Tow Professional

VOL5 ISS1 2016

Tow Professional is a comprehensive publication for the towing and recovery market. It is mailed directly to more than 29,000 decision makers including owners, presidents, CEO's and principals of towing companies throughout the United States.

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Towing software has experienced sig- nificant advancements over the last few years. All the major players now have cloud (internet) based solutions that offer advanced features and improved stability. No longer will data have to be archived to maintain performance – cloud systems have infinite storage and are built on enterprise platforms that can manage enormous amounts of data. Since they are cloud based they run in most major browsers for the PC or MAC. The biggest advantage of a cloud solution is its ability to integrate with many other systems, such as Motor Clubs, Lien Processing, Mapping, etc. Another major advancement are mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. The idea of running your entire business from the seat of your truck was unthink- able a few years ago. Today it is an every- day practice. Mobile Apps for the owner/dispatcher and driver are com- mon. Driver/Dispatcher Apps Drivers now have everything they need to assist the motorist at their finger- tips. They not only have all the informa- tion about the call on their smartphone or tablet, but they can also instantly navi- gate to the location, see accurate ETAs, retrieve towing instructions via towspec.com. They can even click on the contact number and dial the customer to give an updated status. When the driver arrives on-scene they can retrieve the vehicle VIN number by simply inputting a license plate, record vehicle damage with customer signature prior to tow, or take pictures and upload to cloud server; all from his smartphone/tablet. Some even capture a signature when a car is dropped at a dealership confirming the keys were left with technician. This can avoid lost key claims by dealerships. After the call is complete the driver can swipe a credit card for payment and print a receipt. Ticket books will soon be a thing of the past. All these utilities give the driver independence, so he does not have to rely on dispatch, which ultimately allows him to better serve the customer. The mobile app may even allow the driver to perform a truck inspection using the smartphone helping with DOT compli- ance. Any deficiencies are immediately sent to an email address (typically owner or head mechanic). Mobile dispatching apps for smart- phones and tablets are now available. Some software companies use the same app for the Dispatcher and Driver while others use separate apps. Separate apps can be easier to use, since they complete- ly isolate the Dispatcher and Driver func- tions. The mobile dispatcher app allows calls to be received electronically from Motor clubs, dealerships, Co-parts, etc. All the dispatcher has to do is review the call and assign it to the driver. The mobile app has the same mapping and driver GPS location information as the desktop 26 Tow Professional | Volume 5 • Issue 1 | www.towprofessional.com By Todd Althouse

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