Running a logistics company is a never-ending game of operations optimization. With so many moving parts, there’s always something that could be done to improve the performance of this dynamic system. And speaking of moving parts, your fleet of vehicles is the prime-mover muscle that does the actual lifting in your day-to-day logistics. How can you make it work in the most proficient way? How do you increase fleet efficiency? Well, let’s talk about dispatch software.
Custom dispatch software can be a game-changer for your fleet operations. Imagine having real-time insight into all your fleet's activities, optimized routes, and seamless communication between drivers, dispatchers, and customers. It can truly help you unlock the full potential of your fleet.
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of automated dispatch software so that you can transform your fleet management on multiple levels.
What is a dispatch software?
Dispatch software is a tool that helps companies in the logistics industry manage and optimize their shipping operations. It serves to automate tasks such as scheduling, routing, and real-time tracking of vehicles. A dispatch management platform can also provide valuable insights into performance metrics such as time-to-completion and resource utilization, which in turn can help businesses identify areas for improvement and optimize their processes. After all, efficiency is the name of the game in logistics.
Great automated dispatching software will assist you in areas such as:
- assigning a vehicle and staff to a customer
- scheduling pickups and deliveries
- optimizing routes based on various factors including weather, traffic conditions, hub location, distance between particular stops, or vehicle capacity
- providing task lists to the staff
- quality control of provided services
- managing customers, fleet, staff, and third-party vendors
- creating an easy communication channel between call center reps and drivers out in the field
- generating timely reports
How dispatch management systems add value to fleet operations
The main purpose of dispatch management software is to automate the many codependent processes involved in logistics with the goal of cutting costs, boosting efficiency, and increasing customer satisfaction.
Benefit #1: Servicing more complex freight journeys
Dispatch software helps with managing more complex journeys by removing the guesswork out of route planning and scheduling. By taking into account variables like traffic, distance, and delivery time windows, it can determine the most efficient itinerary for each delivery, cutting down on travel time and fuel costs.
Transportation dispatch software also gives you real-time visibility into the location and status of every vehicle in your fleet. With this information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions and adjust plans on the fly if unexpected delays or changes occur.
Benefit #2: Revenue diversification via freight marketplaces
If you're looking to increase your company's revenue, integrating dispatch software with various freight marketplaces can be a great way to do so. By seamlessly accepting and managing orders from different sources, you can reach a wider range of customers to ultimately generate more income.
Benefit #3: More effective last-mile deliveries
With real-time tracking and communication capabilities provided by dispatch software, dispatchers can monitor deliveries and communicate with drivers to optimize routes and make sure freight arrives on time. It can also help with load planning, making it easier to manage and efficiently allocate deliveries prior to shipping.
Moreover, dispatch software can integrate with various tracking and telematics technologies, enabling companies to collect all sorts of data which can then be used to help identify areas for improvement and optimize last-mile delivery operations.
Benefit #4: Access to the profitable cross-border parcel market
If international shipping is a part of your operations, dispatch software can easily manage and track your shipments, making sure you meet delivery deadlines and comply with customs regulations. You can get real-time updates on the location and status of the parcels you carry, so that any potential issues can be quickly identified and resolved.
Dispatch management software can also help you handle cross-border transactions. A custom platform can come with features like multi-currency support, automated billing, and invoicing. You can be sure that you're charging your customers the right amount, no matter where they are in the world.
Benefit #5: Simplified transition to electric fleets
If you decide to go green with your fleet, dispatch software can assist the transition by providing real-time data on vehicle locations, charging status, and driving behavior. The software can also help plan routes and schedules, taking into account the limited range of electric vehicles, to ensure deliveries are made on time, while also minimizing the need for recharging.
Additionally, you can gain access to data on charging infrastructure availability and identify the best stations along routes. This information can help companies plan charging stops and reduce the risk of running out of power mid-journey. By using dispatch software to optimize your electric fleet's usage, you can reduce your carbon footprint, save on fuel costs, and position yourself as a leader in sustainable transportation.
On top of all that, there’s the issue of fleet automation. In case you heard about them somewhere in the media and were wondering what the future of self-driving trucks is, well, they’re actually already here, operating in a limited but growing capacity.
The logistics industry is the testing ground for driverless technology which will eventually increase its share of the freight moved and powerful software will play a crucial role in its functioning.
