If you work in logistics, you’re probably aware that managing multiple workforces to ship goods to customers can be challenging. As a business owner, you need to assign various orders to numerous delivery partners, who later will transport the goods to your customers’ homes.
It may be possible for small businesses fulfilling one or two deliveries a day to handle the process manually. On the other hand, manually assigning tasks will become impossible as your business grows and requires more delivery partners.
As your business scales to new heights, you will need to put in more effort to tackle the task assignment process. While you can continue to do it internally and manually, it will take you considerable time and effort. Instead, you can hire external dispatchers to help you schedule drivers, calculate ETAs, and optimise travel routes.
Today, we’re going to walk you through strategising your dispatch management. Starting with the definition of dispatch management, moving on to the process of dispatching, and finally, how a specialised software can help you improve your dispatching efficiency — we’ll cover all the basics and then some.
What is dispatch management?
For the uninitiated, dispatch management entails controlling the flow of communications between stakeholders and the workers who will carry out the tasks. Dispatch management mainly refers to allocating delivery jobs to drivers.
Generally, there are two ways businesses perform dispatch management. First, they may have their fleets and manage them internally. On the other hand, they may also work with external truck dispatchers.
Although there are different methods of dispatching, the core task remains the same. It entails truck dispatchers scheduling fleet drivers, informing customers of shipping details, and setting up the delivery routes for drivers to follow.
How do truck dispatchers do their work?
First of all, truck dispatchers will handle most or all of the daily responsibilities we discussed above. With dozens, even hundreds of deliveries to manage per day, manual dispatching is out of the question as it will be both time-consuming and highly challenging. Aside from that, manual dispatching may also increase the number of errors that could be avoided by working with automated software.
For example, truck dispatchers must check on the availability of drivers before assigning delivery orders to them. Manual dispatching requires them to call each driver separately, which costs them more time and money in phone calls.
Even if calling drivers to check on their availability is somehow done within little time and with limited funds, no one can guarantee that the task assignment will run accordingly. There could be miscommunication that results in order discrepancies during the pickup process. At the same time, let’s not forget that drivers will typically need to ship goods to multiple locations in a day. With manual dispatching, the drivers might lose the advantage of following predetermined routes and will have to decide which ways to take on their own. That’s where your business loses the time and money it could have saved with route optimisation or predicting common issues and problems with handy solutions.
Automatic dispatch is a game-changer for most businesses as it eases the workload, increases accuracy, and saves both time and money. So, whether you’re a business owner or a truck dispatcher, you might consider using a driver management software that not only does the job for you but does it better than any human could.
Business owners that work with delivery partners can empower their external dispatchers with delivery partner management features. These features will grant visibility to every stakeholder, allowing them to monitor every activity and make informed real-time decisions.
Why is dispatch management important?
Aside from automating the work and reducing the number of preventable errors, dispatch management will hold everyone accountable. Furthermore, it encourages and empowers truck dispatchers and fleet drivers to maximise their efforts in delivering goods efficiently on behalf of the business owners.
Eventually, as truck dispatchers and fleet drivers improve their performance, other aspects besides goods transportation will gradually improve. Here’s how proper dispatch management benefits business owners:
Fulfils customers’ demand for same-day delivery
Customers nowadays expect their purchases to arrive as soon as possible. However, they are frequently unaware of how challenging it is for shippers to deliver goods to their home addresses, especially at the last-mile delivery stage, which makes up 53% of the total shipping costs.
Despite these challenges, many businesses now provide same-day delivery services to their customers. They do this to fulfil their customers’ demands for rapid deliveries — customers now want to receive the goods as quickly as if they had purchased the goods directly from physical stores. In addition, same-day and next-day deliveries are becoming more and more common as businesses ramp up their efforts to secure loyalty from their customers. This rising competition makes it essential for businesses to offer goods delivery as soon as they possibly can.
Providing same-day delivery will almost be impossible without business owners developing a proper dispatch management system. The right dispatching tools and software will reduce the number of complications and deliver goods in a shorter period of time, improving customer satisfaction and increasing customer retention.
Retains potential drivers
Many of us might think poor dispatch management will upset customers as they will receive their parcels late. But, it’s not only customers who suffer from poor dispatch management.
Poor dispatch management also has an impact on fleet driver turnover rates. Most fleet drivers will want to work for businesses with a clear policy. Rather than wasting time and energy on businesses that happen to dispatch poorly, fleet drivers will move on to other businesses that value their time and effort more.
