“Ever-increasing electronic apps are designed to enable us to accomplish more tasks in less time, thus supposedly making our lives easier – when in reality, the devices are also disrupting, at supersonic speeds, everything in our lives.” ~Rob Hackbarth
From technologies that match customers with carriers to apps that track shipments and communicate load statuses in real time, advancements in technology continue to stretch the freight industry in multiple directions. It’s such an exciting time to be in logistics it would be easy to get carried away by the cool factor of new load boards, mapping systems, and handheld devices. Here at Blue Eagle Logistics, we know that while technology is cool–it’s only one of many tools at our disposal.
In this rapidly changing environment, many freight industry C-suite executives are caught up in the techno craze, demanding the total embrace of technology to streamline systems. Too often they have forgotten or overlooked an important aspect of any new technology–implementations can be uneven at best and completely disruptive at worst.
At Blue Eagle, customers and their needs come first. We understand how a narrow focus on technology as the magic bullet frequently leads to diminished customer service, and unparalleled customer service is what we aim for every day. And choosing the “right tool” for the job helps us do that.
We’re not suggesting that technology isn’t important, only that it can disrupt regular operations if not used in conjunction with other important tools. Listen, a truck is a tool, a pallet jack is a tool, a phone is a tool–just like a brand new TMS is a tool. The key is knowing which tool to use. Sometimes the telephone is the best tool for a job–speaking to a customer, shipper, driver, dispatcher–because honest, straightforward communication just might be the most important factor in providing good service.
William Craig, writing in Forbes, contends that technology is often a distraction and can “stifle our creativity, our productivity, and our sociability.” He explains that “human beings are tool builders. . . . And technology is just one more tool. But just as we’d never let a screwdriver rule over us and our humanity, neither should we let higher technology govern who we are.”
It’s something to think about. Technology doesn’t and never will replace our very human need for interaction with one another. Let’s not forget that the Amazon Effect has created a consumer culture where customers demand a very high level of customer service. We all know that 214s convey data, and emails contain words, but both may lack in clarity, emotion, and urgency. While a quick phone call allows a level of interaction and information exchange that technology cannot provide.
Here at Blue Eagle Logistics, we take technology seriously. We are forward-thinking in our approach to technology and what will work. But we’re not throwing away the tools we’ve used for years either. Our promise to customers is that we won’t forget how to communicate because communication is the heart of our efforts to provide the best customer service possible.
It’s a shift, isn’t it–in a world that prizes speed and new technology–to remember that the simple telephone may be the first and best tool in our never-ceasing quest to offer the best customer service available. Give us a call today!