Technology is No Substitute for Problem Solving

Author | Nick Wilson
Date | 9/10/2019 3:29:41 PM

Our industry is on the horizon of a tech renaissance. New, snazzy TMS systems are popping up left and right while route planning/truck calibration mechanisms are becoming ever more popular. This will undoubtedly cut costs and increase efficiencies all around.

However, there are issues that no GPS tracker or customer portal can alleviate. Relationships with customers cannot be simulated, nor can rapport with receivers be established simply by arriving in an efficient manner. Paperwork and computer issues still occur and without a human being involved, and as a result, deliveries can get pushed back for days.

Let’s look at a real example. It’s two in the morning and your driver has an 0305 appointment at a large distribution center for a massive nationwide grocery store chain. The chain uses an appointment system which requires human involvement to make adjustments…and sometimes, mistakes. Your driver is permitted to check in for his delivery appointment an hour earlier than his appointment time. He attempts to do so but lo and behold he is informed that his appointment was moved in the system a week prior to the following morning at 0305 by “someone at corporate.”

The bigger issue is that this driver’s route has eight more deliveries after this one, all at similar facilities, all across the country. If this one delivery is pushed out, they will all have to be, which will incur a $500 late fine for each and every one of those eight subsequent deliveries.

So what do you do? You did everything right. Your truck’s system is calibrated with the newest technology and their efficiencies are top-notch. They are Smartway certified, minimizing their carbon footprint. They are GPS tracked 24/7 so you know exactly where they are at all times. Your driver was on time and yet, due to an error on the receiver’s end and you not being notified, the load has gone to hell in a handbasket.

What could possibly resolve this situation? The answer: a Problem Solver®.

A typical broker rolls over in bed the next morning and notices several missed calls from a number he or she doesn’t recognize. A typical broker finds out about what happened after “checking” emails once in the office and notifies you an hour after you’ve had your second cup of coffee. The explanation? “The receiver screwed up. Guess you’ll have to talk to them about it. Sorry. Not my fault.”  

Here’s the thing; It may not be that broker’s fault…but it IS that broker’s responsibility. With the right human being involved, like a Legion Problem Solver®, the situation can still be fixed. A Problem Solver® has drivers who keep his or her cell on speed dial for situations just like this. A Problem Solver® has used this driver before at this receiver many times. A Problem Solver® takes the driver’s call at two in the morning, calls the receiver, explains the situation in an ultra-professional manner, and gets the driver unloaded that night to ensure OTD.

Tech is not a replacement for the human element in our industry. Tech is a shield to be wielded by brokers in defense of their customer’s freight and service expectations. Problem Solvers® use a combination of people skills and tech to ensure your freight is delivered right the very first time.


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