The logistics sector as a whole encompasses different processes such as the accumulation, storage, and final dispatch of various products.
The worldwide logistics market is estimated to hit $12,975 billion by 2027. From unmanned robots in warehouses to drones for deliveries, the current logistics and dispatch industry has undergone several transformations in the past decade. For instance, technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and deep research have made automation in most segments of the logistics industry a reality.
The popularity of these technologies gave rise to many innovations such as robotic warehousing systems, drones for effective deliveries, and tools like RFID tags for improved tracking and better supply chain visibility.
Companies harness the data generated from these systems and combine it with other data sources to make better predictions in delivery.
The expectation for faster and effective deliveries compounded with reduced operational costs has made the logistics industry highly competitive. Nowadays, every supply chain business is looking for effective ways to push their stock for faster distribution. The need to craft the perfect dispatch model is on the rise. It will help businesses to smoothly handle the following:
- Order fulfilment
- Damaged goods
- Cancellation of orders without delays
A typical field service management business is always full of chaos. A good dispatching software is all about creating order out of that chaos. Hence, as a dispatcher, you must have powerful software at your disposal to deliver that promised experience to customers. This comprehensive guide takes you through the different things to look for when selecting your dispatch software.
Current Trends in the Dispatch Industry
The service quality of a delivery management industry in the past was often evaluated based on interaction with the service personnel. For example, ten years ago, when calling customer support to track deliveries, customers would connect with a human operator rather than an automated one.
Technology today has completely changed the way services are delivered. Due to the evolution of technology, we can witness a wide range of automated services even in the dispatch industry. The rise of eCommerce has paved the way for the need for digitized and fast-paced logistics. For the logistics industry, it all started when companies moved to excel spreadsheets from paper.
However, it was just the beginning of a new era. The true transformation was achieved when logistics management started employing dispatch delivery software. 2020 brought a lot of changes in the logistics industry despite the pandemic.
We witnessed technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and Industrial automation take over the industry. For example, by the end of 2020, nearly 73% of dispatch management firms had incorporated the Internet of Things (IoT) into their operations. Experts have estimated that by the end of 2021, there will be 35 billion IoT devices.
Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence has given rise to self-learning algorithms and real-time tracking, which has transformed the entire logistics industry.
Mckinsey estimates that AI-led logistics companies will generate $1.3-$2 trillion per annum in economic value. It should also be noted that the cloud service management market is predicted to outgrow itself as a small, medium, and large enterprises are shifting their focus from traditional processes to a system that offers efficient scheduling and dispatching.
What is Dispatch Software
Have you ever seen jugglers perform in a circus? They spin a dozen knives standing on a pole. Dispatching is one step harder than that.
It involves managing countless details involved in coordinating the dispatchers and field agents for routing and scheduling of orders to ensure smooth, efficient, and fast deliveries.
It’s hard to spend all the time manually tracking field agents, planning routes, and organizing driver schedules. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you automate the routing and scheduling process.
One such tool is dispatch software. With the right dispatching software, you can streamline your entire dispatch management process and boost efficiency for the entire supply chain. This provides you more room to develop new strategies for dispatch management and more efficient ways to deliver services.
Here is a classic definition of dispatch software:
Dispatching software is the lifeblood of field service management industries and can be customized to make schedules based on job priority, assigned job volume, the skill of the technician, and location.
It has been designed to supercharge the dispatch operation by improving efficiency by taking quicker decisions. It also serves other sectors like shipping and airlines to oversee their operations.
As they are easy to use, you can say goodbye to multiple windows and hundreds of emails to schedule orders. You will get a 360-degree view of your entire workforce on your computer while sitting at your desk.
Key Features to Look for in a Dispatch Software
Below are some of the important features that you should look for in good dispatch software:
Dispatching primarily involves monitoring the location and status of your field agents. Hence it is essential to have GPS tracking in your feature checklist while choosing dispatch software.
GPS tracking analyses real-time traffic conditions and uses advanced predictions to select the best route for your agents and ensure faster delivery of your goods.
It also offers the location of every driver in the field, the routes they take, and their speed.
As the name suggests, it automates all the tasks that usually require manual labor. An intelligent and user-friendly dispatch software will even provide drag and drop features, making it easy to assign drivers to planned loads. It also makes planning easier by transforming complex data into simple charts, maps, and lists. If you have a steady stream of customers, then automatic scheduling is necessary for a smooth run of your fleet.
For dispatchers and drivers on the go, dispatch software with mobile apps provides easy access and convenient communication. A mobile app creates a two-way communication channel that helps dispatchers share information about quicker routes, shipment alerts, and other issues. It also makes the driver completely independent, giving him complete control of his trip without relying on someone on the desk, thereby reducing paperwork.
When you are operating large-scale orders, tracking all shipments can get quite difficult. Without automated notifications, it is a disaster waiting to happen. Automated notifications will notify the dispatcher about all trips that are scheduled and give frequent updates on the +status of the drivers. This also alerts customers at each phase until final delivery, thus increasing customer satisfaction.
Why Do Companies Use Dispatch Software
A dispatch software makes more sense compared to traditional methods when you want your operations to scale. Software that takes care of the end-to-end needs of the dispatching business will always help fuel your success.
Here are three important reasons why most companies use dispatch software:
To improve their visibility
Dispatch software can provide live supervision of the processes, such as dispatching, staffing, order tracking, etc. The best part is that all of the results are available on a single platform. The collected data helps you gain important insights into your business’s key operations, which will help you make educated decisions on the areas that need improvement.
