3 min read

What is Software as a Service in the Transportation Industry?

Featured Image

Within the last decade, the transportation and logistics industries have undergone a rapid transformation. Short-haul, bulk commodity trucking companies have been transitioning from tedious, manual data management to software-based solutions. Many of these companies now rely on software as a service (SaaS) platforms, like Qv21, to track their assets, plan their routes, and manage tickets and invoices.

SaaS is a type of software delivery model in which the software is hosted online by a technology partner and available for purchase on a subscription basis. The software is then delivered to subscribers via the internet and cloud-based applications. You likely use many SaaS products every day, maybe without even realizing it. Some of the most popular SaaS platforms include:

  • Google Apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Dropbox
  • HubSpot
  • Skype
  • Spotify

What did the transportation and logistics industry look like before SaaS? What does the transportation technology environment look like today and what role has SaaS and its associated technologies played in shaping that environment?

Life Before SaaS: “Old School” Transportation Technology

Over ten years ago, prior to the rise of SaaS products like Qv21, transportation and logistics technology was clunky, expensive, and often required a long-term commitment to use it. Organizations with the necessary technological resources and capital would set up their own on-premise servers, however, they also ended up with the significant cost of buying software licenses. Under old licensing rules, simply buying the software was considered a Capital Expenditure (CapEx) with the expense ending up on your balance sheet. This meant you were the proud owner of a capital asset, just like buying a building or a vehicle.

In addition to the large, upfront cost of software licenses, companies were also paying about 15%-25% of that cost annually just to have someone maintain it. However, “maintenance” didn’t necessarily mean “support”. You, as the owner, were "in charge" but typically left on your own to figure things out, including high-level security items like maintaining firewalls and data integrity. As a result, poor system security was the norm and breaches were fairly common alongside regular data loss.

Many organizations opted for no technology at all or ended up using siloed solutions that didn’t fit together. Unfortunately, many organizations are still in this scenario.

Nowadays, there are still those "old school” guys fighting for the “old school” licensing requirements and siloed technology, but they are quickly being phased out upon learning more about life with SaaS.

Life With SaaS: “New School” Transportation Technology

Taking a transportation company's e-ticketing, order, asset, and back-office management to the cloud equates to a multitude of increased capabilities.new school transportation technology

The cost of entry into a SaaS solution is much lower because the software has become significantly more affordable and scalable. Instead of owning the software, you are subscribing to a service, while configuring it to be your own. A subscription comes with additional benefits when you find the right provider. For example, you might gain an extension to your team through customer experience (CX) reps who provide regular training, support, and even quarterly business reviews to provide performance insights and efficiency metrics.

SaaS can also help you manage your Operating Expenditures (OpEx), including driver payroll, vehicle and equipment leasing, and income statements. While not all SaaS companies offer these benefits, the great ones do.

Qv21: A True SaaS Provider

With flexible pricing models, Qv21 offers a true SaaS platform. Our industry-leading, fully cloud-based transportation management system (TMS), known as The LogisticsFramework™ (TLF), keeps all of your data secure in the cloud. We’ve eliminated the need for expensive legacy software that needs to be installed, run, and maintained by you in a single, centralized location. None of your data is ever held locally so we guarantee you’ll never have to worry about losing critical information for any truck, commodity, or driver in your fleet.

With the right SaaS solution and provider, short-haul, bulk commodity trucking companies like yours can achieve Logistics Without Barriers. We take care of all the heavy lifting so you can focus on scaling your operation more effectively. Reach out to us today to get help navigating your way through the world of fleet logistics. And be sure to check out our resources page for additional videos, eBooks, info sheets, and more!