Updated January 26th, 2022: Since jTracker is finally gone, auto transport brokers are left with some options to choose from when it comes to choosing a CRM for their leads. The 2 biggest options are Pro ABD & BATS. Being a lead provider I get to have conversations with the brokers I am selling leads to and get their feedback. I do try and ask questions to the brokers I am selling to because I want to give potential new customers correct and honest answers when they are asking me questions. I want to know the conversion rates the brokers are getting. I want to know which CRM to use so I can give that info to a potential new broker. I want to know if there is a new crappy broker out there so I know not to sell leads to them. When it comes to the CRM, currently it seems like a 50/50 split between Pro ABD & BATS, but if I had to give an edge on which CRM to choose I would go with Pro ABD. It might cost slightly more, but the brokers who are using it and have tried BATS say it is much easier to use. At the end of the day you I would sign up for both and see f they are giving a free trial and play with both systems and see what makes more sense for you and your business. For the leads providers, BATS using an HTTP Post feature which instantly sends the leads to BATS and their customers. With Pro ABD We have to send an email, but that email does get to PRO ABD within 30 seconds. Previously with jTracker it was taking 5-12 minutes for brokers to get leads from lead providers. the jTracker system was so old and terrible it couldn’t handle or keep up with demand and all of the brokers suffered for YEARS. With Pro ABD and BATS it doesn’t seem to be that way, which is a nice and refreshing change. At the end of the day I have a job to do and the CRMs have a job to do. As a lead provider I have to get quality leads to may brokers I am selling to. For the CRM they want to get those leads to their customers as fast as possible. If this happens customers are not going to multiple websites and the conversion rates for brokers goes up, so the brokers are making more money. If brokers are making more money they will stay with the same CRM and lead provider because it is working for them. That makes for a very harmonious business.
Updated November 14th, 2019: I never realized that this article would get into the Google top 5 and have SOOOOO many people reading it on a daily and weekly basis. I guess it is a good thing and a bad thing. For those of you looking for a website to use in the auto transport industry, jTracker & Central Dispatch are still the best this industry currently has to offer. There are others out there like BATS, Pro ABD, Megabee, etc., but all of these miss the mark in my opinion. The reason for that is because jTracker is directly linked to Central Dispatch. It takes mere seconds to convert a lead to an order and seconds to dispatch an order to a carrier. With these competitors they are missing the final step and that is dispatching to a carrier. You cannot just click a button and dispatch to the trucker. You need to manually log into Central Dispatch and do everything by hand. It might only take 2-3 minutes, but when you do that 100 times a month, you’re losing out on 2-3+ hours of your life you could be doing somehting else. ANything else really. Time is money and if you’re wasting time inputting data into Central Dispatch and miss a lead when it comes in, you just lost a possible order as well. I am all about keeping things streamlined.
However, I still think jTracker & Central Dispatch suck ass in the grand scheme of things. I mean, how could Cox Automotive spend millions to buy these sites (along with a few others) and then not put much money into them? With nearly everyone having/using a smartphone, why is jTracker not mobile friendly? I know Central Dispatch is (thank you baby infant Jesus!!!).
Here are a few things jTracker/Central Dispatch is missing:
- No way to send specific leads to a particular user. Maybe you have a top performer and you want this top performer to only get a certain lead providers leads. You don’t have that option in jTracker. Most others can do this now, so why is jTracker stuck behind the trend?
- No text feature when a lead comes in. I might be the only one who wants this even though I don’t take new leads, but I think this would be a great feature. When a lead comes in you get a text alert that you have a lead so you can jump to your leads page instantly and no have to keep refreshing the page. The customers get their pricing quicker and that makes them less likely to keep checking out other sites and getting even more companies calling them which would water down the lead and give you less conversions (whew… that was a long sentence.).
- Have Tabs for leads with bad phone numbers and bad emails. Then instead of many brokers just throwing away the lead because oms eof the info is bad, you can still do follow ups and know that the phone number is wrong or the email is wrong. Even if this gets only a few more oders for each broker a month, that is still money in the breokers pocket.
- Allow a user to check in the future how many follow ups they have for a certain day. Maybe the user might take a vacation day and they want to check on follow ups for that particular day. Maybe they can get those follow ups done the day before, etc..
- Lastly, have some sort of highlight or indication about an order if someone else puts a comment into the quote or order. Say “Martha” calls and speaks to another rep and that rep puts a few changes and comments in the order. Now the actual sales rep can see what was added/changed and the comments and can follow up with the customer and make sure everyone is on the same page. It is all about providing the best customer service.
If you are in the auto transport industry then you know Central Dispatch and jTracker, owner by Cox Automotive. These companies are the largest companies in the industry. Central Dispatch is a load board where brokers post vehicles that need to be transported to another state and the transporters can find the vehicles they need for their route. The website that brokers use on top of Central Dispatch is jTracker. This website is an account manager site where you get leads coming in from your chosen lead provider, quote the customers, maintain the lead, and post onto Central Dispatch.
The problem with these companies is that they are the largest in the industry and the updates, costs and site/server maintenance is subpar. People are always complaining about how the site is slow today, the server is down, the features are outdated, the rating system sucks and there should be a better system for all of us to use. There are a few different load board and account managers out there, but they either cost just as much to use and don’t have enough traffic or they are just a horrible knockoff. Why would a company spend the money to transfer over to Auto Broker Dispatch, Carriersoft, or Auto Transport Plus if they will not have the rest of the industry convert over as well? Why would these companies charge so much for their service fee if they want to take over market share from Central Dispatch and jTracker? It seems as of they would realize that if they charged a low amount and really got companies to convert that they can slowly raise the prices in the future.
The industry needs a company to step up and take control of the industry beside Cox Automotive. Someone who has the money to invest into a business that will eventually take over as the leader. A company that will have a vision and listen to its customers to make the website the best it can be and have the people using it be happy.
Give the site away free for all truckers. That will get them on board. Have free text/emailing to truckers when a car becoming available in the routes they choose. Then charge all brokers $50 for unlimited use. If a company would do that, they would make about $25,000 a month on just brokers. What happens 2-3 years down the road when truckers are then paying $10 for unlimited use and brokers are paying $75 for the use. That would take the monthly earning to about $65,000. I think most companies could afford a small window of not profiting a tremendous amount to make the big bucks a few years down the road.
Who is going to be the company or the person to step up and get it done?