How Transportation Companies Benefit from Unified Communications

    Managing the flow of goods across the United States is no small feat. For the $1.3 trillion logistics and transportation industry, ensuring the careful and timely delivery of pallets and packages requires a high level of coordination among companies and their employees.

    The job is complicated: After all, much of the industry’s workforce is on the road or in the air. Employees of air, freight and trucking businesses frequently work in virtual offices. With unified communications, however, they can replicate the in-office experience no matter where they are.

    Greater Efficiency in Logistics

    The trucking industry alone moves 9.2 billion tons of freight annually, according to the American Trucking Associations. By 2026, the group predicts, that number will increase 29%. To stay competitive, trucking companies rely on unified communications to help them achieve greater efficiency.

    For example, DART Transit Company is one of the premier truckload carriers in America. It uses ShoreTel to manage almost 6,000 calls per day from drivers – all through a single 800 number and one in-house system. The approach is faster for agents, and makes it easier for drivers to get assistance and stay updated on routing, loading and transportation information.

    Fueled by Information

    Transportation companies need more than standard calling features to stay competitive. Mobile workers must be able to access the right information and contact the right people quickly in order to make fast decisions. With applications such as CRM and ERP integrated, they can easily tap into core business processes right from the road. And when call-record data, customer account information, and activity trends are woven into convenient reports, productivity increases, response times shorten and customer satisfaction rises.

    “We considered a lot of vendor solutions. Most were too complex or inflexible or costly,” said Dan Lyddy, DART’s vice president of information systems. “Only ShoreTel was able to give us ease of management, open APIs for flexible integration, extensive workgroup functionality, and a lower total cost of ownership. People often undervalue open API capabilities. But for us, ShoreTel’s open API platform was a big deal because we have so many custom-built applications and need to ensure flawless integration.”

    Business Mobility:  A Solution to the Driver Shortage?

    One of the biggest challenges facing the trucking industry is a shortage of drivers. With the workforce aging even as business increases, fleets are under real pressure to improve productivity. It’s essential for drivers to have the information and support they need to make the decisions that help them manage delivery schedules more effectively and avoid financial losses if a situation prevents them from reaching a destination.

    With unified communications, drivers can access customer records, easily find key decision-makers, and use video or Web chat to resolve issues quickly. And with automatic routing of calls, headquarters has an easier time reaching its drivers.

    Transportation is an industry defined by constant motion. Businesses have to excel at coordination and collaboration to be competitive. With unified communications, they can streamline workflow, empower mobile workers, and increase productivity and efficiency.

    To learn more how DART Transit Company benefits from UC, read the case study

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