What we learned at Truckload 2024 in Nashville

It seems like every year the TCA annual convention just gets better, and bigger. The speech by Kevin O’Leary definitely stole the show - but there were so many other great talks and learnings we had from the event. It’s always great to mingle with industry peers in fun cities like Nashville. We summarized some of our key learnings here! 

Top 5 things we learned at Truckload 2024 in Nashville

1. Driver planning is the key to increased margins

One of the biggest challenges with planning drivers more effectively is making sure you have a consistent, dedicated crew of trained drivers. Now more than ever, trucking companies need to focus on driver retention as a top priority in their planning strategies. 

With a shortage of qualified drivers, keeping existing talent is crucial. This means offering competitive compensation, prioritizing work-life balance, and overall making drivers feel important, because they are. Click here for a list of driver retention strategies you should consider!

Secondly, new advanced technology solutions are hitting the market with features that optimize driver planning. From AI-driven route optimization to predictive analytics for scheduling, you should consider leveraging tech to boost efficiency. 

The key takeaway - driver adaptability and predictive tools solve planning dilemmas.  

Companies that can make changes to driver schedules and foresee driver availability are better positioned to succeed. To get there, you must aim to build strong relationships with your drivers that motivate them to be adaptable. To execute, you need to have the best tools in place to predict labor planning. 

2. Technology fatigue is real

A common frustration among many of the attendees was the difficulty of navigating the overwhelming amount of software solutions. Feeling inundated by the sheer volume of options, many had uncertainty about where to even start. 

Additionally, buyers are feeling increasingly skeptical towards the emphasis on ROI and they sense a lack of genuine understanding from tech providers. They also want reassurance that any software they consider has an accessible, dedicated support team that understands their business.

There appears to be a desire for a more humanized approach to technology adoption. Tech buyers yearn for genuine interactions and want to be heard. They want solutions custom to them and they want to embark on a collaborative problem-solving journey with the software provider. 

The key takeaway – Put relationships and trust first, ROI second. 

This highlights that building authentic relationships will always be important, whether it is with your partners, customers or tech providers. Companies are looking to partner with brands that value trust, transparency, and authenticity.

3. No time for downtime

Another critical takeaway from the conference is the reality that small and large carriers alike operate within tight margins, leaving little room for error or technological hiccups. 

Unlike larger corporations, they lack the flexibility to weather the storm if their technology fails. A software outage means late deliveries, missed orders, and a low carrier rating, all which can be detrimental when competition in the market is so high. Keeping their customers satisfied is the number one priority. With staff already stretched to their limits and operational challenges popping up daily, they need a software they can count on. 

Carriers require software solutions that not only work but also have defined SLA’s, ensuring constant maintenance to prevent technological outages. Essentially, the need for reliable technology is not just a preference; it's a lifeline for carriers.

Key takeaway - Software must be as reliable as it is functional. 

4. Peer approved software solutions

Discussions at the TCA highlighted the preference among buyers for software solutions that come with proven track records in the industry.

Buyers seek assurance that the software they invest in is trusted by their peers and has demonstrated staying power in the market. They value use cases from existing customers, as these testimonials provide tangible evidence of the software's effectiveness and reliability. 

Key takeaway - Trust is earned with tenure and endorsements. If you're curious about how Rose Rocket's customers leverage our platform, you can explore real-world use cases by clicking here.

5. Software should lighten the load, not increase headcount

The final takeaway is the fundamental desire among buyers for technology that simplifies rather than complicates their operations. 

Buyers seek software that can truly automate processes and alleviate the burden on their team members, rather than forcing them to hire staff to work the software. This is historically the case with legacy softwares that are powerful yet challenging for the everyday user. People are looking for software that is intuitive, time saving, and easy to learn.In essence, they're looking for tools that seamlessly integrate into their workflows and address the specific pains of dispatchers, account managers, accountants, or data entry clerks. 

Key takeaway - If it’s too complicated to get value - it’s not truly valuable. Although flashy features can catch the eye, in order for the software to truly be beneficial, it must also be extremely customizable so their staff doesn’t need to work around the processes, but work with the processes. There should be automations in place that enhance the current workflow, not make it more time consuming.  

There are many ways to automate using technology, from predictive workflows to AI document scanning and referencing. At Rose Rocket we believe automations are a key tool to getting time back so your employees can focus on more high value tasks, click here to learn about one way we do this.

Overall, we really enjoyed attending and exhibiting at the TCA in Nashville. As a software provider, it’s important for us to meet industry leaders and learn from our peers. We’re exhibiting at a few more conferences in the upcoming months, so be sure to stop by our booth if you’re interested in chatting in-person! 

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