7 min read
Tips for Evaluating Dump Truck Dispatch Software
By: Merril Guzman on Sep 24, 2021 9:00:00 AM
Purchasing a piece of software for your business is a big decision. It can be a large investment, it will likely impact the way your employees perform their jobs, and it has the potential to change the way your organization does business.As the trucking industry continues to adopt technology solutions for different areas of their business, dump truck dispatch software is becoming more and more common. Contractors, fleet owners, and managers are leveraging dump truck dispatch solutions to streamline their business operations, satisfy their customers, and most importantly, save money.
While there are a number of solutions available on the market, unfortunately, purchasing a dump truck dispatch solution isn’t as straightforward as you might think. It all depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your dump truck dispatch solution. If you’re well-prepared, are familiar with the industry and what you’re looking for, it shouldn’t be daunting, it should be exciting!
Just think -- if you select a transformational, user-friendly product, you’ll be heralded as a forward-thinking genius within your organization. But if you hastily select dump truck dispatch software, without researching the product, vetting the company, or talking to your team, you won’t be receiving any pats on the back at this year’s holiday party. We’re here to help you evaluate different dump truck dispatch solutions for your business, whether you’re a contractor, material producer, or fleet owner.
Tip #1: Identify & understand your internal goals before reaching out to software companies
Each company offering dump truck dispatch software will have its own angle on why you need their software. However, to have the best possible conversation with each company and truly evaluate their offer, you need to come to the table with a solid idea of what you are looking for.
Reach out to your key team members to find out what pain points they currently have with their day-to-day, seasonal, or annual operations. Talking to your employees about what they would like to see out of a dispatch solution is important. It’s important to talk to:
- Equipment managers
- Back-office team members
- Jobsite foreman
- And your dump truck drivers
Each person you talk to within your organization will help you build a 360-degree view of your current pain points, areas for improvement, and needs from a digital solution. With a complete view of your company’s internal goals, you’ll be able to give software companies a clear picture of what you’re looking for, rather than having them tell you what your pain points are and how they can solve them.
Tip #2: Brush up on your industry terminology and do your research
Before hopping on the phone or a zoom call with a software company, make sure you do your research so you don’t end up wasting your time on a demo or a phone call with a company that won’t be a good fit for your company's needs. Starting with a few Google searches is a great way to find relevant information that answers some of your basic questions, even before you get on the phone. Google searches can lead you to unbiased sites that enable you to compare solutions, or may have lists of top products.
You can also try Google searches for common topics like:
- Evaluating dump truck dispatch software
- Best dump truck dispatch software solutions
- Pain points of dump truck dispatch software
- How to buy dump truck dispatch software
It’s also important to make sure you know some of the most common language technology companies use to talk about their software - this way you can be sure you aren’t caught off guard and can ask relevant questions about their specific service.
Relevant terminology can mean industry-specific terms for the trucking and dump truck industry, but it can also be technology-specific. If this is the first time you’re leading the search for any type of software solution for your organization, it’s important to understand a few different terms, including, but not limited to:
- Cloud technology
- Integrations (both one-way and two-way)
Tip #3: Not all dispatch solutions are created equal
While there are many dispatch solutions available on the market, they’re not all created equal, and very few are built specifically for the dump truck industry. You wouldn’t buy a box truck to deliver HMA - so why would you use a dispatch program built for refrigerator delivery drivers?
Managing dump trucks has its own unique challenges and leveraging a system that understands the needs of dump truck dispatchers and material producers will help you get more efficient, with much less stress.
The job of a dump truck dispatcher already requires the ability to multi-task, think on your feet, attention to detail, and a proactive work attitude. Providing dispatchers with a digital dispatch solution should make their job easier, it shouldn’t be a challenge to use.
Annette Van Sant, of Great Dane Rock, LLC leverages a digital dump truck dispatch solution for her fleet of seven trucks in central Arizona. “We originally went with another solution for a few months to help with dispatching, but it wasn’t meant for our industry,” said Van Sant. “It was designed for the service industry, and I was trying so hard to figure out what to put in different fields, but the wording was so different. Trux’s product is configured for exactly what we do.”
Tip #4: Make sure you know what level of support you’ll receive during onboarding and beyond
Very few software solutions, let alone dump truck dispatch software, are “set it and forget it.” It’s important to understand how much support a software company provides before, during, and after implementation.
It’s important to realistically evaluate how much support you’ll need. Leveraging a dump truck software means that there will be some change for your team and your drivers. You’ll want to make sure you have a partner that can help you roll out the changes -- and train your team.
Some team members may need more help than others, not just with the technical aspects, but with understanding and buying into why your company is going to start leveraging a dump truck dispatch solution. It can take dispatchers a while to feel comfortable, as well as for haulers to leverage a dump truck app.
Even the best organizations can experience challenges during this time and having a technology partner that can help make that transition go smoothly is critical and leads to long-term success of the program. Will you have access to an online learning platform or database of articles? What about a dedicated account manager or trainer? Make sure you have these answers.
Missing this critical step or selecting a partner that doesn’t have the tools in place to facilitate this transition could mean that your solution will ultimately fail - despite your best efforts.
Tip #5: Find out how long the onboarding process takes, and plan accordingly
Companies that are invested in the dump truck industry will understand that “busy season” for construction companies is no joke. The summer months are the busiest for most construction companies, contractors, pavers, material producers, fleet owners, and haulers.
Think about when during your annual work cycle will be the most advantageous to implement a new solution. A software company focused on dump truck dispatch services will be able to give you an accurate timeline of implementation that fits with your company’s schedule and cadence of work.
Tip #6: Include your team at each stage of the process
We mentioned earlier that it is important to start with understanding the needs of your team but it’s important to keep them involved in the process the whole way through.
Sometimes, the people that ask the most questions and challenge the process turn out to be the best advocates for the new system - because they are the ones that took the time to fully understand it. Raquel Rivas has been dispatching for nearly twenty years, and joined Trux’s podcast Get A Load Of This to talk about how she works with and trains her team to use a digital solution for dispatching.
“One of the guys in our group that pushed back the hardest, he definitely is one of the ones that now uses technology to the fullest,” says Rivas. “Part of that is because he asked questions during training. He probably was one of those people that was most involved in saying “how do I do this?” Or, “how am I going to be able to do that?” Once he actually got the education about how it could help him [dispatch], he's now one of the people that's using it the most. We’ve got some people that are really on board with [dispatching technology].”
Keeping the team involved will help assure them that you aren’t leveraging a solution because they aren’t doing their job - or because you don’t value their contribution. In fact, most people considering a dump truck dispatch solution are doing it for the exact opposite reason.
In a time where it is challenging to find new talent and retain top talent, involving your team in this process is a way of upskilling them and ensuring they are happy at your organization.
If you’re ready to streamline your operations and gain efficiency through the digitization of your dispatching operations, now is the time to research and start talking to companies. You can schedule a demo with one of Trux’s industry experts today.
How Real-Time GPS Tracking Supports Contractors
As a contractor, it’s likely that staying ahead of the competition is one of your main priorities....
Dispatch Management: Meeting the Needs of Haulers & Contractors
No one likes to be thought of as needy, but let’s face it, we all have needs. Not the touchy-feely...
10 Best Dispatch Trucking Software Features: Cloud-Based and More