Business conditions improve in July

Reports issued by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) indicate economic activity is expanding in the U.S. Transportation companies may have more pickups and deliveries to make because of the uptick, increasing their need for technological solutions like route planning software.

Non-manufacturing report shows growth
The ISM's non-manufacturing index experienced gains last month, according to newly released data. The index came in at only 52.2 in June, but shot up to 56 in July. This was well beyond economist expectations of a small increase to 53, according to Reuters. A reading above 50 typically signals some type of expansion. Sixteen of the 18 industries surveyed reported growth in July, with the only sectors undergoing contraction being mining and health care & social assistance.

The strong performance may continue. The forward-looking new orders component leaped from 50.8 to 57.7, the highest number seen since February. This indicates some businesses have seen continued improvement and anticipate conditions will keep progressing.

Manufacturing index also on the rise
The ISM's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) also showed signs of improvement, jumping from 50.9 in June to 55.4 in July, the second consecutive month of increases. Of the 18 manufacturing industries studied, 13 reported growth in July. The only industries that reported contraction last month were plastic and rubber products, apparel, leather and allied products, machinery and miscellaneous manufacturing.

Transportation companies cope with more orders
As the economy continues to show signs of improvement, managers, dispatchers and executives must develop new strategies that will ensure services are as efficient and cost conscious as possible. Whether companies are responsible for delivering construction materials or food products, they have likely seen increased demand for drivers and trucks and been uncertain of how to deal with the economy's gradual resurgence. 

Relying on route optimization software can permit these firms to make the most of the drivers and trucks they have available, allowing them to make more timely deliveries and guarantee pickups are on schedule. New technology that ensures drivers take the most direct route also makes it possible for a company to limit fuel spend, which can help it continue to grow and prosper in the long run.