McLeod Unveils New Features for LoadMaster Software

September 2012, - Feature

by Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief, Editor-in-Chief - Also by this author

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BIRMINGHAM, ALA -- Version 11.1 of McLeod Software's flagship LoadMaster transportation enterprise software, unveiled this week at the McLeod User's Conference, features new tools and modules
that help dispatchers and planners identify the best driver for a load and make it easier to deal with incoming and outgoing calls, and more smartphone app functionality, among other enhancements.

Driver Feasibility

This new tool, built in to LoadMaster 11.1, is one company founder Tom McLeod has wanted for some time. He says many companies have a hard time trusting the solutions provided by optimization software, because it's hard to get all the kind of "soft" data into the system that a dispatcher or planner may know -- that a particular driver prefers a certain type of load, that some loads are highly likely to come in from a certain area that aren't in the system yet.

However, he says, there's still a lot of data in the system that could be used to help a dispatcher or planner make a good decision on which truck and driver is best for a particular load, such as the driver's current position, his current load, typical detention times where he's scheduled to unload, and his available hours of service.

The Driver Feasibility function helps the planner determine if a specific driver can take the load and make all of the appointments on time and within HOS rules -- and conversely, whether taking the load will result in a driver sitting for an excessive amount of time.

Telephone System Integration

This new module for LoadMaster and PowerBroker creates an interactive interface with digital office phone systems.

Outbound calls are as simple as clicking on the number displayed inside the system; the phone will autodial.

For inbound calls, each LoadMaster or PowerBroker user can be configured based on their role. The module will read the inbound caller identification information and the destination extension to determine the correct context for the call. Then it will provide pop-up menu buttons, allowing the user to select from several options specific to this context even before they have answered.

Based on that selection, the appropriate screens and tabs will open up on the screen. There may also be more buttons displayed for functions such as orders, locations, movements, driver master files, dispatch screens, etc.

Expanded Mobile Apps

McLeod released Version 4 of its mobile apps, originally introduced two years ago, with greatly expanded capabilities. For instance, a dispatcher can communicate with drivers, can issue an advance over the smartphone, get alerts when loads are picked up or delivered or get an alert if it looks like a load will be running late.

Coming in 2013

Tom McLeod also offered a preview of features that will be available in the first quarter of next year:

- A visual workflow system will keep track of why decisions were made on a particular load and will allow customers to produce new workflows without McLeod programmers doing any custom programming.

- A collaboration with the Balanced Scorecard Institute will tie the data in the McLeod system to Balanced Scorecard strategy maps.

- A new customer relationship management system will give salespeople a wealth of data on their customers that's not available with general CRM programs, such as their payment history, whether they have a problem keeping drivers waiting to load and unload, and recent load activity.

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