Efficient operations is the future of fuel dispatch. In fact, logistics and operations have been the core function of the entire fuel dispatch ecosystem. That too for years now. But it has been limited by old tech stacks, paperwork, spreadsheets, and manual processes. Even after these constraints, many fuel distribution businesses seem to have made these processes simply ‘work’ for them.
Fast forward to today. It’s no more the 1900’s. The fuel market is extremely volatile. Competition is fiercer than ever. Pricing is a losing game. The old processes/softwares you relied on to drive operations are now obsolete. Clearly, it’s a complicated space to be in.
To move ahead of these challenges and be profitable, you need to ditch (old methods) and upgrade (to a modern dispatch solution) to run a highly efficient operations workflow.
To put all of this in perspective, this blog talks about the major reasons why you need to implement a unified dispatch solution. It really is the start to improving operations. And well, it’s all uphill from here.
How a modern unified dispatch solution addresses the existing challenges of logistics and operations?
The world has moved from books to google, letters to emails, physical stores to online deliveries. There’s no reason why fuel marketers should remain buried in paperwork.
Dispatch softwares are not just another tool you onboard. It’s a long-term, one-time solution that truly streamlines the entire order-to-cash workflow.
Some significant benefits of implementing a modern dispatch system are:
1. Unify all processes into a single cloud-based platform
(Merge workflows under a unified platform to efficiently manage end-to-end dispatch operations)
Generally, operations as a function has a lot of moving parts to it. You either have multiple people or tools handling the different workflows. And that’s a lot of hard work. This is especially true for those companies that still rely on paperwork and outdated technologies.
A dispatch solution seamlessly connects all the processes to create a unified workflow that helps:
- Get rid of different systems to create and assign orders, track drivers, add pricing information, and process invoices
- Drivers, dispatchers, accountants, and sales get complete visibility on the order to cash pipeline
2. Kill paper and fully automate the order to cash pipeline
(Replace paper, spreadsheets, and manual efforts with automation to save time and dollars)
Without automation, dispatchers and drivers end up keeping track of most of their activities either in their minds or on paper. Here’s what happens:
- Dispatchers take customer orders on paper and assign that to the drivers (again, on paper)
- Drivers create a new paper ticket to note the amount delivered and hand it over to the accountant to process the invoice
- Accountants sift through piles of papers and manually enter data into the back office and accounting system
This is where errors start. Drivers are managing 15, 20, or even 30 orders a day. So losing tickets are a daily occurrence. Dispatchers can’t do much about it. Accountant relies on the driver’s memory. Result? Inaccurate invoices sent to customers.
However, by automating each of these processes:
- Dispatchers can automatically create and assign orders to drivers
- Accountants can process invoices without having to refer to tickets and dispatchers
- Drivers can directly receive orders and update all details without having to maintain any tickets or papers whatsoever
Track and monitor drivers in real-time
Create orders automatically and automate invoice processing
3. Integrate data between back-office, accounting, and other sources
(Create a single record of data by integrating various systems)
Apart from not having a single record of data, there exists a problem of duplication and inaccuracy when data is scattered. Integrating data is important because many business decisions depend on it. Whether it’s deciding what items should be on the system of record or how the credit verification process must be set up before dispatching a load – you need to have access to clean data.
A dispatch solution links all data sources and becomes the single source of truth for all stakeholders. It allows an easy flow of data between systems and the final data is pristine. Free of repetition and errors.
In fact, modern-day dispatch softwares offer smooth integrations with the most common accounting and back office systems like DM2, NetSuite, Tank Scan, and Petroleum RX, amongst others.
4. Process invoices fast, get paid faster
(Generate faster cash inflows by automating invoicing)
Automation combined with data integration makes accounting less tedious and cash flow speedier. With real-time data (like gallons delivered and price) on the cloud, accountants can automatically generate invoices in real time and shorten the time to cash.
5. Streamline communication between drivers, dispatchers, and customers
(Enable real-time tracking and monitoring of all drivers and orders)
Without a software, neither dispatchers, drivers nor customers have any intel on what’s going on with an order. To get the smallest of updates, phone calls/texts were the only way. Dispatchers end up spending hours receiving and giving updates. Customers are frustrated with the lack of visibility into order status.
But a dispatch software changes that. The entire order cycle is on the cloud. In just a few clicks:
- Dispatchers know where drivers are, their schedule for the day, and even the details of every shift
- Drivers have all the information they need – which supplier to go to, which terminal to load from, orders to be delivered, and what route to take
- Customers – They know exactly where their order is!
6. Create exceptional customer experiences
(Empower customers to track their orders in real-time)
With the pen and paper processes, companies have to deal a lot with frustrated customers who either don’t have a status on their order or those who got billed incorrectly. It increased the chances of losing customers.
Modern dispatch solutions have LCR meter integrations. This enables customers to get real-time updates on order status and receive accurate invoices. And that adds to an overall great experience.
7. Increase driver efficiency in delivering orders
(Make the life of drivers easy by automating their daily tasks/activities)
Drivers have a lot on their hands every day. Handling loads of paper tickets shouldn’t be one of those.
With a dispatch solution, the entire driver experience becomes much more intuitive. There are lesser delays in orders, lesser instances of wrong product delivery, and also lesser inaccurate order details (like the amount delivered).
Drivers can directly receive orders, follow the optimal route created by the software, and don’t have to remember any details. Everything about an order is given to them on one platform, with a single click.
The cost of not automating
In the wave of digital transformation, there’s a high price you pay for not automating i.e not implementing a dispatch solution.
You lose precious dollars at every stage of the order to cash pipeline. Every error you make has a negative impact on the bottom line. Every incorrect invoice generated leads to dissatisfied customers. Every additional paperwork leads to dispatchers and accountants stuck at their desks for hours, shuffling tons of paper.
The only way to fix all these leaks is by optimizing operations with a modern unified dispatch solution.
The bottom line
Whether you’re managing 5 or 50 trucks, scaling operations is something you should home in on right from the start. Implementing a dispatch solution is where you need to start. A comprehensive dispatch software brings automation, integration with accounting systems, invoicing solutions, and much more to your business.
Still curious? Connect with us to know more!