What Is Dispatch Management?
For organizations and enterprises managing field service personnel and fleets, dispatch management is a critical business component. Dispatch management software makes use of built-in scheduling criteria to automate a great deal of the scheduling process.
Dispatch management software users may create, delete, or modify parameters such as resource details, work data, and scheduling policies. Dispatch management software also schedules workers according to predefined service policies, guiding scheduling staff to make scheduling decisions in line with these policies or allowing schedulers with appropriate authorization to override policies when necessary.
Challenges of Dispatch Management
Various segments of dispatch management face challenges unique to their situation. For example, dispatch management for enterprise fleet managers are often challenged by information overload, integrating fleet data into existing software systems, the need to ensure that all assets are fully utilized, the need to address small issues quickly, managing geographically-dispersed teams, quickly locating information on specific fleets, and controlling unauthorized use of company assets.
On the other hand, field service operation dispatch management challenges mainly stem from organization-related tasks. Field service operation dispatch managers must have extremely strong organization skills and the ability to handle highly stressful situations. They also need to organize incoming work requests, work-in-process, and completed requests while optimizing the entire operation. Finally, field service operation dispatch managers must be flexible and able to handle shifting priorities and any exceptions that arise during the workday, or at any time when staff are on duty and dispatching or scheduling issues may arise.
Benefits of Dispatch Management Software Solutions
Leading enterprise service scheduling and dispatch software solutions deliver efficient, effective ways of scheduling service personnel and other field resources. These solutions also allow users to start their day by running a final optimization program on the schedule to determine any last-minute changes that would improve service delivery. The result is a compact, dense schedule featuring minimal travel time, minimal downtime, and minimal overtime, which contributes to the company’s bottom line by eliminating wasteful overhead spending and boosting productivity.
The best part about leading dispatch management software solutions is that the in-day optimization feature optimizes the schedule during the day with real-time information both from the field and from customers. Dispatch management software solutions also automate the decision-making process with actions consistent with the organization’s business rules and optimization goals. However, when a conflict with existing guidelines and parameters arises, the software defers final decisions to the scheduler by issuing a flag or warning that a conflict has been detected.
Other benefits of dispatch management software solutions include
- Real-time optimization, so that dispatch managers immediately can respond to changes in order to reduce delays and improve service level
- Build realistic routes, as predictive time-of-day traffic patterns and street-level-routing break down into travel segments for precise scheduling
- Leverage historic data, in the form of historical job duration data either from individual engineers or their tasks for more accurate schedules
- Full range of automation, from manual to fully automated including human override on automated functions as necessary
- Factor in business rules, to optimize schedules using specific business objectives and existing business processes
- Dispatch to mobile devices, so that work is dispatched to mobile devices and progress reports are received in real time
Final Thoughts on Dispatch Management
Whether your organization runs a fleet, offers field service, or is a mobile workforce, dispatch management is a critical component of your business processes. Your dispatch managers should have the time they need to make strategic changes, rather than spend the bulk of their time managing the demands of tracking and maintaining field vehicles, keeping technicians on schedule, and optimizing routes and service calls.
Having the ability to work as efficiently as possible makes not only dispatch managers, but also your entire workforce more productive. Dispatch management becomes much more manageable and efficient when organizations utilize job scheduling and dispatch management software solutions.