It seems that most dispatching software focuses on providing back-office services. While these features are important as many companies struggle with paperwork, they mask the real challenge associated with running a business with significant transportation costs. Companies that deploy nurses, truck drivers, warehouse workers, or cleaning staff live or die based on how effectively they can deploy their teams.
Two factors matter the most for these transportation-focused companies:
- How many jobs can each employee or contractor perform each day?
- How much time is spent in transit getting to these jobs?
Improve either of these factors and you’ve improved your top line, reduced costs and improved your bottom line; the hat-trick of business tactics.
For telcos and utilities, the cost of a truck roll can range from $100 - $500 per visit, with some estimates as high as $1000. A significant component of that cost is associated with travel time, including direct costs like fuel and employee salary. But the opportunity cost associated with waiting in traffic instead of visiting customers is even higher.
Furthermore, are your employees really happy sitting in traffic? Of course not! Especially when they're compensated for each job that they complete per day.
The problem: how to minimize travel?
The problem is clear: we need to find a way to minimize travel time when planning delivery jobs, site visits, truck rolls or house calls. Ideally, such a solution would:
- not favor certain employees by giving them the best jobs
- distribute jobs to ensure the most time spent at each site
- maximize the number of jobs per day
- take into account an employee's home address
- not force employees to violate traffic rules or drive aggressively
- allow for flexibility when dealing with issues like illness, emergencies, bad traffic, etc.
Not an easy problem
This is a complicated problem... a very complicated problem. In computer science it’s referred to as the travelling salesman problem. The premise is simple – given a certain number of customers that a salesman needs to visit, what is the optimal route that she can take to minimize travel time?
So why does most dispatch software focus on back-office features? Sure, these tools provide options to allow dispatchers to organize job schedules, but why not go one step further and automatically schedule the jobs? We would argue that it's the same reason that companies get hooked on ad hoc analysis instead of building proper data strategies.
Because it’s hard.
Introducing 3AG Dispatcher Services
That’s why we’re announcing the launch of 3AG Dispatcher Services. A tool that allows companies to solve the hard problem that really matters – how to minimize travel time for your work force, whether they have warehouse jobs, delivery jobs, driving jobs, or any other role that requires travel to get to the job site.
Our service is simple – we only require a some basic information for each of your employees including: home address (or home base address), skill set (to match against incoming jobs), and any time constraints like available work hours. Similarly, each job requires an address, a list of required skills, and time constraints (earliest start or desired completion). That's it.
Interested in learning more? Contact 3AG Systems for a complementary analysis. We can retroactively compare past routing vs. our service to show exactly how much travel time your teams can save.
More time working, less time traveling. Learn how 3AG Systems can help your top and bottom line.