It is often said that a carpenter is only as good as the tools he has to work with. Conversely, it is said that a bad workman blames his tools. So which is it? We can understand both, and always find good reason for supporting both sayings. There was no calculator in the ‘olden’ days, and yet we were still able to calculate the most complex of equations.
Whatever we think, the computer is one of those tools we have come to rely on to recall data and calculate in lightning speed. It is, let’s face it, an essential necessity, as long as the workman doesn’t become that removed from the job lest he forgets how to do it without. So we need good workmen and the best tools available.
Investing in technology is vital, though it must be the right technology. The wrong system can cost time and money, which is why we commissioned our own freight system – FREIGHTsoft® – back in 2014. We went live on version 1 of this system in January 2017. From potential client through marketing and quoting, through to job creation, consolidation, billing, financial analysis and market targeted down trader analysis, and the integration of our existing dangerous goods solution, the system is radically different than any other freight software solution of our knowledge. It has since been marketed under its own banner and will be an SaaS platform come April 2019.
Furthermore, direct integration from warehouse receipt in real time via fork truck-mounted tablets with matrix barcode readers will help maintain efficiency in all departments of our company.
As we have for many years specialised in the carriage of dangerous goods, our previous dangerous goods software solution – appropriately called the HAZculator® – was an Excel-based solution which we use in-house. It collated all ADR, IMDG and Eurotunnel data, and presented all of the relevant data required to document and plan loads. It checked up to seven different UN number for compatibility, including foodstuffs and other nuances such as acid and alkali clashes within the same class.
It also stored against each UN number specific information which we have learned along the way, often the stuff that doesn’t come in a manual. This has now been integrated into our new SQL software helping to check compatibilities on the fly when planning groupage loads; a more robust solution, quickly amendable for constant change in regulations, and future-proof it for more years to come.