TMS and Phone System Integration Brings Business Process Automation to Phone Calls
Diana Bullington | Syfan Logistics and Gary Copeland | Overdrive Logistics
The telephone is one of the most crucial tools for logistics companies. Hundreds of phone calls are made every day to drivers, carriers, customers and more. Saving even a few seconds on each of those calls creates a significant time savings over the course of a week, a month and a year.
By using TMS technology integrated with your phone system, you can shave off a few seconds from every outbound call. We know because we are using this software at our companies. With just a click on phone numbers that appear on the TMS screen, the system dials the number for you. An additional benefit of automated dialing is that you eliminate dialing errors, which may happen more often than we like to admit. The time lost may seem minimal, but here again, over the course of a year it adds up.
Telephony technology also saves time with inbound calls by eliminating most of the friction of making and receiving calls for your users. When a call comes in from any phone number associated with data in the TMS, an inbound notification window appears. This window tells you immediately who the caller is and displays vital information related to that number such as details about a customer, a driver, or a load in progress. The time you save on both outbound and inbound calls allows you to accomplish more each day.
The gains you can achieve in efficiency are valuable on their own, but they bring other benefits as well. Your business contacts notice when they call in and you immediately have all the vital details at your fingertips. They notice that the calls are handled quickly and professionally. You’re saving time not only for your staff, but also for drivers and the staff at carriers and customers. Everyone prefers to do business with the organizations that have high standards of professionalism, and telephony software helps you raise your performance to a new level.
Here are some examples of the ways staff at our companies are benefiting from the use of telephony software:
We Always Know Who the Inbound Caller Is
Whenever a driver, carrier, or customer calls in, the TMS generates a caller ID box that pops up, and from that box our staff can access vital information. If it’s a carrier, we have their load information pulled up with one click. If a customer wants to check on a load, their phone number will bring up the most recent one.
Don’t Waste Drivers’ Time
If a driver calls, our staff can go right to the order that he’s hauling or picking up for our company. We don’t have to ask for their name or their company name; we don’t have to verify anything with them. We can see that it’s Fred with XYZ Trucking, and he’s picking up in Cornelia, GA and delivering to Atlanta. We have him verified, and we’re able to call him by his name right off the bat.
Catch Fake Callers
Our staff can catch people who are trying to impersonate valid carriers. If someone calls and says he’s with a certain carrier we already use, we will know right away that they are not calling from that carrier’s number.
Business Partners Are Impressed
If our staff can be more efficient with drivers, carriers, and customers, and not need to ask 20 questions to find their load, everyone benefits. The smarter we can be on our end of the phone, the more they’re going to like doing business with us, because it’s going to be easier to do business with us. In this market, you want to make it as simple as you can for every interaction with a driver or dispatcher.
It Works for All Phone Numbers in the TMS
Wherever there is a phone number recorded in the TMS, you can do a click-to-dial on that number.
The Technology Is Useful for Everyone Across the Enterprise
Telephony software works for everyone within an organization, from calls to customer sales or shippers, routing, or dispatch to getting an appointment with a freight receiver. We can call one of thousands of carriers in our system, and then, once a load has been accepted we have the ability to call the driver directly.
Telephony Is Easy
Adjusting to the use of telephony software is simple. There’s really no learning curve, because it’s part of the TMS software environment.
Phone calls continue to be one of the core methods for communicating with drivers, carriers and customers. By applying business process automation to phone calls logistics companies can save time again and again. The software puts vital information for each caller right on the computer screen. You become a more efficient company and a more attractive business partner. The telephony technology gives you that edge.
Diana Bullington is Director of IT for Syfan Logistics in Gainesville, GA. She can be reached at Diana.Bullington@syfancorp.com.