Trucking is an amazingly complicated business. That’s to be expected in an industry that employs nearly 6% of America’s full-time workers and moves more than 10.5 billion tons of freight each year.
As you can imagine, with a business sector integrated into nearly every level of the overall economy, problems large and small crop up everywhere. Technology can play a major role in solving the problems that slow down trucking. But technology by itself, however, isn’t enough. It takes teamwork as well.
At Uber Freight, we believe every great partnership starts with listening. One perfect example of this is an ongoing collaboration with a large enterprise customer. By listening to their concerns, we were able to identify a new area of need.
The end result? We created a feature that helps improve our client’s daily workflow. What’s more, this feature is now a part of the Uber Freight app, helping to improve the workdays of all our users.
Last year, a team from Uber Freight sat down with our customer, a nationwide beverage company, in an open-ended discussion about their operations and how we might be able to help them improve. Uber Freight regularly conducts these types of information gathering sessions to help identify problems and brainstorm solutions.
In talking about their daily workflow, the beverage company’s shipping team shared a pain point about proof of delivery (POD) requests. Personnel from other departments—customer service, finance, or accounting—had no easy way to find PODs.
“For small shippers, it’s super easy to find a load, but when you move hundreds every day, you need a way of searching,” says Matt Wiseman, Uber Freight senior product manager.
The problem stemmed from the fact that the Uber Freight platform had a different reference number than the one generated on the bottler’s internal inventory management system. This conversation spurred our team into finding a solution. Our product team was able to add a new data field to the load details page that allowed the bottler to include an internal reference number when building loads.
By including this unique field, it made it easy for the shipper’s personnel to search and find PODs. To make it faster to use, the interface also supports partial matches. For example, if the user searches for “1234” the result will include all loads that contain that sequence of numbers. This saves time typing out long reference numbers.
The bottler has been very pleased with how the new data field simplifies finding PODs. “It’s a small thing that solved a super-specific problem,” Wiseman says, “but it makes the workday much better for them.”
Not only did this solve the problem for the bottler, but the fix is also available to every shipper who uses the Uber Freight platform.
Are you a shipper ready to team up with some innovators in trucking? Sign up here.