Original article by Chris Galford | TransportationToday | Published April 22, 2020
Global software company EOX Vantage is offering a suite of communication tools for free through the end of the year, as part of an offer called TeamedUp 2020 - an effort it believes could help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
That suite includes chat, integrated mail, announcements and customer relationship management (CRM) features equally accessible no matter where employees are located. It also allows companies to consolidate such communication and organization in real-time, as opposed to the multitude of systems many transportation companies run at any given time on a normal day.
"This could help smaller transportation companies who aren't usually accustomed to working from home," said George Thellman, Customer Success Manager at Beachwood, Ohio-based EOX Vantage. "This is a way they could at least solve the communication part and some of the organization from the email standpoint."
Think of it like this: many smaller companies operate on a general email account. If all their employees are on one account, it can mean wading through hundreds of excess emails for each employee to find those that are important to them. However, the suite allows for customized CRM. For example, the ability to tailor CRM to an individual customer could help dispatchers at transportation companies lock in on the one driver they happen to be looking for. If that driver emailed the dispatcher five times that day to address five delivered loads, the dispatcher could update their files accordingly, all within one system.
"You don't have to have all these enterprise licenses with Gmail, Microsoft to have accounts if I want to send you an email-type message internally," Thellman said. "You have your chat for internal communication, but if you want to forward an email, you can forward it to an invoice department without sending an actual email. The chat functionality has Zoom integrated into it. Our chat is indexed and word-searchable."
No matter where they are, teams can collaborate through this single Enterprise Operating System, sending action items and automating workflows based on data received. EOX Vantage is also building out a cost-conscious reporting module to assist with those endeavors.
Currently, what TeamedUp 2020 offers is a washout of regular fees for companies with up to 100 users through Dec. 31, 2020. Costs do apply for larger companies: $250 per month for 101-500 users and for more than 500 users there is an additional $3 per user per month fee. Most transportation companies would never have to worry about that, according to Thellman, as the majority fall well under 100 employees.
This could help more than just companies, too. Because EOX Vantage's system is what Thellman calls agnostic, it can integrate with other systems, shuffling data into the company's cloud and onto one operational intelligence dashboard. Thellman said the system can serve a variety of governments, nonprofits and industries, be it a small municipality bus garage using it to track invoicing and parts, or a nonprofit with multiple offices throughout the state.
Most setups also come with a less than 48-hour turnaround time. All of this works to provide companies with immediate relief, and since the pandemic has forced many to charge operations and cut costs where they can, having a tool like this could save jobs.
"It's about increasing quality and efficiency without high cost," Thellman said. "It's rather cut costs than jobs."