HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DISPATCH MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Surviving in the competitive terrain, where last-mile delivery can determine top-line growth, requires the optimization of technology. The benefits of using scheduling automation and dispatch management are many and yet 49% of companies in the United States are still using manual systems to manage the dispatch of their field service engineers, according to the Field Service Management Software Survey, published in 2014. One of the biggest reasons for such few businesses implementing technology is the high cost of implementation, according to 47% of the respondents to this survey. However, the remaining 51% acknowledge that optimizing technology is one of the most critical areas for investment and it is only a matter of time before all companies move away from manual scheduling systems.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN DISPATCH MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
- Advanced Integration Capability: Over one third of the respondents of the Field Service Management Software Survey 2014 stated that they found integrating systems to be a problem. Seamless communication between systems could help provide the kind of visibility that is needed to repeatedly meet one’s Key Performance Index. It is therefore imperative to ensure that the software chosen to manage dispatch should integrate with the existing IT structure of the company.
- Comprehensive Mobility: Cloud-based management software accords mobility to all involved by providing access to data at any time and from anywhere. Incorporating MDM solutions means that existing devices can be used to access crucial data, and at the same time, being protected by data security protocols. Dispatch management software should be able to work seamlessly with the mobile solution for field management.
- Intuitive Dashboards: This is often the most overlooked aspect when choosing management software. Asset intensive companies can seldom spare employees for lengthy training and, therefore, the software must be equipped with an intuitive user experience. The courier software provider should have provisions for effective training of personnel, if and when required.
- Real-Time Updates: Not only should the software allow for automation of dispatch, it should also generate automatic dispatch-to-dispatch communications, synchronized in such a manner that each party concerned can be privy to crucial, time sensitive information. This will save time by eliminating the need for emails, phone calls and faxes. At the same time, scan history should also be just as accessible, so that it can be referred to whenever required.