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Checkmate for Spreadsheets: Why You Need a TMS

Trucking Success is Like a Game of Chess

Trucking is more like chess than checkers. It may seem like a simple shuffle of moving stuff from point A to point B, but the moves multiply as the loads increase… and they just keep on multiplying. And then there is all that can go wrong when moving said stuff. Challenges must be anticipated. Crises must be averted, and skillful quick-thinking is key. Success requires strategy and quick thinking. And just like a well-played game of chess, a successful trucking operation requires a combination of skill and experience.

Why Spreadsheets Are The Wrong Move

But what happens when your chess moves fail you? This is the situation you set yourself up for when using spreadsheets to manage your carrier or broker operations instead of a powerful TMS to handle it for you.

Take Johnny. He is a new carrier with a small fleet. His team manages his three trucks easily using Excel or Google Sheets. At a small scale, remembering every load detail and finding the pertinent information is not too tricky. Spreadsheets for carriers are free and customizable, but as Johnny grows, those load-tracking spreadsheets become more and more limiting.

Spreadsheets Are Not Scalable

The trucking industry is volatile, and many factors are at play all the time. Attempting to corral load information in cells and rows hinders Johnny’s chances of success and prevents scaling his carrier operation. If Johnny is happy with his three-truck operation, more power to him. But if Johnny wants to grow, he needs to consider carrier TMS software.

Back to chess. The chess pieces are your trucks and loads, and your strategy is predicting where the most profitable loads will be and planning moves to secure them in advance. To win this game, you must coordinate multiple constantly changing variables, such as open loads, rates, market trends, empty trailers, and more, to achieve the best profit margin possible. And! You have opponents to contend with, such as competing companies that may outbid you or have better reviews. Additionally, there are external factors to consider, such as safety regulations, maintenance issues, shipment delays, problems with drivers, broken or spoiled loads, and more. Scaling your operation means multiplying the number of games you’re playing, with higher risks and probabilities of things going wrong.

How to Win Greater Success in Trucking

At this point, spreadsheets are not helping you as they should. Your documents are disorganized, clients are calling about missing loads, and drivers are claiming you owe them pay and can’t find the documents you need.

But you know who wins at chess nine times our of ten? Computers. A good transportation management system (TMS) handles the tricky moves for you. It helps you keep everything organized and running smoothly. It’s like having a computer that wins those chess games for you. The computer can play all the moves in half the time it takes you. You will never be as efficient with 10 screens open to see load boards, news, market data, QuickBooks, and more.

Not All Software is Created Equal

Inefficiently keeping track of all this information stops your company from being as profitable and typically sets you up for human errors, which leads to disappointed customers.

And not all carrier TMS’ are equal! There are good ones, and there are really, really bad ones. A good carrier or broker TMS has integrations with your favorite software and expertly crafts all of your workflows so they are automated and simple. That’s why we made Alvys, one of the leading transportation management systems. To be the modern, super-smart trucking TMS software that does all the hard stuff for you. Try it out for yourself and book a demo here. You won’t regret it.

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