Tom McLeod: Slow growth is an opportunity

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Updated Sep 30, 2011

Mc Leod

The prospect of having the economy grow slowly for months, perhaps even years ahead, offers an opportunity for transportation companies to succeed by making incremental improvements, said Tom McLeod, chief executive officer of McLeod Software.

During the opening session of McLeod Software Users’ Conference, September 25-27 in Chicago, Tom McLeod offered numerous suggestions for motor carriers and brokerage firms to fine tune their operations.

McLeod suggested using lane and customer profitability analysis tools to make daily changes in business operations. He also said technology can improve the effectiveness of people and eliminate waste from non value-added activities through automation and management by exception.

Technology should also be used to drive down deadhead and out-of-route miles and effectively collect fuel surcharges, detention and other accessorial costs. It can also help support drivers by better managing home time and compliance, he said.

“Companies using the information to make decisions are the ones growing and doing well,” McLeod said.

Similar to other technology providers in the transportation industry, McLeod Software has experienced record growth in 2010 and plans to set a new record for 2011. The company has added almost 50 new employees since last year and now has more than 600 active customers, he said.

McLeod attributes the company’s record growth to several factors. One is the pent-up demand for technology following the economic downturns in 2008 and 2009. The company has also expanded into the brokerage, freight management and less-than-truckload software markets through organic growth and strategic acquisitions.

One of the company’s most recent initiatives aims to fill the void for mobile executives. McLeod Software is developing new applications for the Apple and Android platforms that will pull information from the LoadMaster and PowerBroker software systems.

Another recent initiative is to create new business intelligence and analytical tools that customers can use to monitor and score employee productivity. The company also plans to develop configurable workflow-style tools that can be used to manage critical business processes such as hiring and terminating drivers, he said.