What is Qualification Management in the Logistics Industry?
Qualification management in logistics describes the legal procedures and paperwork between Carriers and Forwarders. Forwarders must comply with EU regulations in logistics. That’s why they have to prove and be certain that all of their logistics partners (Carriers and transport companies) comply with the laws and regulations. Generally Forwarders require potential Carriers to submit so-called qualification documents. These include EU licenses, insurance certificates or minimum wage declaration and so on.
Most commonly, the qualification process is done manually by email. Carriers send certificates to be reviewed by Forwarders before they can be deemed qualified to begin working together. Considering that both a Carrier and a Forwarder may have multiple business contacts, the qualification process may be time-consuming and error-prone.
What role does it play?
Qualification management plays an essential role in daily logistics operations as it’s one of the first activities between Carriers and Forwarders in the early stages of their working relationship. The timely exchange of information and subsequent qualification approval lead to a successful contract for the transportation of goods. Delays in logistics may have adverse effects on the overall operation and lead to a time and money loss. That’s why it is important to optimize workflows and minimize time spent on routine procedures, like qualifying a Carrier.
What is the current state of qualification management in the logistics industry?
As mentioned above, qualification management is slow, time-consuming, and error-prone due to the procedures’ routineness and the inefficient means of communication. Qualification requests, submissions and approvals are usually made via email communication. Forwarders also need to create a database and host the storage of Carriers’ data. On the other side, the data stored in these databases is sensitive and Forwarders have to consider extra measures to secure their databases.
Carriers on their side have to react proactively and submit their qualification documents multiple times to various Forwarders. Some Forwarders may request more or fewer certificates meaning that Carriers have to tailor their qualification application. Even if the Carrier’s certificates are in one place at the desk of a responsible manager, it takes many staff-hours to do the monotonous qualification. Moreover, it causes blockers and delays to the start a shipment agreement. Transport companies should also consider hosting a database with the Forwarders’ contact details and the qualification statuses.
TrustedTrucks is the first Qualification Management solution to enter the market. Our solution enables Carriers and Forwarders to better connect with each other and build trusted relationships that grow your business. Essentially the TrustedTrucks solution reduces the administrative overhead for everyone involved in the qualification process. By digitising a previously manual process logistics professionals are able to redirect their focus to more important tasks like ensuring prompt delivery or finding new business opportunities that can generate sustainable revenues.
How does TrustedTrucks work?
With TrustedTrucks we have created a network where Carriers and Forwarders have unique company profiles that contain their company information and important documentation. These profiles serve as a modern day digital business card that Carriers and Forwarders can use to exchange important information with each other, at the click of a button.
To explain how TrustedTrucks works in real life we’ll use Alex as an example.
Alex is a logistics entrepreneur, he runs a small transport business in Göttingen, Germany, where he owns a fleet of 7 trucks. Since Alex started his business in 2018 he has worked with many freight companies like Zufall and Schenker to name a few. Usually, each freight Forwarder that Alex engages with has different requirements that Alex needs to fulfil before they award him the job.
These requirements can range from submitting an EU license, to providing proof of insurance or proving that Alex is paying his staff the required minimum wage or above. While this seems to be a pretty straightforward procedure, it’s actually a rather manual task that often has to be repeated even if Alex has worked with the Forwarder before.
It’s a procedure that also consumes precious time. The usual qualification process runs over email where processing time usually drags out as people try to locate specific emails in their cluttered inboxes or sift through a pile of attachments and try to verify each document’s validity. In some cases physical documents are posted too.
This is where TrustedTrucks comes in and cleans up. Here’s how it would work.
Alex visit’s trustedtrucks.com and successfully creates his own TrustedTrucks Carrier Profile, complete with his qualification documents. Once Alex has his Profile he can request the TrustedTrucks network to review his profile.
A community member will view his profile and verify the validity of his qualification documents, once his qualifications have been verified Alex is ready to work with anyone in the network. Here’s how it would work in practice, Alex would create his profile and then search through a list of Forwarders and request one of them to qualify his profile. The selected Forwarder would then receive a simple link to Alex’s profile via email. The link will take the Forwarder to the qualification review page, this is where the Forwarder will review Alex’s qualification documents.
The Forwarder will then either give Alex the greenlight or request for the documents to be updated. Once Alex has been qualified, he doesn’t need to go through this process again. He can simply request to work with a Forwarder. The Forwarder will then be able to view Alex’s profile, which holds his already reviewed qualification documents as well as a list of his key capabilities. The Forwarder won’t need to spend time qualifying Alex as Alex’s profile has already been qualified, through crowd sourced verification on the TrustedTrucks network.
What does TrustedTrucks make easier?
TrustedTrucks makes it easier for Carriers to submit qualification documents to companies they’d like to work with. It also makes it easier for Carriers to manage their qualifications, because the qualifications are stored and managed in one securely encrypted place.
When the Carrier makes an update to their qualifications, they don’t have to send the updated qualification document to every single Forwarder they’re working with, instead, the Carrier can simply update the qualification document on their TrustedTrucks profile by uploading the new document, in doing so, every Forwarder that the Carrier has worked with on TrustedTrucks will be able to that the Carriers documents have been updated, provided the Carrier has granted these Forwarders permissions to access their qualifications.
What are TrustedTrucks’s main features?
As mentioned above the main feature from TrustedTrucks is the qualification solution, but we’re currently building to squeeze in a few more useful features like an Address Book and a Contactless Proof of Delivery application.
The Address Book features makes it easier for Carriers and Forwarders to communicate with each other. The TrustedTrucks Address Book is a nifty little feature that allows it’s TrustedTrucks members to favourite contacts they work with frequently, it will eventually also provide an easy way for Carriers or Forwarders to access information on a current job with a specific contact.
The Contactless Proof of Delivery (Contactless POD) feature was created to help Carriers keep the receiver, the client and themselves safe. It goes without saying that Covid has changed and is changing the way our industry works, in many ways it’s pushing us toward a digital future faster than planned. Our Contactless Proof of Delivery feature is a result of this digital push. The feature works by capturing photos that prove the transfer of the delivery from Carrier to Receiver. The photos hold important metadata like, date, time and location of the delivery. This information is stored on the TrustedTrucks network and can be made available to everyone involved in the delivery upon request.
Another perk from our Contactless POD is that it helps Carriers to get paid faster. Thanks to the fact the delivery is provable from the moment the package is delivered, Carriers can use this trusted Proof of Delivery as a confirmation to their client, who can then initiate the payment for the job.
What is the impact of using TT for each stakeholder?
Carriers have the freedom to focus on providing the best service possible while also using the latest technological innovations to reach new opportunities and grow their businesses like Pro’s.
Carriers can give their clients peace of mind when it comes to safety, they’re able to put their teams and clients first. Carriers can even get themselves paid quicker.
Carriers and Forwarders also have the ability to propel their businesses into the future of logistics by building their digital capabilities. They’re able to stay on top of their administrative tasks and manage their contacts with ease.
“It’s easy to handle, it is very clear. All the steps are very self-explanatory” – Quentin Transporte und Baustroffe GmbH
“We’ve been able to successfully consolidate our trusted logistics partner networks into digital platform and fulfill customer demand rapidly” – Friedrich Zufall GmbH & Co
We’re focusing on growing our community and tailoring our network according to what our community wants. If there is something you’d like to see on TrustedTrucks, that could help you perform better and reach your goals faster. We’d love to hear from you.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively you can DM us on our social media channels.