To improve customer satisfaction
One of the reliable ways to grow your business is to retain customers. Getting new customers is hard but retaining existing ones is harder. It is nearly impossible to prevent customer attrition when there is poor customer service.
A dispatching tool ensures that customers are dealt with promptly and are never kept waiting. It does this with the help of an advanced dispatch scheduling system that monitors vehicles in real-time and provides all important details on a smart dashboard.
This can be easily accessed from desktop and mobile apps to keep the customer updated with the live status of the delivery.
To scale up their business
Modern dispatch management software is designed to grow alongside your workforce. If you are planning to expand to a bigger client base and hire more field agents, then the entire dispatch management process can often get daunting.
Thanks to the scalability of dispatch software, you can achieve efficiency through shift monitoring. On top of this, these tools are extremely flexible and can be adapted to meet your unique needs.
Popular Companies Using Dispatch Software
What happened when companies started using dispatch software?
Honestbee is an online food and grocery delivery service company. It was started in Singapore and currently has a footprint in Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Bangkok. The company offers personal shoppers for customers who pick products on their behalf and deliver them on time.
Without dispatch software, the brand faced several challenges such as difficulty in scaling, handling on-time delivery, and poor tracking of field agents. After employing a dispatch software system, it overcame these challenges and has now become one of Asia’s leading concierge and delivery service companies. The overall efficiency of the dispatching process improved by 18%, and the number of transactions spiked up to 100,000 per month.
Jugnoo is an e-hailing taxi app that offers affordable auto rides and food deliveries. Jugnoo initially struggled to expand to other cities as there were multiple incorrect deliveries due to miscommunication. Such improper fleet management led to wastage of fuel and man-hours. Jugnoo soon integrated dispatch management software and enabled real-time tracking of orders.
It even helped them introduce advanced features like auto allocation and route optimization to deliver on time. Soon the daily transactions increased by 40,000. Optimized routes ended up saving almost 50% in fuel costs. Lastly, the automated deliveries had increased the process efficiency by 43%.
Hellodhobi is an on-demand laundry service company based out of Maharashtra. It provides door-to-door laundry with a 24-hour turnaround time. Due to the huge volume of orders, manual scheduling and dispatching were very difficult to manage.
Coupled with no tracking facility, it became a nightmare for the team to identify where things were going wrong. Hellodhobi Musanga Soon Hellodhobi integrated dispatch software into their operations and thanks to its auto-assignment and real-time tracking ability, they overcame all of their challenges and ensured timely deliveries.
It resulted in a 40% increase in the number of new users and a 30% increase in the number of existing users purchasing a subscription.
Musanga is a logistics firm that connects shippers and carriers to deliver goods across Africa and other emerging markets. Musanga’s objectives were very broad and involved a robust and efficient delivery management system.
Musanga, with the help of dispatching software, created a central dashboard to manage their dispatches and deliveries.
Features like GPS and optimized routing helped them manage multiple deliveries without affecting the costs. Their excellent service is helping them attract more customers, and they expect to serve 25 major African countries by 2027.
Why is Tookan the Right Dispatch Software for Your Business
Here is an interesting fact – All the four companies discussed in the previous chapter used the same dispatch software – Tookan to improve their operations. Out of all the dispatch tools out in the market, Tookan has the advantage of being supported by the right technologies tailored for a delivery business.
The above examples also show that Tookan is not one size fits all software and can be customized to serve all kinds of industries. Tookan offers a bundle of services, including dispatch, delivery, safety, and performance optimization.
It even has a mobile app designed separately for dispatch managers, field agents, and customers.
These apps allow the stakeholders to access information on the go and communicate seamlessly with each other for effective, faster delivery.
Important features of Tookan:
- Easy to use intelligent dashboard and customisable reporting to monitor fleet operations. It lets you manage all the aspects of fleet operations in one interface. It facilitates seamless communication for the entire fulfilment cycle.
- It provides an advanced auto pickup/delivery dispatch system to assign pickups/deliveries automatically to the nearest agents upon receiving the order.
- It ensures real-time fleet visibility and makes it easy to manage agents’ activities and delivery status on a mobile device or desktop connected to the internet. Thus ensuring zero delays in deliveries.
- You can take control of your business by monitoring and managing the entire fleet operations, including reviews of delivery agents, cancelled and delayed orders and much more.
- It also ensures proof of delivery by using the agent’s dispatch software app to get time and photo proof of the order delivered.
- It sends you automated SMS notifications to track the status of deliveries.
Here is the impact of Tookan on various businesses:
A logistics industry typically constitutes several functions such as procurement, packaging, dispatching, and delivery. Out of them, the dispatching function is prone to issues arising out of human errors and manual intervention.
Lack of data usually brings in more confusion to the dispatchers and results in delayed deliveries. This often leads to poor customer satisfaction. The model of dispatch usually varies from business to business. For example, high-volume orders generally revolve around dealers, distributors, and retailers, while smaller quantities are usually delivered directly to the customers.
However, irrespective of the volume, each business strives to fulfill the orders within a specified window. This demands an efficient dispatch planning process aided by powerful dispatch software.
Without a proper dispatch system, dispatch managers will end up spending extra time manually tracking order schedules and organizing driver routes. Through its features such as automated routing, dispatch software efficiently optimizes routes and schedules for the drivers.
A dispatch software like Tookan also has real-time data on a single platform accessible through multiple devices. Your dispatching will never sound more simple when you use Tookan. To know more about Tookan and how it can help you, sign up for a free trial today.
Subscribe to our newsletter
'Jungleworks Entrepreneur's Den' to get access to the latest industry & product insights.