Managing a fleet involves a lot of moving parts, which can be time-consuming when dealt with manually. Fortunately, fleet dispatch software exists to ease the burden and give us a greater chance for success. This article walks you through the basics of what it is and how to select the right one.
What is fleet dispatch?
A fleet dispatch is how businesses organize and direct drivers or vehicles to perform different operations. Fleet dispatching makes sure that vehicles are properly serviced wherever their location and helps ensure deliveries are on-time and in order. It also helps guarantee the correct pick-up time for customers when applicable.
What is fleet dispatch software?
Fleet dispatch software brings drivers together with dispatchers, keeping them on the same page to boost efficiency, reduce errors, increase delivery time and bring unique data insights to teams in real time. Fleet dispatch software is often a number of different systems that fleets can use to manage drivers and/or vehicles, ensuring the right timings and routes.
Why is it important?
Fleet dispatch software is important for a wide range of reasons, all depending on the type of entity using the system and the type of fleet they’re managing. In general, fleet dispatch software is so valuable because it lets companies bring necessary communication between all parties involved in the vehicle operations. This could be a customer, a dispatcher, a field-tech, or driver. This communication varies from on-screen to landline to mobile phone, and is all connected centrally. The best fleet tracking systems are all-encompassing, allowing administrators full control over the many different moving parts from one singular access point.
Another reason fleet dispatch software is so necessary is its ability to shine a light on the condition and status of the entire fleet. Many systems even show a real-time map, adding a visual component to help administrators see where each vehicle is, which route they took and where they’re going. This further cuts down on unnecessary communication, i.e. asking a driver their location via radio, etc.
Keeping track of in-use vehicles is only one part of fleet management and is an overview you get with fleet dispatch software as well. Consider the portion of the fleet that is currently not in use. Most systems have built-in scheduling software that gives a makeshift calendar to users and administrators to ensure no wires cross when adding a new job.
One of the most cost-savvy reasons to use a fleet dispatch software system is the automated repair alerts that monitor vehicles and alert the owners when something needs to be fixed. Whereas the visual map monitoring system will be helpful when a vehicle breaks down, the repair alerts help prevent that from happening in the first place. The repair alerts tell administrators what needs changing on a vehicle and by what time and date it needs to be completed to avoid failure. In addition to repairs, this could also be used for vehicles that need to be charged or fueled up.
Now that you understand why a fleet dispatch software system is so important, let’s take a look at what types of features make a system worthwhile.
The necessary features
Digital visualization of vehicles
Depending on the owner of the fleet, having some type of visualization of the vehicles is crucial for different reasons. It may be to locate a troubled or broken down vehicle and get emergency services to that location. It could also be to locate and retrieve a vehicle if a company rents their vehicles and then collects them from various dropoff locations. Whichever is the case, a digital visualization, such as a mapping system, is key.
People have grown to almost expect some types of incentives when using a service or doing a job, even if it’s in the form of arbitrary points. Fleet dispatch software that allows for this to be provided without extra effort is a real plus. If it is able to keep track of different users or drivers, administrators will have no problem giving rewards to users once a threshold has been reached. When the fleet is controlling employees like drivers, some type of gamification is helpful, and dispatch software that eases the process is ideal.
Tools for increased efficiency
Efficiency will mean different things to different fleet owners, but it still results in a positive outcome. For example, a fleet dispatch software that is used to keep track of employees driving vehicles could monitor things such as fuel usage, which can reduce fuel purchases, leading to improved overall fleet fuel efficiency. For dispatch software users who rent a fleet, this efficiency comes from things like geographic reminders and optimizers that let them give their customers a better service.
Even though we’ve covered the basics, here are some ancillary items to consider and touch up on before implementing a dispatch software system:
- How easy the system is to set up and maintain
- How well it reduces accidents and increase safety across the board
- What type of GPS technology it employs
- The availability and helpfulness of customer service