For this introductory post I wanted to provide a bit of background on myself and some insight on the intended content that will follow. I’ve been told I can be a bit verbose before, so without further ado…
Who Am I?
My name is Scott Applefeld. I’m a consultant in the Transportation and Logistics Industry who focuses on Over The Road Carriers (AKA “Trucking Companies”). I specialize in the information technology that supports these operations; in particular TMWSuite, Fuel Dispatch, Operations, TotalMail and Asset Maintenance by TMW Systems.
My work typically involves supporting these products directly or utilizing SQL Server and .NET to create specialized solutions behind them that are tailored to customer requirements. I have also worked extensively at data-mining these systems for Analysis, Integration, and customized reporting via SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
Most importantly, however, I have worked in the Transportation Industry for more than a decade and engaged with / supported over one hundred different carriers in that time. That has allowed me to see tremendous variance in industry segments, customer size, business processes, requirements, and challenges.
I am the co-owner of a small consulting firm named ASR Solutions and I am enormously proud of the unusual blend of industry insight, technical knowledge, and process guidance that my team has built. Finally, I am an enthusiast of technology and it’s role in continued advancements within the industry.
What Is This?
The single greatest challenge I faced while learning the industry and it’s products was the limited set of shared knowledge for them. Oftentimes a traditional IT issue can be researched online and others have solved a similar issue and shared their experiences and resolution.
We were not able to find this for the Transportation Industry or it’s products. Thus our knowledge was gained through trial and error, experimentation, and revision of working processes over time. Ironically many carriers are set in the mindset that their challenges are unique, yet we would encounter the same issues time and again.
This was advantageous for us as we were able to identify similar core challenges and devise better solutions over time. However, I believe that sharing knowledge, challenges, and solutions is something still sorely lacking in the industry, and holding many carriers back from greater success.
My goal with this blog is to share key experiences, thoughts, and recommendations over time. I hope that it provides some small resource for another person or carrier seeking solutions to similar issues, and perhaps facilitates further resources with a similar purpose.