Timely communication is crucial in the transportation industry, and dispatchers often spend a lot of their time on the phone, keeping in touch with drivers — not to mention fielding calls from customers wanting to know the status of their shipments. To help keep this overhead to a minimum, Tailwind supports SMS messaging, allowing you to send an SMS message from within the Tailwind application to the cell phone of anyone with a personnel record in your database. All active personnel records with a cell phone number are eligible to receive messages within the app, whether they be drivers carrying a load or account or sales reps traveling for business.
To do this, Tailwind creates a unique phone number for your database and sends messages to the individuals using this number. Importantly, this means that all your messages will appear to come from the same number, even if they are sent by different users inside your system
Getting Started With SMS
All the new messaging functionality in Tailwind is accessible from the icon, which should now appear on the left side of the top navigation bar. The first time you click on the icon, it will start the set-up process.
In order to set up your SMS, you will need to provide a valid three-digit area code, which will be used for the unique phone number Tailwind will generate for you. This should ideally be the area code for your own business, although any valid three-digit area code will work.
Once the number has been created, you can start messaging personnel records within your database. Click the SMS icon to start a conversation. The window will show your own unique phone number in the upper left-hand corner, and any open conversations in the list below. At the bottom, there is a button which says “Go” on the right of a drop-down list of personnel records.
Only Personnel records with a phone number entered in their Cell Phone # field will be available from the drop-down.
To start a new conversation, select an individual from the drop-down list and click the “Go” button. This will automatically send a message to the recipient letting them know that you have started a conversation with them. To send additional messages, type the content in the “Message” field and click “Send”. Remember that in SMS, longer messages may take a little bit more time to show on the other end.
As more conversations are created and updated, the list of open conversations on the left-hand side will continue to grow. By default, the list will be sorted in order of most recent activity.
Tailwind uses SMS as part of POD Complete, an Android phone app your drivers can use to update Dispatches and upload PODs in real time. Learn about how to set it up here.