Manual vs. Digital: 12 Ways Dispatching is Changing

For many fleet dispatchers, their day begins with a hot cup of coffee as they prepare for a 10-hour shift scheduling routes and being on the phone with surly drivers all day. Some days all the drivers complete their deliveries on time and there is no need to adjust routes, while other days drivers don’t answer their phones, routes need to be changed and customers are worried their driver won’t arrive on time.

 

A new way of doing things has arrived, and it’s available to vehicle fleets of any size.

 

Many people think digital dispatching is only for enterprise operations but increasingly this technology is being adopted by day delivery, hot shot trucking, service industry operations, and other business sectors. We spoke with dispatchers and came up with this list of old dispatching methods versus new dispatching methods to illustrate what your work day looks without and with the benefits of digital dispatching.

 

Driver Communication

Manual Digital
Drivers Don’t Answer Phones Drivers Get In-App Notifications

 

Playing phone tag is already annoying in day-to-day life and it’s even more of a pain for fleet managers. Eliminate the back-and-forth calls by sending out route notifications that drivers can see in the app.

Nearest Vehicle Location

Manual Digital
It Takes 20+ Minutes to Get Through a Driver Call List Enter an Address to Find the Closest Vehicle

 

Digital dispatching triangulates the closest vehicle to the new address so you don’t have to waste time calling all the drivers and setting a new route with a map.

 

DISPATCH SOFTWARE

Hit Your ETA on Every Dispatch

Streamline your dispatch for productivity and speed. Eliminate time-wasting calls to your team on the road and plan your dispatch workflow with clear records of what items were completed. Adjust on the fly and gather timely updates on your job status.

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Fuel Costs

Manual Digital
Fuel Wasted from Constant Re-Routes Optimized Fuel Management Prevents Overlapping Routes

 

You can use dispatching to reroute drivers to more fuel-efficient routes. Every little bit of fuel counts so making sure vehicles don’t drive more than they have to will save money and fuel in the long run.

Job Acceptance

Manual Digital
driver on the phone next to an image of a new job coming through a smart phone
Drivers Complain About Accepting New Jobs Drivers Get Instant Notification with No Discussion

 

When a new task pops up and needs to be sent to a driver there doesn’t have to be a long phone call that goes with it. If they whine about getting assigned something new, you won’t hear it (until the end of the day).

Giving Directions

Manual Digital
Drivers Spend Time Readjusting to New Routes Digitally Send Routes to the Closest Driver

 

Assigning new routes to whichever driver picks up first isn’t always reliable. When you need to add a new route assignment it is much easier to use the back office digital dashboard to see if a driver is heading to a nearby destination. You can then add that new route to their schedule since they are already close. That way you cause the least inconvenience to your driver’s schedule.

Updates to Routes

Manual Digital
Call Drivers You Thought Were Close but They’re Long Gone Digitally Dispatch to a Driver On the Way

 

There’s almost nothing worse than hearing, “Oh, I was just there an hour ago,” from a driver. Digital solutions avoid this by sending the new route to a driver who is already on the way to the new location.

Turn-Arounds

Manual Digital
Last-minute Scramble to Turn Around Pre-planned Routes to Prevent Re-route Times

 

If a large truck needs to be rerouted you can plan out its new route to find the best place to turn around. The app makes it easier to coordinate with drivers so they can quickly reroute – even in a big rig.

ETA’s

Manual Digital
Can’t Give Customers an ETA without Calling Driver Check App to See Driver Location

 

Many digital dispatching services provide estimated down-to-the-minute ETA so you can give the customer the best information possible.

Daily Schedules

Manual Digital
Setting Driver Schedules on a Whiteboard Drivers Check Their Route on the App

 

Instead of gathering everyone up in a room to tell them where they’re going, send out assignments via the app so the drivers can get going right away. It also provides instant daily-updated route info for the driver in case things change.

Planning for Safety

Manual Digital
Weight and Size Can Make Route Changes Difficult Routing Determined Prior to Accepting New Assignment

 

Digital dispatching gives you the ability to pre-plan routes based on vehicle size and weight so they don’t encounter any low overpasses or unfit bridges.

Mobile Data

Manual Digital
Drivers Don’t Want to Pay for Data and Let Their Phones Die Tablet Connected to Vehicle Cuts Down on Data Costs

Don’t rely on cell service to communicate with the crew. There are frequent dead coverage spots, drivers don’t always charge their phones and don’t want to pay for data, and individual assignments can get lost in a sea of group texts. Have them use tablets so they get messages on the go and avoid high data charges.

Billing

Manual Digital
Bill Clients Two Weeks Later Bill Clients in One Day

You can bill clients on the same day because you know your driver was at the location for a certain amount of time and you can charge them properly. Don’t wait two weeks to bill customers once you get all the finalized information.

Wrapping Up

Lots of businesses stay stuck in their old methods, but operating like a multinational shipping company has become way more accessible than most realize.

 

Whether you’re using some of the older dispatching practices or you’ve adopted some of the new technology available, it’s always good to be informed on new fleet tools. Short-haul operations are starting to have the abilities of larger enterprises by streamlining the dispatching process.

 

When things change on a dot, digital dispatching helps managers quickly contact drivers so they can get up-to-date information and adjust their routes accordingly. This type of technology helps fleets be nimbler by making it easier to send out last-minute commands, communicate with drivers, and share updated routes so drivers don’t have to figure out directions on the side of the road.

 

Check out our dispatch and routing page for more information and give your company the edge against your competition. Book a demo today to see how Titan GPS can your dispatch game to the next level.

 

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