Handling a large number of drivers and vehicles running across states or regions is no easy task. You need to ensure efficient dispatching of drivers to make sure your fleet operations are running smoothly and within budget. You need a powerful tool you can rely on to check whether drivers are following routes and schedules so they can reach their destinations at the promised time. Plus, you need to automate scheduling and route planning to help your team make more deliveries.
That’s why a driver dispatch app is one of the most beneficial tools any fleet manager or dispatcher can have to ensure efficient operations. In this post, we will talk about how driver dispatch apps work and the many benefits of leveraging them in your delivery operations.
The Many Benefits of a Driver Dispatch App
The right driver dispatch app can offer fleets, drivers, dispatchers, and even customers a number of different benefits:
Improved operational efficiency: The right app does a lot more than just dispatch drivers to the routes that your planners have plotted it out. Rather, your software should let you optimize and update routes to ensure that orders are delivered on time while maximizing the utilization of your delivery capacity.
Smarter exception management: Robust dispatch software systems offer real-time visibility on drivers' locations and statuses so fleet managers and dispatchers no longer have to call the drivers manually just to know their location and expected time of arrival (ETA). With an advanced solution, you can get precise information about delivery as it unfolds, allowing your back-office employees to spot potential exceptions and work quickly to get them resolved.
Flexibility in the face of the unexpected: You can expect things to go wrong once in a while no matter how careful you’ve planned your deliveries. Various factors can affect delivery times and can also change in an instant. There are unexpected bad weather conditions, unexpected heavy traffic situations, and last-minute work orders to deal with. The right dispatch app for logistics helps you deal with the unexpected, allowing fleet managers and dispatchers to update routes quickly and easily where applicable and to send real-time updates to customers when ETAs or circumstances change.
Higher customer satisfaction: Businesses across the board need to offer excellent customer service both to retain current customers and to gain new ones. A huge part of this is making sure that orders are consistently delivered on time. That’s why the right dispatch app management software lets your dispatchers find the most efficient and cost-effective routes with just a few clicks. This kind of smart route optimization enables your drivers to avoid slowdowns caused by unforeseen events and conditions. Providing drivers with optimized routes also allows them to make more stops every day.
Scalability: At some point, with any luck, you will have to expand your delivery operations. A robust dispatch solution will help you grow your business by offering flexibility and scalability. It should be customizable to suit your current needs. And it should make it easy for you to expand when you need to handle high delivery volumes or add a new area of coverage.
What to Look for in a Driver Dispatch App
There are plenty of driver dispatch automation apps on the market, which makes it hard to tell which is best suited for your fleet. When choosing a solution, there are several key features to pay attention to:
GPS and status tracking in real-time: Make sure to choose a solution that offers real-time GPS tracking combined with live delivery status updates. When you only have the one, it’s harder for dispatchers and fleet managers to quickly get a handle on what’s happening—since the truck’s location doesn’t tell you everything. Conversely, when you can see the location of a given truck and see which job it’s going to or at, and place it in context with the rest of the route, you can more clearly understand how your deliveries are unfolding.
Easy Integration: The last thing you need is a new tool that can't work in tandem with your current systems. As such, it’s crucial to choose a dispatch driver app that can seamlessly be integrated with your other systems. Dealing with disparate sources of information locked into silos will inevitably mean the loss of data and useful insights. By the same token, the best dispatching app is intuitive to use and can be installed easily. If a solution requires weeks of training to use, it runs the risk of slowing down operations.
Automatic updates to customers: Customers easily get frustrated when their orders don't arrive within promised delivery windows. That said, many of them will be more understanding if you inform them of the delay and the new ETA ahead of time. A solution that tracks real-time data on drivers will allow you to share live tracking portals with your customers so they can track their deliveries on their own. Advanced dispatching software should also offer automatic alerts to customers to inform them of the delivery status throughout the day.
Intuitive driver mobile app: It's not enough to offer dispatchers and fleet managers real-time tracking abilities. Equally important is to give them an easy way of communicating with drivers on the road so they can easily relay new work orders, route changes, and other instructions.
Dispatch solution that offers a driver mobile app can reduce the headaches of fleet managers and dispatchers since they only need to send drivers notes via their mobile apps rather than calling them manually. Drivers, in return, will be informed immediately of the new route plans, delivery schedule, and updates.
Likewise, drivers can also use their mobile apps to conduct vehicle inspections, capture proof of delivery, and more.
The right driver dispatch app offers many benefits including automation of processes, improved productivity, and increased customer satisfaction. That said, not all dispatch apps are created equal. If you can find one that has the above-mentioned must-have features, you can succeed in choosing the driver dispatch app best suited for your business needs.