Centralized Order Taking and Dispatching Makes Day-to-Day Operations More Efficient

February 1, 2021 Karli Langner

Concrete producers face challenges each day they show up for work. It’s not always an easy feat to figure out the best way to utilize resources to reduce nonproductive truck time, improve on-time deliveries, reduce delivery costs, and ensure timely invoicing.

Then there’s the dispatcher – the dispatch office is the heart of every ready mix operation, and many ready mix operations place a focus on decreasing the dispatcher's workload to ensure the volume of work doesn’t threaten the quality of materials or service being delivered. One way to combat the complexities dispatchers face on a day-to-day basis is to implement a centralized dispatching solution combined with truck tracking capabilities.  

A couple of years ago we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jim Wagner, the “Father of Dispatch” for a Q&A session. One of the topics that was discussed was a centralized dispatch model:

“Non-central models concentrate one person’s opinion of what is important in one place, enabling the passing of ignorance onto the successor. This assumes that there is an overlap of jobs to allow this to occur. This occupational “game of telephone” can result in some bad practices in only a few iterations.

“Central dispatch enhances knowledge transfer by combining many different talents in one place. Losing one person is inconvenient but not catastrophic.”

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When dispatch functions are brought into one location, natural communication synergies take place. When dispatchers and workflows are distributed across multiple locations and systems, they lose the ability to piecemeal changes that sometimes inform dynamic routing decisions.

The primary benefit of centralized dispatch is simple standardization. This is particularly important as construction materials operations grow in size and functional ability. When dispatch is centralized, knowledge transfer takes place in a single environment and it’s easier to standardize and streamline processes.

For years, COMMANDseries has maximized the efficiency of Quality Concrete Ltd.’s dispatch operations by providing visibility of their trucks on a job and allowing them to make better decisions. Quality Concrete is operates 17 ready mix plants and 4 quarries with COMMANDseries; as well as over 150 trucks, along with the pumps.

With COMMANDseries, we can lessen our fleet considerably knowing that within half an hour to an hour, there's another truck available and we can dispatch. It’s really helped us to centralize our dispatch operations and helped us to grow in that way.” -Kevin Nickerson, Manager, Quality Concrete Ltd.

This ready mix dispatch solution offers ready mix producers end-to-end coverage of a project: quote, order, ticket, deliver, and bill quality concrete. COMMANDseries integrates with other Command Alkon solutions for batching, quality control, in-cab telematics, mobility, enterprise content management, and business intelligence, allowing users to share data across all aspects of an operation to reap efficiencies.

With COMMANDseries in their dispatch toolkit, Quality Concrete Ltd. is able to offer a customer-adjusted schedule and ensure their trucks arrive on time to the jobsites, without having to use more trucks than needed. Managing an entire fleet from a single dispatch software interface allows dispatchers to compare driver schedules and make changes to maximize the overall efficiencies of a fleet.

The information gives us the ability to pool the trucks and understand their status in a particular job. In many cases, this allows us to reduce our fleet by 25% on any given day.” -Kevin Nickerson, Manager, Quality Concrete Ltd.

Check out more on Quality Concrete Ltd.’s journey with Command Alkon!

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