No one likes to be thought of as needy, but let’s face it, we all have needs. Not the touchy-feely stuff. We’re talking the nuts and bolts of what you need as a contractor or hauler working in the heavy construction industry.
Dispatch management is a demanding function of your business whether you have just a few straightforward jobs in your schedule or a growing list of complex projects. When it hums along like a well-oiled machine, dispatch management can meet many of your needs:
- Streamlined communication
- Maximum efficiency
- Improved flexibility
- Business intelligence
- More work opportunities
- Real-time communication
- Reduced paperwork
Dispatchers are key to making sure every aspect of your business runs like it should. They often bridge customer service with jobsite operations. A good dispatcher is highly organized, handles stress well, and is able to prioritize when new challenges pop up at any moment.
As good as your dispatcher may be, their performance can only reach a certain level. Especially if your dispatcher is limited by depending on multiple different systems to check availability and then mapping out the day’s schedule on a whiteboard or in a spreadsheet. These processes are time-consuming and prone to errors.
Dispatch management software can make a good dispatcher a great one. And you’ll realize the benefits soon after you replace those outdated manual tools with a fleet dispatch digital solution.
Connect Now with Drivers through Dispatch Management Solutions
The first place you’ll see the difference is in the communication between dispatchers and drivers. The old way of doing things would have your dispatcher working off a spreadsheet and making calls or sending texts out to your list of drivers to find out who’s available to work. Then comes the waiting. As replies come in, a schedule is worked out. Dispatch confirms with the scheduled drivers. There’s lots of back and forth and wasted time before anyone can hit the ground running.
When your dispatch solution also provides access to a marketplace, the dispatcher easily creates a schedule for the drivers that work for them. Dispatchers can post their additional work to the marketplace, finding more trucks when they need them. Postings include the number and kinds of trucks needed, the pay rate, and other helpful details. Drivers accept the posted jobs and digitally clock into work at the designated start time. That’s it.
No logging into various systems or checking a confusing thread of texts. Through a smartphone and a mobile app, your dispatcher can relay any changes to all the drivers working, and reroute them if necessary. The app instantly puts important information into the hands of everyone who needs it--drivers, teams at the jobsite, even customers.
Ramp up Efficiency with Fleet Dispatch Tools
Having dump trucks idling in line at a loading or dump site is the antithesis of efficiency. So is having a driver arrive at a jobsite only to find out it’s closed for the day. So are deadhead trips. Because dispatch software with real-time GPS tracking allows dispatchers to know what lies ahead, they can provide up to the minute updates to drivers to circumvent these inefficiencies.
With the big picture in front of them, dispatchers can stagger arrivals to eliminate unnecessary idling. When a driver has dropped off a load, they can be reassigned right then, so every mile counts as revenue generating.
This increased efficiency doesn’t end out in the field either. Workflows in the back office experience significant improvements. Traditionally the back-office spends quite a bit of time tracking down and batching tickets at the end of the day, creating invoices for each job, verifying the information, and then sending the invoices out with the hopes that a driver doesn’t turn in a load slip late or with the wrong information.
When your teams are using dispatch management software, drivers will punch in and out digitally and upload their load slips throughout the day. The app collects all the info and automatically generates (and consolidates) invoices. Your back-office stays in control but has more time to work on other more valuable tasks.
Stretch Your Flexibility with Dispatch Management Software
Growing a construction business is not a cheap enterprise. Just the cost of adding one dump truck to your operations can be a huge hurdle to expansion. If you want to take on more projects without capital investment, you have a few options.
Number one, you can try to find additional drivers through your usual sources, your trusty rolodex and phone, social media, or job board listings. You can reach out to a broker and cross your fingers that he or she hasn’t already dispatched the haulers you need.
The second option, and one that more and more contractors are turning to, is to use Trux. In addition to our fleet dispatch platform, Trux is the nation’s largest dump truck marketplace. That means, at any point in time you can have access to reliable drivers with technology-enabled dump trucks. You can manage these hired haulers through the app the same way you manage your own drivers.
This feature means you can scale your business without going through the process of buying additional dump trucks or vetting drivers to add to your team for the long-term. It truly lets you “test drive” drivers. You’ll soon have a list of drivers you like working with and can add them to your favorites.
Increase your Business Intelligence with Data
Sometimes called “descriptive analytics,” business intelligence (BI) simply means having insights into what’s happening now in your business and what’s happened in the past. BI is hard to grasp if you don’t have a systematic and reliable way of collecting accurate data. The real-time and historical GPS tracking that you get with dispatch management solutions provides volumes of information to help you make informed decisions.
For example, you may have a rough idea of how many hours your company-owned trucks are on the road, but with fleet dispatch tools you can know for certain. It’s important to know your current asset utilization ratio so you can take action to improve it. After all, a truck sitting in the yard or driving without a load is not making any money for you.
Access Loads of Work with a Fleet Dispatch Platform
Contractors aren’t the only ones who can benefit from using these digital tools. As mentioned before, the Trux Marketplace allows you to find additional trucks - when you need them. All the trucks you find on the Trux Marketplace are insured and ready to work.
Once you’re in our network of haulers, you’ll have access to all kinds of jobs. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting into, too. The jobs will list the pay rate, any specific instructions to make the job easier and all the other details you need to successfully complete that work. And then look for more.
Real-time Communication has Real Benefits
You won’t need any special equipment installed in your truck either. As long as you have a smartphone, you’re good to go. But you won’t be using your phone to scroll through texts or listen to voicemails. All communications, whether it’s directed specifically to you or a bulk message to all parties, happens through the app. This eliminates wasted time trying to find that particular message or you having to call the dispatcher to get the missing information.
Haulers who use Trux appreciate how easy it is to find and claim work. They also like being able to view their upcoming schedule in addition to their current one.
Ease into Work with Dispatch Management
We’ve never met a hauler who actually enjoyed doing the paperwork involved with a job. But since everyone wants to get paid, it’s just been a necessary evil. But no more. Digital dispatch management tools can make all that paperwork go away. Most solutions will automatically collect your hours on the job, allow you to upload tickets/load slips, and then create an invoice for the job.
Not only are you freed from having to bother with keeping track of your time and load slips, you can rest assured that you have proof of your work should a question about it ever arise. You’ll have accurate records of your work and earnings history in real-time that you can view by date or by job.
Trux Makes Light Work of Dispatch Management
Both contractors and haulers alike are seeing the value in taking advantage of digital solutions to help with dispatch management. Contractors benefit from improvements across their operations:
- Instant connection with drivers in real-time
- Increased efficiency in the field and in the back office
- Immediate access to qualified haulers making it possible to take on more projects
- Ability to make data-driven decisions
Haulers enjoy the way fleet dispatch management solutions make their workday simpler and more productive:
- Easy access to more shifts to fill out their schedules
- Improved and complete communications
- Significant reduction in the paperwork necessary to get paid
Built by people who know the construction industry inside and out, the Trux all-in-one dispatch management platform provides all the above benefits and much more. Features like digital punch-in/out, real-time GPS tracking, mobile app for anywhere, anytime access, automatic consolidated invoicing, drag and drop dispatching and time-stamped hauler route histories all add up to a powerful tool that keeps you in control while making your job easier.
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