An Internet connection makes it is possible to access the full features of nearly any TMS system, but people expect to be able to use information differently in a mobile environment. They want to see it presented in a clear, summarized fashion and be able to perform quick, simple tasks.
Such was the case when Chris Hummer, vice president of Don Hummer Trucking, recently used a mobile app while talking to a carrier that does business with its freight brokerage operation. Don Hummer Trucking is one of more than 120 motor carriers and brokers that use McLeod Anywhere.
The carrier raised a question about an order. Using his mobile device, Hummer pulled up an image of the invoice that the carrier had sent in and viewed other information about the order. The questions were answered immediately, while both people were out of the office.
Hummer says the app helps him and other managers at the 200-truck carrier based in Oxford, Iowa, stay on top of exceptions called Rapid Alerts. Users get an instant notification and can take the necessary steps to clear the alert while away from their desks.
The current version of McLeod Anywhere lets users view information from the LoadMaster and PowerBroker TMS systems as well as create and edit orders, dispatch trucks, and send electronic funds to drivers, among other interactive features.
Clay Murdock, president of Doug Andrus Trucking, keeps a close eye on his business’ performance by using the McLeod Anywhere mobile app. The 280-truck carrier based in Idaho Falls, Id., uses an optional module called Vital Signs to monitor key performance metrics for deadhead, miles and revenue.
“I am really passionate about it. Maybe so passionate that it drives my wife crazy because when we are on a date I’m always checking to see where we are at and what is going on,” he said. “I just love (Vital Signs). It consumes you because you really want to know where you are at right now. It’s been a great asset for our company.”
TMW Systems is in the final stages of development for a mobile app called TMW Go. The app, designed for both Apple and Android devices, will give fleet managers instant access to load status and order summary information viewable on a map from ALK Technologies. Companies can set up individual filters, views and reports for each mobile user, says Brad Young, a product manager for TMW Systems.
The company also announced it is working to make the user experience for its enterprise software more closely resemble that of mobile devices.
“You expect a user experience that guides you in understanding the app, one that presents information in a logical way that applies to what you need to do at that moment,” said David Wangler, president of TMW.
“Our goal is to enable a new customer to start working with their TMW enterprise software within hours of installation because it has been pre-configured to employ the best practices for their type of business.”
The Internet Truckstop is developing mobile apps that will integrate with its web-based TMS platform, Real Time Freight. Brokers and carriers that use the TMS can extend these mobile apps to their shipper customers as well as drivers for a direct line of communication, says Trent Broberg, general manager of Real Time Freight.
For brokers that use Real Time Freight, the branded mobile apps can be used to negotiate rates with carriers, tender loads, and track shipments electronically. Real time Freight is also integrated with the load board and freight matching services of Internet Truckstop.
Because Real Time Freight is web-based, users can search for and post available loads, trucks as well as track shipments using any device with a web browser.
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