High turnover rates on fleet drivers might become an issue for business owners, particularly when it comes to high-performing drivers who assist them in delivering goods to customers on time. However, an automated dispatch system can reduce issues, help drivers optimise their routes so they can finish more work in less time, and gives them assurance that any potential problems that arise will be fixed quickly. That’s why businesses should closely monitor their dispatching system to ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible while also valuing the drivers’ performance.
Optimises transportation costs
Remember what we said about rising competition among businesses? The rising prices of fuel, fleet, raw materials, transport, etc., are also causing more competition.
Still, despite the spiking fuel price in Singapore from early 2022 to April 2022, which grew 15.90% from S$2.58 per litre to S$2.99 per litre, many businesses are brave enough to offer low-cost shipping.
In this case, well-planned dispatch management will be the advantage businesses need. By carefully planning dispatching, business owners can load more goods into their fleets without having to hire more drivers to meet the large number of orders received each day. At the same time, with a reduction in driver attrition rates, the money spent on re-hiring and re-training new drivers also allows for more room within finances.
Increases customer satisfaction
Implementing dispatch management aims to allow businesses to serve their customers better. Maximising efforts in delivering goods to customers requires dispatchers to develop appropriate driver schedules, plan delivery routes, and notify recipients of the ETA.
Proper implementation of those three requirements will make it easier for drivers to ship goods to customers in less time. Thanks to the ETA provided, customers will also benefit from the ease of predicting when they will receive their parcels. That, in turn, means fewer questions from those who are worried about when their package will reach them.
Given that 48% of eCommerce customers across the world expect their deliveries to be quick, when customers receive their parcels on time or earlier, they are more likely to feel satisfied with the transaction, increasing brand loyalty.
How to improve dispatch management for your business?
In a nutshell, businesses that manage their shipments can improve dispatch management by automating the dispatching process with driver management software. On the other hand, businesses that use external truck dispatchers may benefit from combining driver management and delivery partner management software.
However, that’s generic advice. Let’s take a closer look at how this software has various functionalities, which will sync multiple aspects of your current dispatching process easily:
7 key features that make dispatch management a necessary investment
Drivers can use the task assignment feature to automatically assign delivery jobs by scanning a parcel barcode or QR code. In addition, it also makes the job of truck dispatchers easier by reducing order discrepancies during the pickup process.
Aside from that, this feature enables fleet drivers to make their jobs easier by providing supporting information, such as:
- The delivery address
- Date and time of when drivers must arrive at each stop
- Predetermined routes to the final destination
Most importantly, drivers can view more detailed shipment information when they expand a specific stop giving them complete clarity. Drivers can obtain the following information by expanding the details of a visit:
- Order details contained in the barcode or QR code
- Contact information of the shipper and recipient
- Specific instructions that the drivers must pay heed to
Route navigation decreases the likelihood of drivers wasting time on the road because they are unsure of the quickest route to each stop. Such unnecessary detours and additions in travel routes increase fuel consumption, which costs more money due to the global increase in fuel prices.
The dispatchers are responsible for creating predetermined routes through the route planning process so that the drivers can take the routes that are the quickest and appropriate for the size and weight of the vehicles they are driving.
GPS tracking allows stakeholders to know where their fleets are at all times. By gaining visibility, they can ensure that the drivers perform their duties properly, such as taking the predetermined route, arriving at the stop point on time, etc.
Though embedding GPS tracking may offend some drivers, stakeholders can always inform them that the goal is to hold everyone accountable. Tracking them via GPS doesn’t imply that the stakeholders don’t trust their performance. Instead, it is a method to scale the overall performance and make evaluations to improve in the upcoming time. It gives stakeholders a chance to step in and help if there are any unforeseen complications on the road or if the vehicle breaks down. This kind of communication that provides near-instantaneous support and crisis management can be done with GPS tracking.
The in-built chat feature aims to improve communication between dispatchers and drivers. For example, if drivers encounter issues such as broken engines, punctured tyres, or being stuck in traffic, they can immediately notify dispatchers via the in-built chat.
Subsequently, dispatchers can make real-time decisions after receiving driver reports. They can, for instance, reassign jobs to other drivers, send technicians to assist drivers, and save time, fuel, and energy instead of wasting time asking the drivers to return or re-do tasks.
