The first thing material producers can do to increase their material hauling is to adopt a mindset that’s open to exploring how technology can help with plant optimization.
Whether you rely on pickups or you control your own deliveries, really the only way to increase your hauling of construction materials is to squeeze more loads into each day’s schedule. And the quickest, most direct path to that end is to implement logistics technology.
But not just any logistics technology. Because your material is transported by dump trucks, you need a digital platform that’s built especially for all types of dump trucks and the construction- related companies that use them day in and day out. Not a product that was originally created for the long haul trucking industry or any material handling equipment and then later “retrofitted” for dump trucks.
The right digital solution will streamline workflows across your operations, enabling you to gain valuable minutes that are then available to fill with more material hauling. In this article, we’ll show how plant optimization impacts the different teams in your organization and increases the efficiency of each. We’ll also point out some of the specific features of the Trux digital dispatch solution–which was developed just for dump truck users–that are different from other solutions on the market.
Lighten the Load for Dispatchers and Boost Your Material Hauling
At the very core of your plant or quarry operations is the dispatcher. Dispatchers have worked just fine for years with the usual manual processes and managed despite a lack of visibility into their haulers’ whereabouts. You might argue if it ain’t broke why fix it? For starters, increasing your material hauling begins with improving the efficiency of your dispatcher – and we all know dispatchers are one of your company’s most valuable resources.
A logistics solution removes many of the roadblocks your dispatcher has to repeatedly work around, allowing them to perform better with less stress:
Create schedules faster
Traditionally, dispatchers spend quite a bit of time configuring the day’s schedule. They use spreadsheets or whiteboards which are clunky and aren’t efficient. Then they call or text haulers and waste precious minutes waiting on them to respond in order to finish assigning the work.
With a logistics solution, dispatchers can create a schedule quickly, project manage, and make assignments without having to contact each hauler directly. Haulers log in and click to accept a job. When the dispatcher isn’t kept in limbo to complete a schedule, they’re free to move on to more value-added tasks.
Bonus with Trux:
If your dispatcher uses Trux Deliver and Digital Dispatch, they’ll appreciate how easy the solution is to understand and use–with both internal and third-party haulers. The drag and drop tool speeds up the task of creating a schedule. And with only one click dispatchers can reassign haulers and reorder shifts.
There are fields for all the information they would normally need to input. It even includes additional space to make the job description more helpful to your haulers. For instance, they can include special instructions about a materials delivery such as letting the driver know to use a specific gate or contact a particular person at the jobsite. The dispatch function is also built to make bulk reordering and load stacking simple with just a few clicks.
A digital tool with built-in automation is key to eliminating tedious, repetitive steps that bog down efficiency in dispatching.
Increase visibility into trucking
Logistic solutions with GPS tracking in real-time give your dispatcher a big picture view of all active trucking. When your dispatcher has a clear picture of where every hauler is, they’re able to monitor progress and quickly make changes when necessary. If it looks like severe weather or heavy traffic is going to negatively impact a delivery, the dispatcher can reroute haulers to minimize delays.
Waiting in line, whether it’s to pick up a load or to deliver one, is a huge time (and fuel) waster. Dispatchers can leverage digital technology to improve efficiency by staggering arrivals. That way the time trucks spend idling in a line is reduced.
Bonus with Trux
If you’re concerned that you’ll have to invest in tracking equipment, you can relax. The Trux solution doesn’t require any additional GPS tracking devices. The real-time tracking is done through haulers’ smartphones. All they have to do is download the Trux app and everything is synced up to your system. It even works with your hired haulers too.
GPS tracking in real-time improves visibility which allows your dispatcher to manage hauling effectively and adapt to changes quickly.
Close the communication gaps
Getting a clear and thorough message to someone, especially if the information affects their course of action, is important no matter what industry you work in. But in construction, delayed communication, incorrect details or incomplete information can cost you in terms of staying on time and on budget. Certainly, smartphones have helped. But texts have a way of getting “lost” in the mix of personal messages about picking up dinner and voicemails are often not listened to in time to prevent a hauler from proceeding as planned rather than making an adjustment.
Logistics solutions with centralized communication systems reduce the problems that still exist with smartphones. Instead of fielding calls from haulers, jobsites and customers, dispatchers can simply check their screens. Rather than having to call or message individuals or remember which group to send a text to, dispatchers input the information with confidence that the right people will be in the loop. A built-in communication tool also provides a digital record that’s useful if disputes ever arise.
Bonus with Trux
Even though your haulers, dispatchers and other team members will use their own phones, all work-related messaging, including any images, videos or documents, will be stored separately from their personal messages. This allows for quicker retrieval, less confusion and doesn’t reduce their device’s personal storage capacity.
The built-in communication system of a logistics solution ensures that everyone can access the information they need when they need it.
Handle change orders with ease
Another unexpected hurdle that dispatchers often have to deal with is the change order. Customers frequently call in with requests that can throw schedules off track. Dispatchers have to regroup and that’s not easy without knowing where each truck is in its delivery cycle. This is one more example of how having a bird’s eye view of haulers and being able to communicate with them instantly can help keep things on schedule.
Bonus with Trux
Trux has a mobile app that allows dispatchers to handle change orders from anywhere. Not only does this mean that dispatchers have control in the palm of their hand, it gives them the freedom to work remotely which enhances their job satisfaction and reduces stress. In addition, the Trux solution offers an Order Delivery Tracker which keeps everyone on the same page. Customers will be sent notifications about their orders and be provided with a link which allows them to see in real-time where a load is. No need to interrupt the dispatcher with a call.
Features such as a mobile app and a delivery tracker reduce the demands on your dispatcher’s time, allowing them to perform more valuable tasks.
Give Your Sales Team Something to Talk About
Your sales team will be pumped to know they have something to pitch other than price. They can differentiate your company from the competition by showing how your use of digital technology impacts your material hauling.
- Automatic order confirmation assures them that all their order details are correct.
- Timely notifications about the status of their loads keeps them informed.
- The ability to track their loads in real-time means foremen can prepare crews for delivery.
- A dispatch summary sent at the end of each day provides easier record keeping.
In today’s competitive market, material producers need to leverage digital technology as a way to provide a better customer experience.
Drivers Get More Out of More Material Hauling
At first, your haulers may seem to balk at the idea of being tracked. It can feel a bit like Big Brother. But they soon learn that digital solutions make their life easier. Digital load slips mean they don’t have to keep up with tickets throughout the day and ensure they’ll be paid for every load delivered. Any disputes can easily be taken care of as well.
Third-party haulers find Trux makes it easy for them to invoice for work because everything is documented through the app and consolidated into one invoice. And they’ll get paid weekly through Trux.
Set Up Your Back Office to Handle More Material Hauling without a Hitch
Going digital makes a huge difference for your back office. Reducing the paper-driven manual processes increases their efficiency in all sorts of ways. They’ll no longer have to sort and batch load slips at the end of the day. Or search for missing tickets. Invoices will be automatically generated and consolidated by the solution. They can spend their time on higher level activities instead of mundane, tedious tasks.
See for Yourself How Trux Helps Increase Material Hauling
It’s one thing to read about how logistics technology can improve the amount of material you’re able to move. You can get a better idea of exactly how your own organization can benefit by taking this logistics assessment. In just a few minutes time, you’ll have the insights you need to get started on your way to increasing your material hauling.
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