Slot booking is a sometimes overlooked but pivotal link in the transportation chain. It represents a vital touchpoint for warehouses, carriers and shippers.
So much hinges on the unloading and loading process and businesses which optimise their slots gain a huge competitive advantage. In terms of sheer cost, avoiding congestion and not having trucks waiting around is a real cost saver, especially as drivers are becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Not to mention the time and money that can be saved by automating the process.
Customer satisfaction is also dependent on slot booking and shippers able to offer predictable delivery times are in high demand. Add to this the increased accuracy delivered by an automated solution and you begin to see just how much of a competitive advantage a well-managed slot booking process can be.
So why don’t we see more businesses embracing slot booking solutions?
Some sectors, and the B2B transport industry is one of them, are slow to evolve. There are plenty of reasons why embracing the latest technology is unappealing: implementation, risk, habit… But none of these excuses will stop your business going obsolete when your customers leave you for a more savvy competitor.
Hands up who still uses a spreadsheet to manage their slot booking process? If we were at a transport industry event, you’d be surprised how many raised arms you’d see.
Imagine a large warehouse facility, such as a processing plant or a distribution centre. Trucks are constantly arriving and leaving. Often they show up late, or require a specific dock that is being used by someone else. Miscommunication might mean they end up showing up at the wrong time… Managing slots in these facilities is not easy. There are just so many moving parts and constantly evolving factors. Throw in third party carriers, contracted by shippers for ad-hoc pick-ups and it just gets more and more complicated.
Managing these process manually is not only unnecessary, it’s a huge risk. Every mistake, every unexpected delay adds up. A single truck arriving late can result in hours of congestion and missed deadlines
Embracing the latest technology
The challenges that face businesses shipping and receiving goods range from communicating with drivers, to limited visibility with regards to capacity and delivery times. Technology exists to solve all of these issues. Slot booking solutions provide the real-time warehouse transparency needed to know when to book a slot, whereas tracking software automates touchpoints between all parties and provides a dynamic ETA.
This technology combines for a seamless transportation flow, resulting in lower costs, better performance and higher customer satisfaction. Leading businesses already know this. They stopped wasting time and effort manually booking slots some time ago. If that’s not the case at your business it’s time to drop the spreadsheet, put down the phone and start digitalising your transportation management.