Crystal Balling 2024: Tech Trends Fuel Marketers Need to Know to Stay Ahead of the Curve

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Modernizing workflows for drivers: The road to better driver experiences

Table of Contents

Introduction

Every fuel distributor is facing the slow burn of driver shortage. And while the aging driver workforce is one of the primary reasons for this shortage, even the younger generation isn’t too eager to hit the road  because the job’s demand can be intense. 

Let’s be real –  Driver jobs are complex. 

Their list of daily tasks is a long one. We’re talking about performing inventory checks, collecting important docs, getting back paperwork and dealing with unplanned deliveries, vehicle breakdowns and all the things in between. Doing all these manually, on paper, gets challenging even for the most seasoned driver. Bringing new drivers into this mix? That’s another battle. 

But there’s a way to deal with all these – Digitized workflows. Fancy term, simple solution. 

Imagine streamlining and automating all these workflows. Drivers can easily tick off their daily tasks, deliver orders accurately and on time, stay connected with dispatch and maximize efficiency on the road! 

When these workflows become a well-oiled machine – drivers operate at higher efficiency and productivity, remain motivated and you have higher chances of retaining them. 

Empower drivers with accurate and up-to-date information 

For drivers to work efficiently, accurate information is a must. But handing them a bunch of paper to go through for every task leaves them doing a lot of guesswork. And that translates into missed deliveries, inaccurate deliveries (wrong product, wrong customer – rings a bell?), lack of clarity on delivery instructions, and higher fuel costs. 

On the flip side – imagine drivers having easy access to every information they need to complete their shifts. Deliveries happen seamlessly – on time, faster with no errors. And no task is missed. All this – without having to get on back and forth calls with drivers. 

Giving drivers a step-by-step guide of their workflows helps maximize their productivity and efficiency of their daily workloads. The best way to do that is bundling all of the information on a smartphone app. 

Whatever pre-trip/post-trip activities drivers need to do – are defined on the pre-trip/post-trip checklist – so it’s easy for drivers to keep a track of all the activities and also ensure that all are completed. 

With detailed schedules of all upcoming shifts/orders – drivers know exactly when and where they need to be. Any specific delivery-related instructions can be viewed under delivery details – ensuring higher accuracy in delivery. 

Specifying suppliers and terminals for load orders mean no added costs in loading from the wrong supplier. 

All this information – is visible to drivers in one place, they don’t have to sift through papers to figure out what to do next. The app guides them with the exact steps and the exact activities that need to be completed. 

Reduce errors in delivery numbers 

Billing accuracy is completely dependent on the data coming in from the field. But when drivers are manually noting delivery/load data and maintaining them on papertickets – sometimes 500 gallons are reported as 50 gallons and sometimes papertickets get lost. 

What’s at stake here is the billing cycle, accuracy in delivery, and customer trust. Add in the manual workload piled on drivers, and it all becomes complex. However, that’s not the case when processes are automated and digitized. In fact, it ensures that dispatchers and accountants are working with the right numbers, customers get their invoices faster and drivers don’t have to sweat with the manual workload. Lesser counting, more delivering. That’s the game. 

Imagine this: QR Codes attached to every asset/vehicle/equipment. They guarantee the right product being delivered to the right customer. 

Having  LCR Meter Integrations means – every drop of fuel loaded and dispensed is accounted for without the drivers noting a single digit. The integration minimizes all the chances of errors in delivery data since all information is captured digitally and drivers are freed of the manual work. 

Effortlessly keep a track of all important documents 

In the middle of all the day-to-day tasks, drivers need to keep a record of important documents that are critical in shift verification, shift reconciliation and invoicing. 

Writing paper tickets for BOLs introduces errors in data. However, having accurate BOLs help precisely track where fuel is being loaded from, optimize fuel purchase and also track the fuel dispensed. Capturing BOL images on the driver app creates a digital record for dispatchers and accountants to revisit after the shift and ensures no error in data. 

Even with customer signatures which are an important proof of delivery – when done manually there’s no way of tracking whether it was done by the driver or not. But capturing signatures on the app ensures a proof of delivery for both drivers and customers. 

Customers also often demand delivery tickets and usually drivers end up writing those delivery tickets on paper. And that’s not one of your finest moments in delivering great customer service. But printed delivery tickets add a level of customer trust and experience. With wireless bluetooth printers – drivers can provide accurate printed delivery tickets to customers at the time of delivery. 

Streamline driver-dispatcher communication 

Drivers and dispatchers almost always find themselves stuck in a communication chaos with constant phone calls with drivers – even for the smallest update. 

A lot of times dispatchers end up routing call-in orders to drivers via phone call – making it difficult to keep a track. Drivers are already overburdened because it’s difficult to remember every single detail. And sifting through paperwork figuring out those details gets tedious.  

But…

If drivers and dispatchers can communicate in real-time and stay up-to-date with information minus the phone calls – the guessing games end and communication becomes seamless. 

With real-time sync – drivers know exactly when and where they need to be. Dispatchers know exactly where drivers are. Drivers can pass on any information effortlessly to dispatchers by keeping notes on the app – which are accessible to dispatchers on their portal. 

Simplify driver workflows in remote areas 

Drivers are often delivering to remote areas with low/no network where it’s hard to stay in touch with dispatchers who are coordinating everything. But the deliveries can’t wait. 

If you’re using manual processes – it gets even more challenging because drivers and dispatchers can’t even talk over the phone. And if you’re using legacy systems – most of them have apps that stop working without a network, putting drivers in a tough spot. 

But what if drivers could get all the delivery information even in those far-off locations? That would mean fewer mistakes and less stress. And offline mode makes that happen. 

Drivers can continue using the app to access delivery-related information and record all deliveries even without any network coverage. 

Keep a track of orders placed with drivers directly 

Ever had customers placing orders with drivers directly? It’s a convenience they love – but can be a blow to your cash if you aren’t aware about it. 

Imagine having better visibility into what orders drivers are delivering. You’re able to keep a track of all the orders, better schedule and route call-in orders. 

Here comes the good part – Drivers can create orders on the app themselves and dispatchers are updated on the drivers schedule. 

All these modernized workflows build a new era of efficiency for drivers. One that transforms their overall experience into something that’s much smoother, more satisfying. All through a single powerful app. 

Finding the right tool to give your drivers the added efficiency 

While there are a lot of tools out there to help you optimize driver workflows, you need a platform that’s budget-friendly, easy to implement and use. 

FleetPanda’s Uber-like driver app is intuitive, easy to use – making it easy for you to even train new hires on using the app. 

What’s more? In-depth training sessions and ride-alongs with drivers ensures that drivers are all set to  get started on the app. 

Want to explore features in more detail? Let’s talk and see what’s in store for you. 

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