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FORTUNE Small Business:

Software options to keep you trucking

FSB helps a trucking company owner explore software options for tracking, inventory, and accounting.

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Get small-business intelligence from the experts. Here's a chance for YOU to ask your pressing small-business questions, and FSB editors will help you get answers from the appropriate experts.
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(FORTUNE Small Business) -- Dear FSB: Where can I find quality software for owners and operators in the trucking industry?

- Bill, Niles, Mich.

Dear Bill: Trucking is a niche market in the tech world and industry-specific software can be very costly, according to Brian Kadison of Kadison & Company, an independent technology consultant in Beverly Hills. He recommends you research your options by joining your state trucking association and attending some of their events as an easy way to network with those vendors that target smaller players.

Looking for tracking and inventory management systems, you can chose from several software programs on the market today, such as Peterbilt's TruckCare Connect and Kenworth's PremierCare Connect.

For accounting and financials, most of Kadison's clients use the moderately priced Microsoft Dynamics GP series, with prices ranging from $2,250 to $3,980 per licensed user, depending on added capabilities. But, says Kadison, any business bringing in less than $30 million in annual revenues can function just as smoothly on the less-expensive Intuit QuickBooks Premiere ($449).

The best investment of all? "If you're an owner-operator, you can't afford not to have a routing and GPS tracking system," says David Fulghum, vice president of MacKay & Co., a trucking industry market research and consulting firm in Lombard, Ill. "It's essential to know where your trucks are, to improve human resource management. Knowing whether or not the truck reaches its destination on time will better customer satisfaction."

While the big guys are using Qualcomm, any basic GPS tracking system should do the job, Fulghum says.  To top of page

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