If you don’t have a TMS in this day and age, I don’t think your chance of survival is that high,” says Miki Gavriloski, operations manager for Sweetland Transport, Sterling Heights, Mich. “The more technology you have and can offer your customers, the greater your chance of survival.”
Sweetland is a new company, formed in June 2012 with one truck. The company now runs 35 tractor-trailers and five straight trucks, providing expedited and truckload service to the automotive industry in the Midwest.
Gavriloski credits the company’s quick growth (he anticipates a growth rate of more than 150% this year over last) with its decision to deploy trucking management software from Sylectus and with joining Sylectus’ Alliance Pro network in January 2013, which enabled them to find loads and meet its customers’ needs while growing their own fleet.
“As a new company starting up, we didn’t have access to much freight. One thing that helped us more than anything was connecting with other Sylectus customers to get freight from them.”
Another benefit when first starting out was that being on the network added a level of trust, Gavriloski says. Then once they established customers, “we were able to keep them.”
Belonging to the network helps reliably serve customers, he adds. “A lot of times, if you don’t have your own vehicles available, you can reach out to others in the network and meet your customers’ needs, which is critical. Being in the automotive marketplace, everything is time-sensitive, everything is expedited.”
“With the software, I now have the luxury of going home at 5 or 6 in the evening and with my tablet or my phone, I have access to everything that’s going on.”
Since the software is cloud-based, Gavriloski has access to company data from anywhere. Drivers, dispatchers and others can access the back office software via a number of devices including in-cab devices, tablets and smartphones.
“Even if I’m not sitting at my computer and someone calls for an update, I can check it on my phone,” he says. Staying on top of the business is a key part of any operation. “With the software, I now have the luxury of going home at 5 or 6 in the evening and with my tablet or my phone, I have access to everything that’s going on.”
The company plans to add another 40 trucks over the next year, Gavriloski says. “Our next step is to become a broker and offer freight on the Sylectus load board. It will be a learning process once we get to that level, but I’m confident it will benefit us.”