Some businesses have either been in the game of deliveries all along, or were forced to enter it when COVID-19 hit. But now, dispatching is part of the new normal. In evaluating a long-term solution, it’s important to know that not all dispatching solutions are created equally.
When comparing different solutions, make sure to analyze each solution’s ability to provide integration, real-time tracking automation/learning, customizability, route-optimization, delivery or service time windows, ability to manage capacity, measurability, and longevity.
In addition to contact-free deliveries and help from crowd-sourced delivery drivers and on demand deliveries, there are a host of features to consider when choosing a solution.
Taking delivery to the next level requires the ability to optimize and also prioritize routes. Optimized routes organize each order in the most efficient way possible and may allow for re-arranging and customization of routes to prioritize VIP customers.
The increased demand for deliveries, climbing driver shortages, increased customer demands with shortened time windows, along with free delivery; all drive the importance of optimizing and streamlining operational efficiencies. Advanced dispatch has made all this possible through the ability to create optimized routes with the simple click of a button. Optimized routes are the first step in ensuring efficiency in a delivery or service operation. Routes are instantly built according to customer time windows, traffic, proximity, customer preferences, and much more to get routes dispatched to drivers as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Dispatch From Anywhere
Over the last several months, many of us have quickly realized the importance of being able to work from wherever necessary – whether it’s home, the office, or anywhere in between. Having the ability to get a full picture view of everything happening within the business’s daily operations from any location will be the new expectation.
Automated or Assisted Dispatching
Many dispatching software solutions can route and track, but there are also advanced solutions that provide the ability to auto-route and auto-suggest routes. Routes can be auto-created in the most optimal order based upon user-defined parameters, including employing specific drivers or vehicle types, along with specified start and end times, and the desired number of routes. Orders can be auto-suggested to an already active run in order to maximize routes in progress. Automated dispatching assists the dispatcher by reducing the time it takes to review routes and think through possible options.
Integration capabilities can make or break the ability to streamline orders directly from the ERP/POS system to the dispatching software. Though seemingly straightforward, this process is a crucial component of dispatching effectively.
The ability to track packages, drivers, the outside sales team, service technicians, and all daily operations in real-time can provide immense opportunities in efficiency, reporting, and customer satisfaction. Real-time tracking provides the ability to see a detailed full-picture view of where everything is in relation to the dispatching cycle at any given moment.
External and On Demand Delivery Services
Driver shortages are having a heavy impact on the world of retail. With external delivery services, retailers now have the ability to call in an outside driver to help deliver products faster and more cost effectively. This same feature also benefits couriers, by allowing them to float their fleet and accept orders from retailers, creating a win-win scenario for both industries.
While some solutions may provide a cookie-cutter, one size fits all option, other solutions provide customization to help meet each company’s individual dispatching needs. In addition, software customizability allows the business to adapt its operations as well as grow with future trends and needs.
Many times, certain routes will operate on a schedule of daily, weekly, or even monthly runs. Advanced dispatching software should allow a customer to set up their scheduled routes so that they are auto-created at the time of dispatch. This saves the dispatcher and manager immense amounts of time while also increasing efficiency of the operation.
Delivery or Service Windows
When service or delivery windows are part of the delivery equation, it is important to be able to organize and route properly to meet the indicated time windows. Routes can be built to meet time windowed deliveries in the most optimal order to ensure that all deliveries are completed when the customer needs them to be.
Many industries rely on the ability to fit the proper amount of product in each vehicle as well as follow vehicle restrictions. Advanced dispatching solutions can formulate routes based on weight, size, vehicle capacity, driver specifications, and much more.
Communication is key in the quickly changing dispatching operation. Through email and text alerts, better customer communication is both possible and necessary to compete against larger e-commerce corporations. Customers expect more, and with the proper dispatching tool at your fingertips, providing key details to customers can be done automatically.