Most construction materials dispatchers are experts at multitasking to schedule loads so they can then dispatch them.
But the outdated systems in place — a combination of whiteboards, Excel spreadsheets, phone calls, emails, and text messages — are often cumbersome, slow, and disjointed.
In fact, given ineffective tools, much of what dispatchers do is scramble to put out fires on their way to load scheduling. Problems with dispatch and workflow often crop up with typical U.S. concrete producers, which Concrete Construction magazine notes achieve 64% truck utilization, meaning trucks average 6.4 hours of actual work in a 10-hour day (including loading, slumping, traveling, unloading, chute washing, and returning).
These numbers are daunting. But there are ways to help dispatchers avoid overbooking and provide excellent service, so your entire company excels.
For many companies, it makes sense to start by using tools that let them analyze, plan, share, and dispatch resources more efficiently over time and across job sites.
For example, the right software provides enterprise-wide visibility, efficient resource scheduling, and dispatching demand collaboration. It lets employees across workflows know where people, equipment, and materials are — both on the schedule and in real time.
When it comes to dispatching, dynamic scheduling informs dispatch staff about truck and plant commitments and displays any overbooking or underbooking issues. Dynamic scheduling updates the schedule as the dispatcher enters, deletes, or changes orders.
It also helps to use tools that let contractors — along with their suppliers and haulers — work from a single version of the truth so that they can agree on all aspects — from order, to concrete testing, acceptance, and payment. Using a computer or mobile app, companies can automate order entry to final delivery to transform the heavy civil supply chain, so stakeholders reduce costs and enhance experiences across business partners.
Furthermore, software that adheres to a standardized way to enter information into the schedule eliminates miscommunication and mistakes. It is also possible to connect scheduling software to the software used to manage field performance tracking and equipment maintenance. Employees across construction workflows also benefit when they can view the schedule according to their specific requirements and responsibilities.
With real-time information on equipment’s location, when it is required, and its repair status, schedulers and dispatchers can weigh their options and use assets like trucks in a way that maximizes their use, project objectives, and transport crews’ efficiency.
And at the end of the day, enhanced reporting and analysis available through software helps dispatch’s efficiency employing historical data for insight into trends so contractors can identify opportunities to improve.
Want to help your dispatchers manage and schedule loads effectively and enhance your overall efficiency? Schedule a 15-minute conversation to discuss how Command Alkon's top-tier suite of solutions helps capture, confirm, schedule, and track materials orders through integrated workflows.
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