FORTUNE Small Business:

Software options to keep you trucking

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

Subscribe to Top Stories
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

transportation_truck2.03.jpg
Ask FSB
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.
Your name:
* Your e-mail address:
* Your city:
* Your state:
* Your daytime phone #:
* Your questions:

(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

Photo Galleries
Most 'one percent' moments of 2014 This year was all about more money, more problems. Here's a look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the 1% over the last year. More
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.