The process which allows companies who rely on transportation to efficiently execute various tracking and monitoring tasks is known as fleet management. This involves minimizing the risks associated with vehicle investment, improving efficiency, productivity, and reducing overall transportation costs.
As we know in the past, the logistics industry globally was struggling with an increasing shortage and scarcity of professional truck drivers.
This, as a result, has caused a tremendous amount of strain not only on dispatchers responsible for moving freight but also on current drivers in the industry who have to work harder to meet with the growing demand.
The central most important relationship among all others is the dispatcher-driver relationship. Hence, it is of significant importance to address the professional bond between a driver and a dispatcher.
How Can You Address The Dispatcher-Driver Relationship?
Between rising industry demands and the shortage of drivers, the relationship between dispatcher and driver has become frayed. Repairing that relationship and finding common ground is an industry-wide dilemma.
Here are seven relationship management tips that dispatchers can implement:
With a growing amount of global communication and transportation, industry expectations from drivers are increasing on an ongoing basis.
Due to the number of products being moved constantly, a system of open and constant communication needs to be established to set a foundation for sustainable route management.
If drivers are connected with their dispatchers, it will help them feel secure and supported by the dispatchers. This will reduce a sense of isolation commonly experienced by truck drivers. Additionally, it also helps the two to work in cohesion as amicable partners.
Establish An Understanding
A dispatcher has the responsibility to manage several business relationships with drivers, clients, customers, technicians, staff, law enforcement, etc. To ensure all these components work effectively, the dispatcher must build a strong relationship with all of them.
To get there, a relationship with the latter starts strengthening only after having a proper understanding of where and when to prioritize requests and provide necessary support and resources.
Joint Route Planning
Joint route planning brings a high level of efficiency to the logistics industry as it takes the transportation needs of various companies and centralizes them along a single route.
With the availability of fewer and fewer drivers, expert route planners must be attentive to detail and optimize routes. Joint route planning will help take the strain off of drivers by giving them a better idea of where they are driving and how long they will be on the road.
This will flourish a better relationship between drivers and their dispatchers through improvement in organization and significantly reducing single driver effort.
Craft A Transparent Process
Since dispatchers are expected to be independent and multitasking bodies, organization and consistency become key. For a dispatcher to meet these criteria, some procedures must be implemented.
Fundamentally, a transparent approach communicating important information to the necessary parties and letting each other know of any underlying issues or major overhauls. Being honest and open in a professional setting leads to a more streamlined operation and better communication.
Transparency between dispatchers and drivers will minimize errors, improve outcomes, and reduce confusion.
Retaining old drivers on the payroll is an absolute requirement considering the strain that the industry faces today. Good and efficient drivers who work safely are in demand more than ever for better opportunities and positions.
Retaining these drivers and bringing in more of their kind has become essential to avoid the negative impact of a driver shortage. This retention will be feasible only if the demands of these drivers are fulfilled.
The common demands range from being provided with competitive pay, benefits, frequent home visits, and a culture of respect to the vital workforce.
Driver retention takes the strain off of the dispatcher-driver relationship by giving the former a consistent, reliable workforce along with having proper time to build a healthy working relationship.
Software Usage To Streamline Operations
A professional dispatcher knows exactly when to take advantage of technology and software that can improve operations, increase jobs, and strengthen customer service.
Using fleet tracker software is the easiest way to optimize business in the industry and has become very popular in today’s digital world. This software has multiple functions. It manages routes for trucks, buses, delivery vehicles, and more.
Instead of the traditional method of manually calling drivers to see where they are, the software lets you automatically track vehicle location, route progress, and cover late or missed stops.
With the help of this software, dispatchers can become highly effective at their jobs while reducing response times, optimizing routes, increasing productivity, and automating some processes.
Study The Industry
The focus of study for a dispatcher should be taking time out to understand the company you work for, what it represents and its industry relationship. If you’re a truck dispatcher, familiarize yourself in the areas you deliver to and understand the delivery needs of customers.
Since so much of dispatching relies on planning and scheduling, you’ll eliminate unnecessary leg work by understanding these crucial aspects ahead of time. In this way, being well-aware about the industry helps the dispatcher to quickly make assertive, confident judgments.
It is a well-known fact that dispatchers are indeed the real conductors of their industries. They perform numerous tasks, often simultaneously, which includes coordinating and fixing schedules, providing superior customer service, and following and safeguarding protocols.
While managing a fleet, so many parts of the network require tracking and monitoring all the time. An easier approach to all this today is through the development of advanced fleet management. To know how fleet management solutions can help you meet your business goals, read more on Samsara.com.
Due to the inconsistent demand-supply ratio, for many businesses, with no new hires coming in, drivers have had to shoulder the burden of the increase in transportation needs.
Until some criteria are fulfilled, there will continue to be a disconnect between the needs of the driver and those of the industry. Nonetheless, these relationship management tips can get at the crux of the problem and improve the overall functioning of the company.