Every haulage company must invest in technology if they wish to survive in the present and prosper in the future. When making decisions on which technology to leverage, or whether or not to take on cutting-edge technological solutions and processes, haulage companies must assess the current state of the business and make decisions based on the needs of current and future customers. Only through self-evaluation can businesses make informed strategic decisions and better ensure future revenues.
Here are five simple self-assessments that every business can make before making key tech decisions:
Determining the Cost of Current Technological Solutions
New technology is expensive and investing in what may seem like a large sunk cost can often put off companies who are happy with perceived current costs. That is why carefully analysing the costs of current technology, both its operational and opportunity costs, and comparing them to new investments can help you analyse different options against each other. After a comprehensive study, you may find that new solutions are less expensive than you previously thought.
Evaluating Competing Haulage Companies
In any industry, it is always worth keeping a close eye on competition. Many haulage companies may provide similar services, so finding out what makes competitors succeed or flounder informs upon your own business decisions. A clever way to find out how competitors are interacting with customers is to go on internet forums and study their client relationships there.
Examining How Cost-Effective Your Business Is
New technology should reduce costs in the long-term and lead to higher profits. If you conduct a cost-efficiency study on your company and find that technology investment will decrease current costs, then that technology should be considered. By increasing cost-efficiency, haulage companies are able to increase profits without passing on the costs to customers.
Receiving Customer Feedback
An open and two-way relationship between your business and its customers is absolutely crucial, particularly in the internet age. Constantly ask questions such as, “Are you satisfied with our service?” and “What could we do to improve?”. Few people know what the customer wants better than the customer, so feedback is always invaluable for plotting future strategies.
Considering Business Goals
Every decision that you make should relate to your business goals. Are you looking to expand into new markets or consolidate market share back home? Do you wish to become the industry brand most associated with innovation and cutting-edge tech or do you have other goals? Whatever your business targets in the short, medium and long term, your investment decisions should reflect them.
Be Proactive and Reap the Rewards
The biggest rewards come to the haulage companies that have the most proactive stance towards technological self-evaluation and investment. By looking at your own cost-efficiency, competition and business goals, your company is in a better position to make informed business choices. With ever tighter regulations on the horizon from the EU and other bodies, picking the right technology solutions for your company will determine its future place in the industry.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies or self-employed drivers with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.