporters cannot ensure consistency and service quality across all branches.
Another issue I see with transporters is that information is held with few people. Due to lack of processes and systems in place, even though a specific supervisor or manager knows information about a specific shipment, same information is not available to other people within the same organization and definitely not available to their customers (consignor or consignee).
Even though, transporters are struggling to provide best service to their customers and retain their customers, lack of systems and processes would prevent them from providing quality service. If any customer asks for information about number of shipments delivered on time without shortage or damage, transporters don’t have such information readily available to share with customer.
With internet penetration increasing and cost of technology coming down, it is right time to deploy technology to have control of operations and manage processes in an efficient manner.
Enterprise solutions that are available are too expensive and cost prohibitive and hence was a major entry barrier. Also, enterprise solutions required very time consuming implementation cycle. Now, with the availability of SaaS based solutions and cloud computing, entry barrier is low. Transporters can avail world class technology on a subscription basis. With this, they will be able to see the benefits immediately. With the transportation industry so fragmented, SaaS based solution can provide best technology solution for transporters and enable them provide good quality service to their customers