Like most trucking owner-operators, you’ve heard a lot about trucking management software ( TMS) systems and how they help you save money. Still not convinced about the advantages? Okay, let’s look at a few of the costliest mistakes trucking companies make and how a TMS helps you avoid them. You’ll be glad you took the time to check out this information.
Mistake #1: Not managing cash flow or overextending.
Mismanaged cash flow is one of the main reasons many start-up trucking businesses fail. The list of costs is extensive and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. First, there’s the vehicle expense. Then, it’s insurance, maintenance, repairs, fuel costs, fees, taxes, and more. Your budget is so tight, one small mishap can put you in the red for months. So, you need to know where your money is going and how to cut back on spending.
Here are a few ways a TMS helps you manage expenses/cash flow:
- Automated invoicing helps you get paid sooner. Your invoices are accurate and generated right away. The system also alerts you about overdue invoices so you can be sure to get paid.
- Tracks vehicle maintenance. Routine maintenance prevents unexpected repairs that can reduce your cash flow. When you avoid breakdowns, your customers are happier and this can translate to repeat business. Furthermore, a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel which can result in significant savings.
- Prevents compliance fees or penalties. Automatic IFTA/IRP reporting keeps you on top of quarterly taxes so you aren’t faced with late payment fees or downtime. Plus, it makes roadside inspections easier because all the information the inspector needs is all in one place.
Knowing the cost of fuel and how much you bought is only a fraction of the information you need for making a profit. Of course, you already know this. But you need a TMS to help you use this knowledge in the most efficient, profitable way.
Mistake #2: Not knowing your real cost per mile.
You make a profit by knowing the cost per mile and charging more than that to your customers. Sounds simple. But, what if your figures are wrong? You can’t tell the customer you must charge more than quoted because you made a mistake. But if you’re still using the old school methods (pen and paper) of tracking expenses, it’s easy to miss something and end up losing money. This affects your cash flow and can leave you without the funds to take on another job.
However, with TruckingOffice, you can generate company overview reports and profit and loss statements to see at a glance where your company stands financially. With this data, you can create a realistic business plan.
Mistake #3: Inefficient route planning.
Of course, saving time and cutting fuel use is the holy grail of trucking. Inefficient dispatching can cause late deliveries and added mileage which can cut into your profits. But sometimes things happen on the highways that you didn’t count on. Accidents, bad weather, and traffic jams are unpredictable and can cost you time and money. Having a TMS that also tracks your customers will give you easy access to their contact information to keep your customers up to date on delays.
One of the great features of our TMS is that it helps dispatch plan routes that reduce driving time and mileage. The vehicle location data allows dispatch to assign loads and reduce deadheading.
Ready to Learn More About our TMS?
A TMS can be vital to owner-operators or fleet managers for running an organized and profitable trucking business. At TruckingOffice, we have a team of expert truckers and techies who know what you need to run a smooth operation. Check out our system first-hand today to see how easy it is to take control of your money and your company.