Tom McLeod believes listening to customers is why the company that bears his name just notched its 30th year in business

Tom McLeod believes listening to customers is why the company that bears his name just notched its 30th year in business.

Fleets must manage data as well as freight, McLeod says

BIRMINGHAM, AL. Communication—within an organization, with business partners and with customers—is critical to sustained success, McLeod Software founder Tom McLeod explained to more than 1,000 attendees at this year’s annual user conference running Oct. 4-6.

The company is marking its 30th anniversary, and while McLeod highlighted the many changes in transportation and technology since 1985, he emphasized change creates opportunities for those who are prepared, can anticipate, and then can act.

“Changes are coming down the pike that are going help to weed out some of your competition,” McLeod said. “You don’t have to be perfect in the way that you handle them. You just have to handle them better than the others in the industry.”

For carriers, modern technology and software enables management to know costs precisely, and to price services accordingly—yet many fleets are still “guessing” at their costs, or not measuring them completely. And they can't explain those rates to shippers. Again, technology provides a competitive advantage.

Similarly, the same analysis needs to be performed on freight selection and asset management.

“Staying on top of your information on a real-time is the only way to do that,” he said. “You’re now in the information handling business as much as the freight handling business.”

McLeod credited listening to the needs of the company’s customers as being the key to McLeod Software's longevity.

“We have the greatest customers in the world,” he said. “We’ve had customers that pushed us and pulled us and pointed us in the right direction, and have been patient with us. Everything that we’re doing right is because customers like you have told us to do it. After 30 years I feel like we’re just scratching the surface.”

Product news

One of the biggest product introductions at this year’s Users’ Conference is the first of McLeod’s customer branded mobile apps, the Carrier Driver App for iOS and Android Devices. Some of the largest companies in this industry have undertaken large projects to purchase or develop similar mobile apps and integrate them with their dispatch and financial systems, the company points out.

The suite gives McLeod customers the ability to brand their mobile applications using their own company logo, and offer them to drivers in the app store. The first of the customer branded apps, the Carrier Driver App, allows McLeod LoadMaster Enterprise customers to support a wide array of capabilities on the mobile devices of their company drivers and owner/operators.

In other product updates:

  • Messaging: McLeod LoadMaster and PowerBroker system users can now send text messages and information via SMS text or email directly to drivers. Messages can be associated with an order, or movement within an order, and can be filtered by driver, date, or the particular user to facilitate finding message history.
  • Market Insight: Earlier this year, the McLeod Carrier-Broker Exchange was rebranded as the McLeod Market Insight Module. This module is a hosted exchange for both loads and rate information, exclusive to McLeod customers.
  • Container & Intermodal: A new version of the McLeod Container & Intermodal Module for both LoadMaster and PowerBroker systems was released this year. This new version of our traditional Container module includes a wide range of improvements for carriers and brokers who manage all types of intermodal shipments.
  • McLeod Anywhere Mobile Applications: The McLeod Anywhere mobile applications for Android and iOS devices are celebrating their 5th anniversary at this conference. The company planned to unveil the 6th generation of the product with new capabilities that customers have requested.
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