JLE Industries is one of the fastest-growing flatbed carriers in the nation. The Pennsylvania-based fleet is on track to grow to 400 trucks by the end of 2020 and 600 trucks by the end of 2021. A lot of that growth is enabled by a driver-focused culture which accommodates driver needs as much as possible, and has kept their turnover rate low. Part of the driver care includes simplifying the paperwork around load pickup and delivery to reduce frustrating delays at shippers and receivers.
JLE’s back office receives hundreds of load orders and delivery confirmations per day. Prior to partnering with Vector, these were all typically emailed in a PDF or CSV file and would require a lot of tedious data entry work from back office personnel to feed data into the company’s TMS, TMW. Data entry errors happened too frequently and took a long time to be identified and rectified. This meant back office staff had less time to spend on important customer and driver support activities.
Tim Tran, JLE’s vice president of systems and technology, had been looking for a way to reduce the restrictions that the data structure was having on their rapidly-growing business. “Most of our customers still produce freight documents in paper format so I didn’t have the same control over information flow than I do in other parts of our business,” he says. “For us to speed up invoicing and improve cash flow, we needed a way to digitize the freight documents and automatically push them into our TMS.”
Using Vector’s TMS enhancement app, JLE can push data from their TMS to the palm of the driver's hand. Now, they are able to digitize bills of lading and delivery documentation in the truck using a simple app. An advanced text extraction system turns the paper-based information into structured data and instantly sends the information to JLE’s TMS and dispatch systems using an API. The automatic recognition process allows faster, errorless billing. Best of all, it frees up the time of the back office personnel to spend on more valuable activities like sales, driver support, and customer support.
The digitized freight information is also being used by JLE to feed into a growing predictive analytics database. “We are using advanced software systems including machine learning to predict scenarios,” according to Tran.
This ensures that drivers are always picking up the right loads and we can get them home sooner. We can only get good at this if we have rapid access to load delivery and pickup information. That’s what Vector really helps us with.
VP of Systems & Technology
JLE drivers like the Vector app because they have a lot less manual entry. “Our drivers are very happy with it,” Tran says. “It’s much more user friendly than some of the other scanning solutions out there. You don’t have to navigate through a series of screens, plus the integration with our TMS and dispatch system allows us to prepopulate most of the load information so that the drivers are basically just verifying the information in the field.” The app has also helped JLE improve cash flow by speeding up invoicing. “Our back office personnel are processing the invoices a lot faster than before,” says Tran. “We are saving as much as 90 minutes a day in time for the people responsible for managing load documents,” he says.
Tran is also a fan of Vector because of the level of support he gets from them. “Unlike some other technology vendors, Vector offers top notch support coupled with their leading technology,” he says. “Their technology is easy to deploy, use and they are consistently delivering on customer feature requests.”