In December 2020, we introduced Trimble Dispatch Advisor, a new tool designed to optimize matches between loads, drivers and equipment. Available as an add-on module, Trimble Dispatch Advisor works directly within Trimble Innovative, TMW.Suite and TruckMate transportation management systems (TMS).
Every day dispatchers and load planners spend hours manually matching loads and drivers. Oftentimes, the sheer volume can result in matches that are error prone and negatively impact both customer service and drivers alike.
With Trimble Dispatch Advisor, load planners can streamline the load matching process and cut down on these errors by utilizing how the solution:
1. Leverages data to streamline load matching:
Trimble Dispatch Advisor reviews all available matches by analyzing vast numbers of loads and equipment selecting the best matches based on data related to location, driver Hours of Service (HOS), time windows and more.
After analyzing this wide range of data, Trimble Dispatch Advisor will then recommend a primary match, along with reasons for why that match was recommended. In addition to reducing the time dispatchers and load planners may spend assigning matches based on immediately visible data and gut feel, these algorithms also enable more accurate load planning when compared to more manual processes.
For example, a driver may appear to be the proper match for a load thanks to having the five hours required for the given load plus a buffer of five additional hours. Instead, by using only five of the driver’s 10 hours, the driver is left with five empty hours. In this instance, a longer route would have improved driver utilization and better satisfied the driver by decreasing this downtime.
By taking the first load on the screen, which in this case was the shorter load, the additional five hours the driver had available could be lost. At the same time, the better load, which may have been further in the available loads screens, was simply missed due to the volume of options for a planner to choose from. This occurrence often has a potential snowball effect causing future mis-matches as well.
2. Enables human intervention to select the right load:
While Trimble Dispatch Advisor recommends a primary match, the system also suggests additional matches, including an estimated impact to the company should they choose any of the other options rather than the first or primary match.This way planners quickly can review recommendations, but also use judgement to complete the selection.
Balancing the system’s automation with human interaction enables the solution to best meet the needs of the fleet, its drivers and its equipment. For example, while the system may suggest a load based on key operational data, the dispatcher or load planner may know personal information such as the driver’s need to be home by Saturday morning for a child’s game. Dispatching them on loads that will return them home in time for the game shows respect and caring for the driver and can also have a positive impact on driver retention.
3. Shifts load planning focus to complex loads:
As mentioned above, the data analysis of Trimble Dispatch Advisor greatly reduces the time load planners and dispatchers spend trying to find the correct loads for their drivers and equipment. With Trimble DIspatch Advisor we’ve seen some of a load planners’ prior work reduced to minutes rather than hours. By taking these time constraints away, load planners can instead focus on more complex loads rather than less-complicated orders.
The direct integration into a fleet’s Trimble TMS also eliminates the “swivel chair” effect. Instead of using a different program to perform the matches and then “swivelling” back to the dispatch screen, load planners and dispatchers can access the information they need all in a single place.The result is greater accuracy and less need for double data entry.
4. Helps planners see beyond their typical markets:
If we have been in a job role long enough, we can all get accustomed to doing things a certain way. Load planners are no different and veteran load planners can sometimes get used to only looking for loads in a certain market. Conversely, new load planners and dispatchers might not have the experience to know what to look for when matching.
The vast amount of data analyzed by Trimble Dispatch Advisor can enable veteran planners to look beyond their usual freight markets and empower new planners to work at higher levels of expertise, identifying possibilities for business in areas that they might not have previously considered. By helping to uncover these additional load opportunities, the platform can further enhance the load matching process and help a fleet optimize all of their drivers and equipment against all available freight.
5. Enhances customer service:
Trimble Dispatch Advisor can also positively impact customer service. By better utilizing drivers and equipment, loads can be dispatched more accurately and enable drivers to complete the loads within shippers’ time requirements.
Going back to the example noted in #1, had the driver with 10 hours been used for the five-hour load, the carrier may unknowingly also have a longer load that required the full 10 hours and a driver with limited hours remaining for the day as the only option. By utilizing this driver with limited hours, it pushes a one day trip to two, impacting both the driver and the customer.
The end result of this optimization is shipper needs being met more consistently and greater customer service as a result. This also can benefit driver satisfaction, including providing them with more loaded miles and less downtime waiting for loads.
Understanding how technology can improve your fleet’s performance
The launch of Trimble Dispatch Advisor is just another example of how technology can be applied to enhance how a fleet operates. By leveraging the right solutions, fleets can improve all aspects of their business – to the benefit of its drivers, back office personnel, equipment and customers.
Contact us today to see how we are enabling work across the supply chain to be more effective and efficient than ever before.