R.E. Garrison, an employee-owned trucking and logistics firm founded in 1959, has adopted Qued Inc.’s automated load appointment scheduling software, bringing a new AI-powered technology solution to one of the last bastions of manual administrative work done by trucking firms – making appointments with shippers to pick up their loads.

Vinemont, Alabama-headquartered Garrison is an asset-based carrier that deploys a fleet of 800 drivers, providing consistent, reliable truckload services for both refrigerated and dry-van goods. Along with its sister brokerage division, Garrison Logistics, the company is employing Qued to re-engineer the tedious, manual process of load appointment scheduling, with the goal of improving customer satisfaction, eliminating non-value-added staff time and reducing costs.

“We continually look at where we can improve and automate work processes through technology, it’s a key part of what helps our business grow,” explained Lauren Meneau, Garrison’s director of customer service. “Qued has developed an elegant solution that directly addresses what has been an area of operations stubbornly resistant to automation – how we reach out to and secure appointments with customers, both shippers and receivers, to pick up and deliver their loads.”

Previously, the operations team would have to call or email customers, or log on to either a dedicated web site or a shared portal to request and secure load appointments, Meneau noted. “So, we had to remember multiple sign-on’s and passwords, and often go back to the portal two or three times to finish the process,” she said, a task that her analytics calculated took an average of six minutes per load for a staff member to complete.

As a transportation business which handles tens of thousands of shipments a month, the opportunity to recover staff time – and free that time up for more strategic, value-added tasks – was significant. Qued’s AI-powered scheduling automation tools reduced that six minutes of manual work to less than a minute and provided more flexibility as well accuracy, with over 99 percent acceptance, she noted. Since Qued went live, Meneau estimates that it has saved some 60 hours in staff time over the first two months.

Moreover, Qued was already integrated with McLeod Software, which is Garrison’s core transportation management platform. “That removed a big hurdle for our IT group and enabled us to ramp up quickly. We were up and running in less than 30 days. It has been one of the easiest onboardings we have ever had,” she said, adding that “our customers have been very pleased as it also saves time and stress on their end.”

Meneau says Garrison’s customers are very particular, an attribute that Qued’s platform and functionality supports well. Some of her customers have teams that schedule load appointments manually before they send tenders to Garrison. “Now they have a scheduling program where as soon as an order is ready in their system, they can set it to fire off to us automatically, then Qued does the rest,” she notes, adding that shipper feedback has been positive since it simplifies a process they once had to assign a person to complete.

“R.E. Garrison continues to lead the industry by innovating and adopting technology that streamlines internal workflows while improving the customer experience,” said Prasad Gollapalli, Qued’s chief executive. “This solution is attracting a wide community of users, including asset-based carriers as well as managed transportation providers, automating a process that can be fraught with delay and errors.”

Added Tom Curee, president of Qued: “We are seeing a steady influx of carriers joining the platform; we welcome R. E. Garrison as the latest to reap the benefits of Qued’s AI-driven automated load scheduling. It’s an honor to become one of Garrison’s trusted technology partners and we look forward to helping differentiate their service and grow their business.”