Streamlining Your Dispatching Process
How do you start your day at the office? Is it with a cup of coffee in hand, sifting through e-mails, preparing for the day’s business? You ask yourself, which e-mail was it, that had the information for that order you are supposed to dispatch this morning? You scroll through, opening at least three irrelevant e-mails to your task at-hand. Finally, you find it and start jotting down notes on a pad of paper, grab a calculator and finalize the quote for your customer. You start writing the reply e-mail, the same basic information that you have sent over and over. This sure does seem like a lot of work for one item being checked off your ‘to do’ list. You ask yourself, how long did this take? It probably took too long, and unfortunately, a similar inefficient process may be repeated for each step of the dispatching process, in between phone calls and other distractions.
This is just the beginning of the work flow to make your customers happy. The quoting, planning and dispatching process in a dump truck hauling company can take time and be a drawn-out process. We all know time equals money.
A good order and dispatch software system will streamline the work flow, so that when a quote is created for a customer, it can be used to create the order. Cloud based software allows salespeople in the field to enter a quote for it to be immediately available to the dispatcher. This approach cuts down on the communications between your sales team creating the quote and the dispatcher.
A good quote and order system will also allow the users to copy and edit quotes and orders. Searching for quotes and orders takes seconds instead of minutes. In the manual paper system, when a quote can’t be found, it is usually rewritten.
Many dump truck companies are still working with paper orders. Are you one of them? If so, how do you ensure that you have all the pieces of paper representing today’s or tomorrow’s orders? Did you remember the order placed last month, or the ones created the day the substitute dispatcher was working?
Even if you have all the orders in hand, how do you plan the order of the deliveries? If something changes, how difficult is it to juggle the remaining orders? Often, this results in much chaos around the dispatch office. Inability to schedule and dispatch trucks accurately and timely results in drivers working over-time or missed orders and unhappy customers.
Think of how much smoother dispatching would go if you had software that allowed you to schedule your orders in advance and to assign the trucks to deliveries. Good planning and dispatching software is very visual and lets you see the availability of your trucks at a glance. It will also let you readily see which orders have not yet been scheduled.
An example of a system that allows you to schedule your orders might look like the below. Note how the trucks shown in the top section change color. Green trucks have availability and red trucks are fully utilized. In the “# of Trucks” column, note the 2 red numbers indicating that not enough trucks have been scheduled.
What happens if your main dispatcher is sick or quits? The paper-based system will be much harder for the new dispatcher to pick up the pieces. With a good software application, all the data will be available, and the system will enforce a good, repeatable process. You don’t have to worry about all the information being in the old dispatcher’s head.
So, let’s just imagine your work life with a cloud-based dispatching software. How much smoother will your day go? How much time will you save by not being on the phone, sifting through e-mails, or shuffling papers? How much more will you enjoy your job? How many more customers can you make happy?
Dump Truck Dispatcher is cloud-based dispatching software, that offers an integrated system for quoting, planning, ticketing, and dispatching. It has easy-to-use search and filter features to organize the information you are looking for. It is a highly visual app that makes managing your schedule easy. Your daily schedule can be planned for in advance, and can easily be edited with last minute changes. The best news is, this ‘paper trail’ is paperless so you don't have to search through filing cabinets to find that order or ticket that you need.
If you are in the dump truck service, concrete, or asphalt industries, and would be interested in a free 30-minute consultation about how our dispatching software can help your business, please reach out to me via our Contact Us page.
Even if you aren’t interested in the free consultation, please leave a comment below on what other things would help streamline the dispatching process.