Mobile applications are must-have tools for operational excellence—our own and that of our customers. Here's how we're using custom tech to meet customer needs.
What do you think is one of the most used business tools at a recycled pallet company such as 48forty?
If you said nail gun, you’d be close. But there’s another business tool that’s rapidly taking center stage and having a major impact on our company. Smartphones.
According to Fast Company, the smartphone will be the central tech device for business by the end of next year. And it’s not just a means of staying connected with customers, suppliers and colleagues. Smartphones are now home to apps and mobile friendly portals that help us run our businesses in a myriad of ways. CoxBlue, an Internet content hub, says non-game app downloads now account for a quarter of all app downloads and this B2B industry will exceed $182 billion in 2020.
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Like other tech-savvy operations, 48forty recognizes that mobile applications are must-have tools for operational excellence—our own and that of our customers. We see apps and mobile friendly IT solutions as a way to:
- Further automate and digitalize our business processes;
- Be in sync technology-wise with our customers and the Millennial workforce;
- Solve customer-specific challenges;
- Collect data to drive decision making; and ultimately
- Help people do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
While there are a growing number of off the shelf apps and solutions for the logistics industry, the pallet industry is a different animal and our IT team is adept at building tech tools that calibrate with our customer needs. Here are two examples.
All-Vendor Pallet Tracking App
Tracking incoming and outgoing pallets at distribution centers is a full-time job, and necessary to ensuring pallets are on spec and retailers are correctly compensated for cores. 48forty is currently in proof of concept with a back dock pallet management app that will give customers real time visibility of pallets entering their supply, regardless of vendor, and moving in and out of their back docks. The app is designed to track pallets by vendor, type (recycled, new, pooled), grade, whether or not the pallets meet customer spec, along with load, date and time. All data is captured, aggregated, and available to the customer in real time as well as in reports.
The customer and the 48forty IT team are very excited about the impact this app will have. Knowledge is power and this app will certainly deliver business intelligence from the dock the customer wants.
Mobile Friendly Online Customer Portal
48forty recognized a tremendous opportunity to elevate customer service in the pallet industry when we launched our online customer portal, PalTrax®, in 2018. Our rationale? People want convenience and smartphones are the vehicle for getting what one wants 24/7, whether it’s a pizza, plane tickets or pallets. We designed PalTrax so customers can access 48forty’s pallet management solutions online 24/7 using their phone, tablet or desktop. With PalTrax, customers can schedule all pallet purchases and retrievals, track order status, view order history by day, week, month, year, locations, and quantities; see current and archived bills of lading and proof of delivery documents; access all types of data for reports; and pay invoices online.
[Learn how to improve your reporting and get the data you need with PalTrax.]
While PalTrax is not intended to replace personal connections with our knowledgeable people and nationwide network of pallet facilities, it does help ensure that our products and services are accessible when customers need us. For many people, particularly those in retail, that’s after regular business hours, on weekends and holidays. Now, instead of waiting until Monday to place an order or pull a report, customers have 48forty on demand via PalTrax and their favorite electronic device.
As a total pallet solutions company, 48forty is excited about the increasing role IT plays in the value delivered to our customers. If you’d like to learn more about our IT systems—including our mobile apps and PalTrax—we invite you to get in touch or give us a call at 1-877-779-8577.
Chuck has nearly 20 years of information technology and management experience across several industries. As 48forty's CIO, he is responsible for the strategy the information technology organization as they provide the tools and technologies that enable 48forty to deliver exceptional services to its valued customers. Read more about Chuck here.