Benefit #6: Increased efficiency as fewer employees can provide the same level of service
Automating tasks like route planning, scheduling, and communication with dispatch software will help optimize the operations and improve overall efficiency. This means that fewer employees are required to manage the same number of vehicles and drivers, reducing labor costs. Alternatively, the same number of staff can manage an extended fleet, contributing to the company's growth.
Benefit #7: Improved company reputation
You can’t overstate how important reputation is in the logistics industry. Using dispatch software, companies can provide real-time updates to customers about their deliveries, including estimated arrival times, shipment status, and delivery confirmation, which leads to reduced customer anxiety and a higher level of satisfaction.
On top of that, scheduling and dispatch software can help logistics companies proactively address any issues that arise during the delivery process, such as delays or delivery errors, by providing real-time visibility into the location and status of each shipment.
This type of software can provide valuable analytics and reporting to help businesses identify areas for improvement in their operations and make data-driven decisions keeping customer service and a strong reputation that attract new customers a top priority.
Must-have dispatch management software features to drive sizable efficiency gains
Whether you’re looking for an off-the-shelf solution or custom fleet dispatch software, these are the crucial features the platform you implement must have in order to give you that edge.
Real-time vehicle tracking
This feature comes in handy for fleet managers who need to know the precise location of their vehicles. Using the geospatial data visualization technology allows you to see exactly where the cars and trucks are at any given moment, as well as gain insights into metrics like their speed and direction of travel. All this can constitute a basis for future improvements in route planning and delivery times optimization.
Work order assignment and management
Proper planning of what needs to be done and by whom forms a solid basis for work efficiency. With dispatch software, you can conveniently assign and manage shipments coming in and out. This feature enables you to schedule deliveries, track work orders, and monitor progress being made. Stay on top of all the necessary paperwork, such as delivery confirmations, invoices, and receipts to keep things nice and tidy.
Dynamic route planning and optimization
Dispatch software with dynamic route planning and optimization functionalities lends you a hand with some of your company's top operational aspects – choosing the most efficient routes for your deliveries, while accounting for traffic, weather, and delivery windows. If you want to reduce fuel costs, generate better delivery times, and get that customer satisfaction up, make sure the platform you implement has these capabilities. AI-powered logistics optimization is how you can achieve this.
Dispatch software can be your digital file clerk managing all the delivery-related documents in one place, making sure the company stays organized and orderly. This feature should let you upload, store, and retrieve any and all documents, such as bills of lading, delivery confirmations, and invoices, as per what's required.
Driver performance and analytics
Earlier in the post I compared the fleet to a muscle actually moving the load. Staying on the sports tip, drivers can be athletes whose performance can and should be measured via a selection of stats. When shopping for scheduling and shipping software, be on the lookout for a feature that will provide metrics like delivery times, fuel efficiency, and customer satisfaction in relation to particular drivers. Use this information to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to boost driver performance and productivity.
Fuel management dashboard
The ever-rising energy costs are no joke. Operating a business, you can never be too mindful of your consumption. A fuel management dashboard can help you keep track of fuel costs and usage across the fleet. With this feature, you can monitor burning levels, identify fuel waste, and take steps to improve the efficiency of this crucial aspect.
Real-time alerts and notifications
Sometimes things just happen. Dispatch software offering real-time alerts and notifications can help you stay on top of your fleet's status and take action when necessary. This feature can instantly inform you about issues such as missed deliveries, delays, or vehicle malfunctions, allowing you to respond and minimize any potential impact on your operations.
Building your custom dispatch software with RST Software
In essence, dispatch software is an extremely productive and valuable tool, boosting many of the crucial, fleet-related metrics. From route planning and delivery optimization, through access to new markets, to major cost savings on manpower and fuel – this type of software truly can be a game changer for you.
If you’re only just starting to shop around, you can see if any of the readily-available options in the market meet your specific needs to the extent you’d wish they did. Alternatively, keep in mind there’s always the option to have a tool like this custom-developed for you.
You may not know it yet, but at RST Software, we’ve garnered a major experience in the logistics industry by helping Trans.eu, Europe’s 2nd largest logistics platform to build their software, and are ready to help you develop and implement a dispatch software solution that thoroughly addresses all your business needs.
With experts in our ranks excelling in technologies crucial for the transportation industry such as location-based services, digital map development, and geospatial data visualization, we’re uniquely poised to deliver a tangible improvement for any logistics company.
Go on, drop us a line at email@example.com, and we’ll see how we can make your entire dispatching operations more efficient with a custom-built platform.