Fleet dispatch is the term that encompasses the operations supporting your drivers and/or technicians in the field. However, being a fleet dispatcher or fleet manager is no easy task. It involves a great deal of organization and reacting or solving problems as they arise. With the right tools and resources, you can optimize your fleet dispatch and ultimately improve revenue. Whether your fleet is delivering goods or fulfilling client appointments for services, there are several ways to ensure your fleet operations are smooth and efficient.
The Two Sides of Fleet Dispatch
Fleet dispatching is not a one-and-done job once you create the fleet schedule. Inevitably, things come up and you have to constantly adjust. Your dispatcher has to react to many events that are out of their control, such as traffic delays, equipment breakdown, or service appointments running over their scheduled time. So, the two sides of fleet dispatch are logistics and people.
The logistics of fleet dispatch include everything from routing to confirming certifications. For example, dispatching a truck carrying a crane to an out-of-state job would require certain certifications to clear the port. Let’s say the truck is stopped for inspection at the port and doesn’t meet all the counterweight requirements. Fleet dispatch would have to quickly respond by sending a truck with more counterweights. The logistics side alone can get out of hand and quickly derail your schedule and efficiency.
On the other hand, fleet dispatch has to manage people. The biggest part of managing people is having easy, clear communication with drivers or technicians in the field and with customers. Dispatchers need to have immediate access to customer information to support field employees when things don’t go according to plan. Additionally, field employees are busy trying to complete their work and may forget to send updates. So, fleet dispatch involves checking in regularly for status updates to stay on top of any schedule issues.
How to Optimize Fleet Dispatch
The number one way to optimize your fleet dispatch is to move away from paper-based or whiteboard scheduling and go digital. With Redlist’s Field Services & Dispatch software, you can coordinate both people and logistics. A time-saving visual calendar allows fleet dispatchers to view asset availability and employee availability to forecast and plan a more efficient schedule. Furthermore, a digital solution saves time spent notifying employees of the schedule. In just a few clicks, a dispatcher can create the schedule, assign employees, and notifications are automatically sent to everyone. This supports both fleet dispatchers and field employees with quick and easy notifications when the schedule changes. The support with communication also carries over to customer notifications, as the software will put accurate customer information at your dispatchers’ fingertips.
A digital solution also solves the problem of fleet dispatcher knowledge of job requirements. If your dispatcher doesn’t know exactly how many people or hours are necessary to complete a job, they may send not enough employees or not allot enough time in the schedule. Field Service Management software includes job and project management features that provide dispatchers with all the details of the employees and the time needed for each service ticket.
Finally, fleet dispatch software can include checklists of what certifications or other requirements are necessary for various jobs or routes. A dispatcher doesn’t have to dig into paper files or hunt down the certification information for a truck. Instead, it is all in one central place, right in the software they use for scheduling. This saves dispatchers time and helps ensure that important requirements are not overlooked.
Support Your Fleet Dispatchers with Redlist
A fleet dispatcher who is already great at what they do will only get better with the support of technology. Fleet dispatch is often unpredictable. Dispatchers are constantly responding to changing circumstances, so every minute saved by the efficiency of software helps them keep your field operations running efficiently and smoothly.