Although truck dispatchers and fleet drivers can communicate via SMS or Whatsapp, the in-built chat feature will allow them to complete multiple tasks in one application in a seamless and simple way. Often, SMS and WhatsApp are also used for personal conversations, so using a specific app with in-built chat can help separate work better. Furthermore, the in-built chat feature will record all messages, enabling business owners to see the flow of information as well.
Proper dispatch management requires dispatchers to inform recipients of the ETAs of the goods they have yet to receive. The delivery notifications feature simplifies notifying recipients by automatically sending out the shipping details (e.g., shipper and recipient’s details, freight information, and ETA). The recipients will receive delivery notifications via SMS or email. As a result, they won’t have to nudge customer service centres about their delivery status and can check it themselves, reducing any frustration or effort involved in reaching out to ask for status updates.
Automated tasks completion
Automated task completion necessitates quick invoicing via electronic proof of delivery (ePOD). It allows drivers to complete more jobs in a day without submitting the previously required paper proof of delivery to dispatchers.
On the other hand, dispatchers don’t have to wait for drivers to submit proof of delivery at the end of the day. Aside from being time-consuming, the practice of paper POD is also susceptible to human error, such as damaged or lost documents, the possibility of entering incorrect information due to illegible handwriting, and many more.
Partner management is an essential feature for businesses that use external dispatchers or work with multiple delivery partners. It enables them to monitor the performance of their partners at any time of day.
Even if they are not the ones who ship the goods, these businesses will retain control over the goods movement. Aside from that, this feature allows them to assess their partners’ capacity, performance, and costs. This gives them enough information if they need to ask for more support from their providers or can tell them enough if it’s time to seek other providers to ensure the quality they expect continues to be upheld.
Benefits of dispatching software
Now that we’ve identified the 7 key features you should look for in a dispatching software, it’s time to evaluate the functionality a software like this can provide for your business. Here are some outcomes that you can expect after incorporating the software into your workflow:
It’s time to say goodbye to disorganised scheduling. If you are a business owner, automatic scheduling will make you confident that your dispatchers will be able to better manage their responsibilities related to developing schedules for the drivers to follow.
Automatic scheduling will also inform you of the ongoing tasks if you’re a dispatcher yourself. Thus, you can avoid scheduling delivery orders to unavailable drivers, which can delay the delivery orders.
Optimise daily schedule
How frequently do you request more drivers than you require to deliver goods to your customers? If this is a recurring problem that you want to eliminate, dispatching software can help.
The software will enable dispatchers to optimise your daily schedule by fully loading your fleets based on your needs. In this way, you can save money and time on shipping.
Reduce working time
Running a large business can be difficult at times, especially when shipping goods to multiple addresses in a single day. You may need to make your drivers work extra hours to fulfil delivery orders.
Fortunately, you can strategically improve your efficiency with the help of dispatching software. As a result, you may no longer need to request that your drivers work longer hours and pay them the overtime fees. With optimised routes and advance notice that you might need more drivers on days with more orders, you can plan ahead.
Enable mobile capabilities
Providing mobile capabilities is critical in this day and age, and dispatching software can help you with that. We are confident that our driver app will allow your drivers to exchange information with dispatchers in real-time, eliminating the need to switch between multiple apps, which can be inconvenient.
So, does your business need dispatch management?
Every business has unique needs. But at the end of the day, increasing efficiency and optimising the way your business functions is necessary to scale. Dispatch management is a crucial investment in logistics and operations if you have more than a few orders to fulfil each day.
Still, if you’re confused or hesitant, we encourage you to reach out to us. At Yojee, our dispatch management software is one of the many things we have to support businesses. We’re certain we can help you figure out what your business needs. Contact us or schedule a demo to find out more.
Helping businesses overcome their complex supply chain challenges has always been Yojee’s core value. We connect land freight players through our proprietary platform, providing supply chain visibility and enabling seamless communication between shippers and their customers.
Since our founding in 2016, we have worked alongside the world’s largest 3PLs, global freight forwarders, transportation companies, and brand owners to develop logistics solutions that meet their first-mile and last-mile delivery needs.
How Yojee stands out from other logistics providers is our multi-carrier management feature, which allows collaboration between land freight players to meet demands. Coupled with our last mile delivery app for drivers, logistics providers can now efficiently move freight from point A to point B with optimal resource usage. We do all this with one goal in mind: fewer carbon emissions and sustainability.