When times are tough…the tough focus on streamlining operations through effective use of technology. For distribution & logistics companies, this means reducing lead times and inventory levels and improving the order-to-cash process. With time as a factor, efficiency of operations plays an important role in maximizing revenue and cash flow.
One Houston-based intermodal transportation services company decided to refine its dispatching process to reduce inefficiencies and minimize the load on busy dispatchers. Initially, the company reduced dependency on two-way radios by replacing them with BlackBerry smartphones equipped with GPS technology and the Comet Tracker application by Actsoft.
The application reduced dispatching call volume and improved fleet management and labor tracking by pinpointing the exact location of each driver. Comet Tracker also integrated with the company’s intermodal software system, Compcare, which was installed on dispatcher desktops. Integration meant dispatchers could find, track and dispatch drivers from one central location.
However, drivers had the burden of returning to dispatch between each run to retrieve work orders and security clearances. This inefficiency meant loss of time and money.
To streamline dispatch functions, the company partnered with a strategic advisor to engineer a plan and identify the necessary technology. 3coast engineered a solution to minimize travel time and save money. A process was designed to work with the capabilities of the BlackBerry using existing applications.
Bluetooth technology was incorporated with BlackBerry technology and a mobile printer to remove the need for the driver to visit the dispatch office to retrieve paperwork. A printer in the cab of each truck allows drivers to print paperwork without returning to dispatch. From the cab, drivers open work orders as e-mail attachments from the phone, print them from the mobile printer and use the hard copy to authorize release of shipments.
Process re-engineering resulted in improved efficiencies, which saved fuel costs, increased number of runs and ultimately maximized revenue generation.
How is your technology driving operational efficiency?