The retail e-commerce industry, worth more than $8.1 trillion in 2021, is ever-changing and requires modern, reliable and cost-effective delivery solutions.
Businesses without an automated dispatching system will spend most of their time and resources planning routes and handing out driver assignments. Apart from draining resources, ineffective enterprise fleet management compromises productivity, ruins customer relationships, and reduces your profit margin.
One way to avoid these issues is to use efficient fleet dispatch software that saves you hours every day by automating route optimization during route execution, giving your customers accurate ETAs, and the tools to easily make changes to routes during delivery. Keep reading to learn more about the factors you should consider when choosing the best dispatch software for your business.
The Different Routing Strategies
There are three major routing strategies we see last-mile fleets employing. The best dispatching software will enable your organization to leverage any of these strategies and potentially migrate from one to the other as their operations evolve:
- Static routing: This traditional method involves predetermined routes that drivers follow every delivery day. Companies that still use static routing appreciate the ability to see real-timedriver locations, communicating, and satisfying customers.
- Dynamic routing: In contrast to static routing, dynamic routes are built daily around that day’s orders and available drivers. To successfully leverage this routing strategy, a system needs to consider traffic conditions, anticipated weather, time windows, driver availability, load constraints, and other factors then build routes on the fly. This strategy fosters a fast, successful fleet with larger numbers of deliveries every day.
- Hybrid routing: A hybrid routing strategy blends both static and dynamic routing to improve last-mile operations’ speed and efficiency while ensuring that your drivers meet delivery windows and other customer expectations. In hybrid scenarios, static routes are built and dynamic stops fill in around the static stops to maximize fleet utilization.
To be enacted effectively, and keep up with competition, all of these strategies require dispatch software that delivers automated route optimization and execution, real-time fleet visibility, delivery tracking, customer notifications, and instant proof of delivery. Let’s look at what features
What to Look for in Dispatch Software
To enable these strategies, the dispatching software you choose must be configured to your unique way of doing business and integrate with your back-end processes and systems. Here are some features to look for when choosing fleet dispatch software.
“Has the package been shipped?” “When will the package reach its customers?” “What is the delivery window?” Ensure the fleet tracking and dispatching software allows for easy communication among fleet managers, dispatchers, drivers, and customers. It will save you hundreds of hours each month and also increase productivity.
Opt for enterprise-grade fleet management software that can adjust route plans or allow your dispatchers to make adjustments during route execution. If you find real-time dispatch software that is adjustable and scalable, it will add value to your most complex workflows.
Ensure that the fleet dispatch software integrates with your other internal technologies and critical systems, such as warehouse management software, GPS tracking systems, route optimization software, customer and team communication systems, order management systems, enterprise resource planning tools, etc.
Support for a Broad Range of Vehicles, Including Large Trucks
Depending on your business needs and the type of vehicles you use for deliveries, choose a fleet dispatch software that takes into account the size and type of vehicles in your fleet. Some things to keep in mind include vehicle capacities and, in the case of large trucks, special navigation requirements
Benefits of Dispatch Software
The right dispatch system software offers various benefits to your business. This technology can make your last-mile logistics more efficient and cost-effective, from automating your route optimization to dispatching and tracking. When looking for dispatch software, be sure the providers can deliver these benefits:Here are some of the major benefits of fleet dispatch software.
1. Increase Customer Satisfaction
Improving consumer satisfaction helps increase customer loyalty and attracts new customers, especially referrals. And using real-time information enables businesses to provide an accurate expected delivery time to each customer, reducing late deliveries and exceeding customer expectations.
2. Complete More Deliveries Each Day
If your organization requires dynamic or hybrid routing, the right fleet tracking and dispatching software finds the best and fastest delivery route. It considers fueling and vehicle costs, road conditions, location, real-time traffic, and other parameters while enabling smooth fleet dispatching, tracking, and management.
3. Increase Sustainability Reduce the Number of Drivers and Vehicles on the Road
Businesses can use enterprise fleet management software to improve their operation and save the planet. Faster delivery enables them to reduce emission and their carbon footprint. They do this by having fewer drivers and vehicles on the road.
4. Leverage Data to Improve Fleet Performance Continuously
The right fleet dispatch software helps you increase across-the-board last-mile logistics by allowing fleet managers to develop logical dispatch plans, communicate changes to the delivery routes and stops easily, and find the best driver dispatcher for each stop task.
Other benefits of enterprise fleet management tools include
- Lowering dwell times for drivers, putting them back on the road while freeing dispatchers to focus on strategic work.
- Maximizing fleet capacity to accommodate more business and meeting more service-level agreements.
What Is the Best Dispatch Software for Your Business?
The best dispatch software meets the specific needs of your business and helps you and your team meet your operational and efficiency goals. Key considerations:
- Ability to automate route optimization and maximize fleet utilization
- Integration with your current systems
- Scalability, customization options, and ease of use
- Support of various routing strategies
- Tools to support everyone in the last-mile delivery process (planners, dispatchers, drivers, managers and customers)