The start of a delivery trip marks the beginning of a process involving two key players: the lorry driver and the dispatcher. These two individuals have to work in close coordination in order to satisfy customers. Mobile workflow management helps to structure their communications.
Every shipping order initiates a cascade of tasks that require dispatchers and drivers to work closely together. Traditionally, they share information on paper and then, if something changes, by cell phone, i.e., text message or phone call. Mobile workflow management improves the organisational process enormously. It replaces the paper lists and structures the calls and text messages. It automatically documents key information from within the process and links it to an order:
- Trip and sequence of stops
- Loading list
- Pallet exchange
- Proof of delivery
In addition, dispatchers automatically receive regular status updates from a mobile app. This digital process, in other words, cuts out a lot of unnecessary manual communication for everyone.
Structured communication instead of verbal changes
The trouble often starts long before the first trip. Drivers come into dispatch to pick up their loading list for the last-mile trip, only to hear the dispatcher blurt out, “We're about to get a rush shipment! It’s not on the list, but it has to go out, too!” Mistakes then become inevitable. Now, instead of being given clear, unambiguous information, drivers have to ask questions, wait for responses and make inductive leaps. If they had a mobile app, their digital loading list would simply be updated and, by scanning items as they were loaded, they could see for themselves when all their packages had been loaded.
On the road
Live status instead of questions galore
The questions often start en route to the second stop: “The customer with the 8 am delivery just asked if their shipment would be arriving on time. Are you going to make it?” With a live map and an arrival monitor, the dispatcher can see for himself that everything is going smoothly: four packages unloaded, another 12 minutes driving time, then the driver will deliver the scheduled shipment at 7:48 am. He digitally adds a last-minute pickup order at a company right around the corner in the trip’s stop list, and the driver sees what she needs to do in the app. No need for texts or WhatsApp messages – which the driver won’t read anyway until she has unloaded the packages at the next stop.
Helpful workflows instead of chaotic emergency aid
Mobile workflow management even helps drivers and dispatchers keep their cool if drivers are involved in an accident not of their own making. The app systematically navigates drivers through everything they have to do: secure the scene of the accident, call the police, take pictures to document the damage. And dispatchers see exactly which customers to notify about the unexpected delay. The app can even support teams when the damage proves to be minor, the lorry can keep driving and only a few packages were damaged. Drivers are walked through the entire process in their native language: scan the package, take a picture, describe the damage and send the text to dispatch. They can even enter all the information in their language – the solution automatically translates it for the dispatcher. In addition, every single step is documented right in the appropriate order.
Drivers and dispatchers stay friends
Managing shipping orders with mobile workflow management solutions dramatically reduces error rates as well as subjective feelings of stress and pressure. Drivers and dispatchers can both track trip progress in real time and know exactly what they are supposed to do. All their communication is automatically documented in structured form for each order; no information is lost. The result: a virtually unbroken line of successful shipping orders and happy shipping customers.