48forty is going digital with its online pallet management system, PalTrax®. The system, which makes critical information and services available 24/7, is literally transforming how 48forty and our customers do business.
Don’t you love the convenience of buying stuff online? Within minutes of ordering, you get an email from the merchant with an order tracking number and link that lets you follow your order from their warehouse to your doorstep. If you wake up in the middle of the night wondering where your must-have item is, its location is as close as your smart phone.
So why don’t all businesses work this way?
Surprisingly, some industries have been slow to adopt online order taking, tracking, documentation, and portals that make life easier for everyone. The pallet industry is a perfect example; almost every aspect is still manual. If you’ve ever misplaced a bill of lading, you know what a headache that can be!
[Do you know how much pallets affect your overall product costs? See how making the switch to recycled pallets can give your business a competitive edge here.]
Seizing the opportunity to amp up customer service, 48forty is going digital with its online pallet management system, PalTrax®. The system, which makes critical information and services available 24/7, is literally transforming how 48forty and our customers do business. In the process, we’re forging responsive, stronger, more transparent relationships.
While we have had an online customer portal for several years, functionality was limited. Starting in October 2017, we launched our greatly improved PalTrax system that enables customers to:
- Schedule pallet purchases and retrievals online and track status 24/7
- View/export order history by day, week, month, year, locations, and quantities
- View/print current and archived bills of lading and proof of delivery documents, including who received the delivery, the product received, purchase order number, and the date/time the order was received.
- View comprehensive data for reports
- Maintain contact information
- Up to the minute account aging status
48forty Business Analyst, Jennifer Martinez, says the customer response to PalTrax has been very positive. The system currently has more than 200 users and is increasing daily. One of those users is Robert with Diverton.
“I like the ease of scheduling pickups and pulling reports; nothing could be easier. It also allows me to schedule for our clients all across the country without remembering a lot of emails. PalTrax is a great tool when we need information.”
PalTrax user behavior varies as younger customers adopt new technology without hesitation. There’s a little “fear factor” involved for some customers, particularly accustomed to faxing in their orders. A live demo via WebEx goes a long way to eliminating any fear. “It takes about 15 minutes to walk through PalTrax and then time for Q&A, “ says Jennifer. “By the end of the demo, people are ready to get online on their own. Once you get the hang of it, you’re hooked!”
While there are lots of benefits of going digital, there’s one thing everyone loves: our electronic proof of deliveries with eSignature. All 48forty drivers carry tablets and use them to document deliveries and retrievals.
See PalTrax In Action
“It’s just like FedEx and UPS,” explains Jennifer. “The customer reviews the document and signs the tablet. Once the driver clicks submit, the information is loaded in PalTrax. Customers’ accounting departments can see proof of delivery in real time, including who signed, date and time, and quantity of what was delivered or picked up. It’s so convenient.”
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PalTrax users get another perk: notifications of special discounts and other breaking news. “We offer special notifications such as, ‘Order today and save 10%.’ It’s a great incentive for customers to get online with us,” says Jennifer.
If a customer is worried that an online order may be overlooked, never fear! 48forty plant managers receive an alert when new orders come in and can also track customers’ past and present orders with ease.
[Learn how to improve your reporting and get the data you need with PalTrax.]
By late June 2018, PalTrax will have an exciting new feature: data manipulation. Instead of having to export data to create reports, 48forty customers will be able to customize their data into various reports while in PalTrax. This service would not have been possible in a more manual environment, says Jennifer.
“We definitely have the most sophisticated system in a pallet industry. Our customers love it!”
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.
Originally published June 6, 2018. Updated February 13, 2019.