Birmingham, AL. Among the nine new modules included in the latest release of the LoadMaster fleet management system is the rapid alert notification system (RANS), a real-time warning module that provides managers with instant notification when it detects potential problems. Introduced at the McLeod Software user’s conference, LoadMaster v8.2 represents 3,600 hours of development work and offers 50 new features, according to Tom McLeod, president and founder of the transportation software company.
Calling RANS “a proactive exception management system,” McLeod said the module constantly monitors LoadMaster data, measuring it against business rules and exceptions defined by each fleet. Monitored events might include rates, ETAs, empty miles or other user-defined measures that fall below preset standards.
Unlike other event notification systems that generate exception reports on a periodic basis, RANS delivers real-time alerts by email, through a message window on a desktop screen or with an audible signal, according to Robert Brothers, McLeod manager of business development. “Trucking relies on frontline employees to make cost and pricing decisions,” he said. “RANS lets managers see exceptions right away so they can monitor those decisions.”
Other new modules introduced during the user meeting include an online hiring tool that can cut days from the driver-hiring process and an EDI tool for fleets offering logistics services. Support for integrating advanced features from a variety of mobile communications providers has also been added with the new LoadMaster release.
The HirePower module offers a completely paperless workflow that allows prospective drivers to fill out applications remotely with web forms and then creates a consistent application process, according to Matt Cacace, McLeod COO. Once completed, the application form is made available to everyone on the recruiting team. The system then assigns and monitors various verification and compliance tasks required to bring a new driver into a fleet. Once a driver is offered a job, the module gathers all the material into a “smart pack” of electronic documents that form the core of the driver’s employment file. Although HirePower is designed to integrate with other LoadMaster functions, it can be used as a stand-alone application, according to Cacace.
The EDI for Logistics module allows fleets using McLeod’s PowerBroker management system to generate standardized EDI messages within the program for tendering loads and handling all other EDI communications with carriers. It transmits data in an ANSI format so fleets can communicate directly with both shippers and carriers without having to go pay for VAN services.
The new LoadMaster release also includes improvements to the Symphony Mobile Communications module, which provides a single, integrated interface for a number of mobile communications providers that include Qualcomm, PeopleNet, GeoLogic Solutions, @Road, GE VeriWise, SkyBitz, TransCore, CarrierWeb and Teletrac. The upgraded module now supports such advanced mobicomm features as electronic drivers’ logs and automated arrival and departure notifications.