What Are the Most Important Features in Fleet Dispatch Software?
Fleet dispatch software is nothing new in the world of trucking – but the state of the art keeps advancing. That software package from a decade ago might be functional, but it’s lacking many of the innovations that have arrived in recent years. Numerous features are now available which can substantially improve the efficiency and productivity of your operation, making it easy to see a huge return on your upgrade investment.
If it’s been a few years since you last looked into fleet dispatch software options and features, here are just a few recent innovations that could bring big returns!
Six Must-Have Features in Modern Fleet Dispatch Software
1 – Cloud-based anywhere access
For decades, fleet software was tied to individual computers, or even to centralized servers within a building. That was fine at the time since there weren’t other options. Today, however, you need fleet software that can be accessed from anywhere, and from any device. That’s why nearly all modern dispatch software solutions are cloud-based, with interfaces that adapt depending on the device accessing them.
That way you and your drivers have complete access to information from anywhere, without ever needing to ‘phone home’ to someone sitting at a specific computer.
2 – Smart route optimization and order batching
Route optimization has come a long way since the days of in-cab GPS units. Today’s dispatch software can optimize routes based on a huge number of factors, from basic “shortest route” routing to more complicated schemes based on fuel usage or avoiding certain traffic situations such as making too many left turns.
On top of that, routing software can now optimize across numerous potential routes at the same time – such as taking large orders and finding the optimal way to batch them and get them all to their destination in the shortest possible time.
3 – AI-driven automated scheduling
When a customer comes in with a rush job or pays extra for “48-hour” delivery or similar services, a lot of moving parts need to come together in a very short period. AI-driven systems can take much of this burden off human dispatchers. They can monitor stock levels, know the locations of all nearby drivers and other transportation options, and start optimizing for a fast delivery almost instantly.
This can be especially critical in ‘white glove’ situations where the customer is expecting the shipment to be delivered directly to their door. These systems can make smart decisions about how to reduce the extra costs involved while seeing the delivery completed.
4 – Full integrations with other database systems
Do you still need to access multiple systems to get your job done? For example, many companies still have separate Customer Relationship Management (CRM), driver management, stocking, and dispatch/routing software. This can make day-to-day operations a real hassle.
Today’s fleet dispatch software can tie all these software functions and databases together into a single application. This makes management easier, but it also makes life better for your clients and customers as well – such as having instant access to a customer’s shipping history at the same time your arrangement for shipments.
5 – Deep real-time visibility
Sure, you can probably track where all your vehicles are at all times, but modern software options can go much further than that. You can track vehicles’ locations, speed, fuel consumption, or even monitor their adherence to rules of the road. Likewise, you can monitor stocking in real-time, as well as keeping up with other logistical issues that crop up during deliveries.
A great fleet dispatch software package gives you more real-time oversight of your entire operation than ever before – and usually all in the same application window.
This can also extend to real-time alerts. You can set up custom alerts to notify you of virtually any situation you want, allowing you to respond more quickly than if you were having to track all the variables yourself.
6 – Data analytics
The data generated during each run doesn’t simply vanish – it goes into databases for storage and analysis. In many cases, this is where the true benefit of software upgrades can come from. You can analyze performance across numerous variables instantly, making it easier to judge everything from the driving record of individual drivers, to how effectively your warehouses are managing their stock.
Over time, this data can be leveraged to make extremely accurate future forecasts based on past history. These can make budgeting and hiring decisions far easier, for example, by giving you a solid data-based foundation for making choices.
Upgrade Your Operations With VLC
For almost thirty years, Vehicle Licensing Consultants have been leaders in the fleet management industry. We have thousands of satisfied customers who’ve benefited from our consulting and software options. If you want to quickly increase productivity in your fleet operations, click here to learn more.