Fast and On Time Delivery: Document Control Software Streamlines Submission and Storage of Transportation Documentation
Regional shipping company, GSC Logistics, implemented DocuWare so they could meet California Highway Patrol documentation requirements, reduce their liability, simplify document submittal and automate their document indexing and storage.
GSC Logistics is the largest trucking company at the Port of Oakland, providing drayage (the transportation of goods a short distance such as from a ship to a warehouse,) cross-docking (unloading goods from one truck and reloading them into another truck for distribution with little or no storage,) and transloading (the process of transferring a shipment from one mode of transportation to another) services to importers and exporters throughout northern California and its Central Valley, as well as the ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Portland. Established in 1988, the company boasts 70 employees and 200 subcontractors or owner operated trucks.
The trucking and shipping industry is highly regulated, requiring companies to store and manage a mountain of paperwork. For each of the over 200 drivers and trucks, GSC must store each driver’s daily manifest or driving log, hours of service documentation, and daily vehicle maintenance record. In addition, the company is also required to store quarterly truck inspections and registration documents, as well as each driver’s DMV records, license, application, proof of medical insurance, vehicle insurance, to name a few.
“We have very little face time with our owner-operators, so we needed to make submitting documentation as easy and painless as possible so that our records would be complete,” said Justin Taylor, Compliance Manager for GSC.
GSC needed a system that would allow them to see at a glance what records were on file and which were missing to be sure they were keeping up with their FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) documentation requirements. The solution also needed to help them pass their BIT program audit (Basic Inspection of Terminal) by the California Highway Patrol, which is nowhere near as basic as the name suggests, as failure to pass comes with high penalties such as large fines, or being shut down.
DocuWare was linked to GSC’s roster management software, OmniView, to automate index terms, share information electronically, and keep both databases in sync, as well as facilitating the alert system to notify drivers when registration and other documents need to be submitted.
DocuWare “talks” to OmniView and determines if a driver/owner is still active. If the driver is active, DocuWare’s Workflow Manager is used to send text and email alerts to drivers/owners based on the expiration date of each document in the system. The intensity of the notifications and number of people copied on the notification is elevated with each subsequent reminder. Reminders go out at 20, 14, 7, 2, and 1 day before a document submission deadline. Ultimately, the VP of Operations is copied on the “shut-down day” notification.
For the driver/owner, submitting documentation is easy - all they need to do is take a photo of the document and text or email it to the office, where it is automatically imported into DocuWare. A customized indexing dropdown list was set up for each document type and indexing is minimal. Of the 20 different document types, a quarter of them were completely automated.
The number one reason that GSC implemented DocuWare was to increase their compliance with federal transportation documentation requirements and reduce their liability.
“When we invested in DocuWare, we were for the first time able to keep up and be in complete compliance with FMCSA documentation requirements. DocuWare is helping us circumvent a huge liability. If we don’t pass a CHP audit, it is possible we can be shut down until all documentation is in order. Additionally, having an up-to-date copy of our drivers’ insurance helps us further mitigate liability. Without each driver having legitimate insurance, we could be on the hook for millions if there were an accident,” stated Taylor.
Taylor continued, “The transparency of GSC’s DocuWare solution is another one of its best features. Now we know at a glance which documents we have and which ones we don’t. And all of these documents are instantly accessible whenever we need them. The compliance staff is happy that the document submission follow up with drivers is done automatically.”
“One of the biggest benefits of our solution is that it allows us to file a surmounting amount of paperwork, yet everything is still quickly accessible. When we were using paper, a filing mistake stayed a mistake forever, but DocuWare eliminated this problem,” said Taylor.
GSC’s DocuWare system is expanding. Today, drivers place a barcode sticker on the top of their daily manifest. The barcode contains the driver ID and document type and automates indexing. In the future, this workflow will be expanded to calculate hours worked and push that data to another process.
“Now that DocuWare is in place and our workflows are running, I can’t imagine managing our business without this solution,” said Taylor.