Dispatch software primarily assists with scheduling and route planning to ensure drivers can get to as many jobs as efficiently as possible. More advanced systems also include GPS tracking to give you greater insights into vehicle performance and driver behavior. Data analytics from dispatch software helps businesses keep vehicles properly maintained, reduce travel time, and cut down on fuel costs.
Dispatching features are beneficial for any size company that sends multiple technicians, drivers, and vehicles to customer locations. Medium-sized businesses and large enterprises often find industry-specific options that include dispatching to be a better option than standalone dispatch software. All-in-one industry-specific options have more niche features that help with day-to-day processes that are specific to your business. Some industry-specific solutions with dispatching include field service software, trucking software, transportation management software, HVAC software, and plumbing software.
|Job Scheduling||Assign jobs to the right technician based on skills, availability, and urgency|
|Route Planning||Schedule field technicians and drivers to specific areas, so travel time and fuel costs are reduced and response times are improved. Assign last minute/emergency calls to the closest employee. Send real-time directions and detour information.|
|GPS Tracking||Track real-time locations of drivers and field service technicians, as well as vehicle info like speed, gas levels, and maintenance information.|
|Work Order Management||Create work orders and track job status.|
|Parts Inventory Management||Track parts inventory on service trucks to ensure the right equipment and materials are on each vehicle for a job.|
|Electronic Signature Capture||Capture signatures for deliveries or services electronically.|
The scheduling functionality in dispatch software ensures you’re only assigning technicians or drivers that have availability to jobs. You can also match techs to specific jobs based on experience or certifications. Booking too many jobs at once or double-booking drivers for multiple time slots will only cause problems. The software will notify you if a driver has too many or overlapping jobs to complete, so you can make necessary changes.
Dispatch software also helps optimize schedules based on the job location. This allows technicians and drivers to complete more jobs at a quicker pace. The drivers can spend less time driving back and forth between locations and more time doing jobs.
Dispatch software assists with route optimization to cut down on fuel costs and improve response times. The software takes into account the number of left-hand turns, the number of required stops on a particular route, and traffic conditions at specific times of the day. These factors are used to calculate the best route possible. Taking fewer left-hand turns, making fewer traffic stops, and avoiding slowdowns will help reduce wear and tear on the vehicle and improve fuel efficiency.
Having well-optimized routes will also allow your drivers to complete more jobs in any given day. Drivers can spend less time on the road and more time with customers. Faster response times will improve customer satisfaction and allow you to schedule more appointments without hiring more employees.
GPS tracking in dispatch software gives dispatchers the ability to track vehicles and transmit messages to drivers. The dispatcher will be able to track vehicle information including real-time location, speed, gas mileage, and maintenance records. This ensures drivers are being safe on the road and aren’t making unscheduled stops.
Dispatchers can also transmit new directions to drivers in case of slowdowns or unexpected detours. Notifications can be sent to customers if the driver is running ahead or behind schedule.
Some solutions include or integrate with fuel tracking systems to record and monitor fuel expenses. Fuel usage by state and mileage data is recorded to assist with International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting. Tracking fuel dispensing also prevents fuel theft from employees.
Some examples of dispatch software include:
Dispatch software is important for many field service businesses including HVAC techs, plumbers, landscapers, and more. These systems assist with field service scheduling and managing the real-time location of technicians.
Dispatch software keeps tech schedules and credentials organized in one location to ensure the right employees are assigned to the right job based on qualifications and availability. Any new jobs and last-minute service calls can be scheduled easily into the nearest open slot.
Field service management software includes dispatching as a core feature. If you’re looking for an all-in-one software to handle invoicing and project management in addition to dispatching, field service software is a great fit.
Dispatch solutions assign new orders to available agents and optimize the most efficient route for the driver. Route planning helps improve customer satisfaction with faster delivery times. Fuel and maintenance costs are also reduced because fewer miles are driven.
All-in-one trucking software features dispatching in addition to accounting and fuel tax management. Trucking software also assists with IFTA fuel and mileage reporting. Fleet maintenance is also an important part of trucking software if you’re managing multiple vehicles. Standalone fleet management systems also often include dispatch functionality if you’re primarily looking to manage vehicles.
Dispatching medical personnel, first responders, or police officers efficiently is extremely important. Dispatch software allows emergency personnel to get on the scene as quickly as possible. The dispatcher can transmit the location, directions, and a description of the situation to the right department during the emergency call. The nearest responder can then be routed to the location, ensuring the fastest response time possible.
Some solutions integrate blueprints or maps of public buildings like schools. This allows responders to quickly make their way through a building to the scene.
Taxi dispatch software assists with scheduling and dispatching taxis to customer locations. GPS tracking shows you which taxis are available, so you can send the closest one for last-minute pickups. Some systems will automatically assign the closest available taxi for a pickup. The scheduling feature also lets you schedule drivers in advance.
Some solutions feature mobile apps for customers to download. The customer can use the app to hail a cab without having to make a phone call. Nearby drivers can accept the job through their own mobile device. Most apps allow customers to pay and tip with online methods and allow customers to rate their taxi driver.
QuickBooks is great for managing the accounting side of your business. However, if you’re looking for strong scheduling and dispatching features, QuickBooks alone won’t be a great fit. There are options available to you.
Intuit has its own solution - Intuit Field Service Management for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop versions. This system is primarily designed for commercial and residential field service, repair, maintenance, and installation companies. Intuit Field Service Management assists with GPS tracking, customer management, mobile payment processing, work order status tracking, and more.
QuickBooks users will have access to Intuit’s Field Service Management system, allowing back-office staff to manage both accounting and field service processes. Intuit Field Service users will not have access to QuickBooks.
Demo of QuickBooks Online Field Service Management
There are dispatching solutions that offer QuickBooks integration, so you can manage the accounting without needing an entirely new system. Going with a third-party solution that integrates with QuickBooks can be better for some businesses. For example, features like IFTA mileage tracking for trucking industries will only be available in an industry-specific solution. Some dispatching solutions with QuickBooks integration include ServiceTitan, Housecall Pro, and Tailwind.
Demo on setting up QuickBooks Online with Tailwind Trucking and Freight Broker Software
Mobile dispatching software allows field technicians and drivers to see job details and real-time directions updates from dispatchers while on the road. The software can also accept electronic signatures at the job site from a smartphone or mobile device. Some solutions have dedicated mobile apps to download that allows employees to see job details, schedules, and routes, as well as accept payments.