The backbone of any strong trucking company is its dispatch team. What are some of the signs of a highly effective dispatch team?
We believe the systems, organization, and communication in dispatch is the key to an effortless, enjoyable (and profitable!) driver experience. Without this, your experience as a driver can often be filled with stress and uncertainty.
Nothing is more important than providing all available information and details in a timely fashion. By following a rigorous systemic process, dispatch teams can provide accurate and detailed information at all times. Having systems in place is essential to the growth and development of any business. They allow you to outline how things are done and easily pinpoint when changes need to be made.
Everything that you do in a day can be related back to a system or process. It is essential in ensuring that you are operating in a safe manner, meeting tight deadlines, know exactly what the plan is, and are not waiting around wasting your valuable time.
To be proactive requires that the entire dispatch team is highly organized, follows the same systematic process, and practices extremely thorough communication. This minimizes errors and gives the team time to plan and prepare for the future, rather than dealing with mistakes and emergencies. Honouring home-time requests, dealing with adversity and precise customer requests all become simple and predictable. It takes hard work and discipline, but the result is a dispatch team that is reliable, makes it look easy, and always has a plan!
It’s a team game, and communication is the glue that brings it all together. It ensures everyone has the right information and that the process is working. Communication is a two-way street. You and your dispatch team must have open, direct, respectful communication at all times.
There will be cases in which a plan may not go exactly as hoped, you might have a different opinion on the time a trip may take, or operations may need to change something up to accommodate a customer’s request. In each and every one of these cases, communication is key.
Every person on the team has expertise to provide and a voice to be heard. Any breakdown in communication can cause larger issues that will ultimately need to be addressed. Communication is essential for decision making and planning. In the end, we believe the quality of any team can be directly related to the quality of their communication.
If you are a driver wondering what you should be looking for in a dispatch team, we would encourage you to ask questions. You will want to evaluate the company’s systems and processes for planning, determine if they seem organized and proactive, observe and question how they communicate and if there is a willingness to seek and receive feedback.
You are interviewing the company as well. It’s not just them interviewing you. Always remember actions speak louder than words! Make sure you talk to other drivers currently employed there. They will tell you what life is actually like, not what a recruiter says it’s like!