How I Helped Create a Mobile App.The Road
By now, you’ve likely seen that C.H. Robinson has released a new mobile app for contract carriers. What you might not know is that they built it for carriers, with carriers. Since C.H. Robinson is a 3PL, not a contract carrier, you might think they don’t know our business enough to build an app specifically for carriers. But, you’d be wrong. My company, Sanchez Transports, was one of the first contract carriers working with C.H. Robinson to help them build the app that already helps me run my business better.
Apps—both for fun and for business—aren’t new to me. I’m always looking for new technology that can save me time—quite often my favorite apps help me conduct business electronically instead of by mail or over the phone. That’s why I was excited when my C.H. Robinson carrier representative asked me to help develop and test their new mobile app for contract carriers. I heard their vision and knew, if it could be developed correctly, it could immediately impact my business and my life.
Let’s go back a bit though. Even before I was approached to help with the user experience of Navisphere® Carrier, I was impressed with how C.H. Robinson does business. From day one, the 3PL provided stability to our business. Our carrier representative has guided us through the initial process, helped us understand the language of transportation and even trusted us with loads in popular lanes. This level of assistance made a significant difference to our business.
Even with our strong relationship with our carrier representative, I still didn’t know what to think when they asked if I would help with the app. At first, I did a lot of talking. They knew I was a user of CHRWTrucks®, the former app, and they wanted to know what I liked and didn’t like. And they listened—even when the feedback wasn’t all flowers and rainbows. They asked me questions about other apps and, finally, what I would want in a new carrier app. At one point, I had a ride-along; one of the team members from the user experience team jumped in my truck and rode along, asking questions and taking notes—really trying to better understand what it’s like to run a business like ours.
As the app began to take shape, I was fortunate to be able to test it along the way. And, it wasn’t without bumps in the road. But, as a tester, I was able to provide feedback on what was working, what wasn’t working, and what would make it better for the long haul. I have to admit, it was really fun to watch new updates come my way as I could see my feedback impacting the product in a positive way. Each time I got notice of a new feature, I tried it out right away!
Today, Navisphere Carrier is out there and available to you. I’d encourage you to try it out for yourself. Some of my favorite features include the ability to make schedules for my drivers, assign and re-assign units and drivers, and most importantly, upload bills of lading and other documentation—right from my (and my drivers’) phones. Many other features make this an incredibly useful app. I’m proud to have been part of the development from stage one and I hope that you’ll find as much value in it as I do!
This post was guest authored by Candy Sanchez, owner of Sanchez Transports.