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Small Business Strategies for Cargo Tracking & Asset Management
In any company, it’s important to track how resources are being used to meet certain production goals. In the case of fleet companies or asset shipping services — even the small ones — this means tracking cargo and asset management to be sure that everything that needs to be shipped is getting to its destination efficiently and safely. Of course, this task falls on the fleet or office manager, as those who are out on the road likely have their hands full with other responsibilities.
In a fleet company that deals with cargo and shipping, the office becomes a type of touchstone or home base for those who are on the road all day. An office manager then becomes the head of the household, ensuring everyone has what they need and that things run as smoothly as possible. This is in part because drivers are busy during the workday making sure they’re focused on driving safely and delivering the cargo efficiently.
A good office manager will understand this and take steps to ensure that all assets are tracked as necessary without offloading extra work on others in the company. Luckily, the days of having to do so manually are gone, as there are several different software options that automate many of these processes. Failing to leverage technology adequately is a common project management mistake, so don’t fall into the trap of being complacent with the same old methods in regards to managing your assets. Additionally, with new technologies developing on the blockchain and for smartphones every day, cutting-edge ways of doing the job are shifting.
By keeping track of all the different moving parts at your company, you’ll be the expert on how things come into the company, how they move out, and where they go. This knowledge is invaluable to the way a company grows over time, so logging it efficiently will be key for future success.
Best Software for Cargo Tracking
You’ll want to do your research on what options are available for your cargo tracking needs. There are many competitors to choose from, each with their pros and cons. After doing your research, you can decide which platform would be the best fit for your business.
Some software companies offer more flexible payment options, which can be useful when you’re still playing the field to see which option is the best fit. You may want software that you can pay for as you go instead of getting locked into a multi-year contract right off the bat. This will give you the freedom to experiment and determine what it is you need from tracking software.
You may also want to decide if your company needs a specialised tracking software for one specific need, as opposed to one that will integrate all your information in one place. However, maybe you want the exact opposite and would prefer a one-stop-shop for your assets. Whatever you decide to try out first, consider keeping detailed notes about your experiences with each software so that you can better determine which program you would like to subscribe to.
Best Software for Asset Management
In addition to tracking where your cargo comes and goes, you’ll also want to track all of the assets you use in shipping within your fleet. This may include gas, truck wear and tear, and man-hours used during the shipping process. Much like tracking your cargo, you’ll need to keep track of how these assets are used in order to promote growth for your business.
The best software for asset management allows you to do multiple things at once, such as tracking gas cost as well as how your trucks are being used. Maybe your company is doing more long-hauls than localised delivery. Understanding these costs will help you to allocate resources in the best way possible, making every decision by management more effective.
Some of the top offerings in asset management software help to keep all tasks associated with fleets moving smoothly. For example, you can get mobile push notifications that remind relevant members of your team about routine truck maintenance. You can also check vehicle health from the same dashboard that you log gas and mileage in, keeping your tasks in one centralised place for ease of use.
Cutting-Edge Fleet Management Technologies
One of the greatest innovations to come to the world of fleet management is the smartphone. It used to be you carried a pager and an incredibly ‘80s brick cell phone to stay in contact with drivers as they delivered cargo around the country. Asset management was done manually via endless amounts of paperwork back at the office.
Now, most communication and tracking is all done through the same device — a smartphone. Businesses across all industries have begun to develop their own mobile apps, and fleet management software companies are certainly no exception. Many asset management and cargo tracking applications have smartphone support so you can sync your information and take it remotely along with you. This has made managing fleet companies a considerably more flexible endeavour over the years.
Additionally, tracking devices on each vehicle in your fleet can help provide important data for utilisation and design. By tracking your data on what types of vehicles are performing in different ways, you can better understand the types or makes you want for your fleet. This may sound next-level, but if you have the means to gather the information, you may as well dig in.
Don’t Forget Insurance
Different types of business insurance are available for just about every business owner, and it’s crucial for your company. Don’t put off completing this critical step. You should have policies for just about every asset in your company to be sure you’re always protected against catastrophe, no matter the cause. At a base level, your main centre of operations should at least have building insurance.
You should also absolutely have insurance for each vehicle in your fleet that covers your drivers. Some companies may go the route of asking drivers to provide their insurance, but that can be prohibitively expensive for some, which may limit the pool of applicants you can hire for your fleet. By covering insurance for your drivers and vehicles, you ensure that your assets are covered to the best of your ability and that drivers feel safe and comfortable working for you.
Additionally, in some cases, you may be required to have insurance to pass fleet inspections from your local county or state authority. Because of liability and state-to-state driving requirements, some registrations require that all vehicles are insured; otherwise, you may not be allowed to continue operating as a shipping or delivery business. This is yet another reason to ensure your fleet is insured, as you won’t have to worry about being able to pass your inspections because a driver couldn’t afford their insurance.
Essentially, by making sure you have the tools you need, you can help your business work as efficiently and safely as possible. Whether it’s tracking software, insurance, or smartphones, there is a multitude of assets available to you for this exact purpose. It’s up to you as the manager to determine which path to take for the best results for your fleet company.
About the author
Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a good book.
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