3 Ways Automated Appointment Scheduling is Costing Brokers Millions
In the fast-paced world of logistics and freight brokerage, efficiency is key. Brokers are constantly on the lookout for ways to streamline their operations and reduce costs. One technology impacting brokers is “automated” appointment scheduling. Automated appointment scheduling systems help facilities manage calendars and automatically enforce capacity constraints while eliminating emails and phone calls. However, while sounding promising, they often come with hidden costs that can add up to millions for brokers. In this blog post, we will explore three ways in which automated appointment scheduling is costing brokers millions.
- Automated for Facilities Still Means Manual for Brokers: One of the main promises of automated appointment scheduling systems is the ability to streamline the process. However, for brokers, this often isn't the case. While the system may automate the scheduling of appointments with facilities, it doesn't eliminate the manual work required on the broker's end. Here's why:
- Manually find the facilities: Brokers still need to manually identify and select the appropriate facilities for their shipments. This can be a time-consuming process, especially when dealing with a large network of facilities.
- Manually create appointments: Brokers must still manually create these appointments within the system, adding another layer of manual work to the process.
- Figure out what information is required by the specific facility and track it down and provide: Facilities often have specific requirements and documentation needed for appointments (types of loads, quantities, BOLs/packing lists, etc. Brokers must manually gather and provide this information, which can take time and be a logistical challenge.
- No Connection Between Scheduling System and Broker TMS Means a Lot of Duplicate Work and Data Entry: Many brokers use Transportation Management Systems (TMS) to manage their operations. Ideally, an automated appointment scheduling system should seamlessly integrate with the broker's TMS, reducing the need for duplicate work and data entry. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case. Here's why this lack of integration is costing brokers:
- Update TMS with appointment information: Brokers are forced to manually update their TMS with appointment details generated by the scheduling system. This redundant data entry not only wastes time but also increases the risk of errors.
- Follow-up on any changes, requests, and cancellations: When changes or cancellations occur, brokers must manually update their TMS to reflect these adjustments. This requires constant monitoring and communication, adding to the workload.
- Average Appointment Costs Brokers $15 in Manual Effort: The promise of automation is to save time and reduce costs. However, when it comes to appointment scheduling, the reality is often different. Here's how manual effort continues to be a significant cost factor for brokers:
- Up to 40% of customer support reps' time is spent on scheduling, even with automation: Despite having automated appointment scheduling systems in place, a significant portion of customer support representatives' time is still dedicated to managing appointments. This means paying for labor that should have been minimized through automation.
- Large brokers spend 10s to 100s of FTEs on scheduling: For larger brokers, the manual effort required for appointment scheduling can be staggering. The cost of employing dozens or even hundreds of full-time employees (FTEs) solely for scheduling appointments can add up to millions of dollars annually.
In conclusion, while automated appointment scheduling systems promise efficiency and cost savings, the reality for brokers is often quite different. The manual work involved in selecting facilities, creating appointments, and maintaining data in the absence of seamless integration with TMS can cost brokers millions of dollars in both labor and inefficiencies. To truly reap the benefits of automation, brokers need to carefully evaluate their appointment scheduling systems and consider solutions that genuinely reduce manual effort and improve operational efficiency by bridging the gap between TMS and appointment scheduling, between broker and shipper.
How Can Velostics Help?
Velostics, a partner in logistics optimization, has uncovered a strategic opportunity to reduce costs of manual scheduling by more than 86% and increase productivity for brokers' top performers by automating the manual scheduling tasks.
Request a demo today and discover how Velostics can empower your brokerage business with efficient and cost-effective solutions. Say goodbye to costly manual scheduling.