Running a business of any kind without data is unwise, and nearly impossible, to do well.
In an industry as volatile as truck transportation, where fuel costs can fluctuate by the hour, spot rates can rise or fall each day and high-dollar lanes can change on a weekly basis, up-to-date key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential for leaders to make decisions that help them capitalize on market opportunities and keep business profitable.
The categories in which companies require data about are as unique as each individual company. However, pre-built tools designed as a one-size-fits-all solution can cause users to drown in extraneous information that doesn’t serve their goals.
“Leadership has to know what is going on at all times,” said Behaija Dzananovic, president of Silver Trucking, a St. Louis-based full truckload and LTL carrier. “The easier it is to access valuable information, the faster you can respond to issues before they become major problems.”
Like many transportation companies, Silver Trucking was familiar with the traditional means of metrics tracking. In the past, the business had to manually search for data it wanted to view and import it into spreadsheets to trend and analyze.
This process wasn’t 100% reliable, and it cost employees precious hours each week to sort through the information they needed and correct inconsistencies; this time could have been spent interpreting that information and putting a plan into action to improve their operations.
Because metrics were a week or two old before the business had access to them, it was impossible to make real-time, informed decisions based on the current market, which could look very different from the previous week.
This changed with Ditat TMS’ new Company Dashboard feature, which allows users to automatically track their important business insights and gain valuable visibility at a glance, eliminating time-consuming manual tasks and decision-making based on old numbers.
“Ditat allows us to see the full picture immediately, and if detailed information is required we can pull the required reports and dissect it further,” Dzananovic said.
Just as important as how fast users can see their data is what information they see. With the ability to customize their dashboards, leadership can ensure they’re only viewing what metrics matter most to their individual business. Further, leaders have the ability to restrict or allow access to certain users based on their roles for an even more custom experience.
“What Dashboards does is help us grow our revenue,” Dzananovic said. “If we notice, for example, there is a dip in rate per mile, we could make a plan with dispatchers to prioritize certain lanes or look for higher-paying spot freight. It also helps us identify any issues with driver assignments. We can then contact drivers to discuss it with them and help them increase their miles.”
Silver Trucking is able to customize its Ditat Company Dashboard with key data such as:
- Gross revenue.
- Net revenue.
- Revenue per mile.
- Fuel gallons purchased.
- Amount spent on fuel.
- Average prices of fuel.
- Current driver and truck count and more.
Dzananovic also said Ditat allows the business to track all shipments from tender to payment, keep up to date with drivers, contractors, and equipment, and generate accurate settlements for all driver staff and contractors based on the correct pay plans for each group, saving employees time on payroll and other administrative tasks.
“Ditat is a well-rounded software provider, and its TMS allows us to focus on what we do best: transportation,” Dzananovic said.