The Ultimate Checklist Of Skills That Every Dispatcher Needs To Possess

Dispatchers are the mediators between the clients and drivers and have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. 

A dispatcher is expected to perform extensive duties, including managing vehicle and staff schedules, route management, following the communication protocol, and assigning relevant jobs to the right person.

Essentially, a dispatcher is a management genius with extensive leadership qualities who is responsible for operations, personnel management, control, coordination, and supervision. 

Truck dispatchers must have relevant experience for a minimum of 2 years in the field and must comfortably manage a group of 25 drivers at least. 

A few things that are mandatorily taken up by the dispatcher are as follows:

  • Professionally catering to direct and dispatch product movements with the utmost efficiency
  • Managing routes efficiently and productively considering forecasted and real-time circumstances
  • Planning, scheduling, and confirming deliveries of the dispatch
  • Using the online tracking system and fleet management software to monitor the performance of vehicles, goods, and driver
  • Troubleshooting and resolving real-time basis issues about shipments
  • Uploading necessary documentation on the software
  • Maintaining a beneficial relationship with fleet owners, truckers, drivers, and management

The Ultimate Skill Checklist For Every Truck Dispatcher -

1. Communication Skills

Considering how integral of a role dispatchers play as a point of contact between the organization and customers, their communication skills must be nothing short of stellar.

Dispatchers must schedule jobs, send and receive reports on time, negotiate rates, and ensure efficient deliveries. All of these dispatch activities require clear, streamlined communication.

Aside from their regular set of tasks, dispatchers must maintain a healthy, safe, and friendly atmosphere in the workplace. They must enable a sound communication system in their network.

Generally, dispatchers need a pleasant personality to maintain a steady balance among drivers, fleet owners, and other stakeholders. However, they must also confront drivers if they portray any unruly behaviors. 

Advanced communication systems like notifications, chat groups, employee directories, and channels help dispatchers manage internal communication better. 

2. Cost-Cutting

One of the essential jobs of a dispatcher is to maintain software to achieve the highest rewards and financial gains at the lowest cost possible. 

It is imperative to sort out shipment requirements with the best routes, simultaneously catering to the needs of the drivers to coordinate and manage loads effectively. 

Dispatchers should be well informed about the economy and maintain fuel costs, demand for trucking, driver wages, transportation costs, overall freights, and other cost-related factors.

Dispatchers can use the best fleet management software for automatic and accurate calculations of their monthly budget and the smooth and fast generation of invoices.

3. Awareness Of The Drivers' Habits

A dispatcher must maintain an occasional check on the habits of the drivers and keep a software update on any findings for future use. They must organize records of truck drivers for the same reason.

It is substantial to keep a note of bad driving habits like speeding, tendency to break regulations and hours of service, etc. Corrective action can then be taken after instantly analyzing poor working practices. 

Some drivers are not aligned with the vision of the company and instead work for their own benefit. Hence, the dispatcher must track driver behaviors and ensure they are in accordance with legal rules.

4. Identify Special Shipment Requirements

The client, driver, and dispatching are not the same every day. Every so often, dispatchers will get requests for time-sensitive goods and cargo.

For a fleet and logistics firm to set itself apart from its competitors and win the loyalty of its clients, showing excellence in fast and timely consignments is a must.

Dispatchers must maintain time and legal adherence and resolve special considerations while sustaining proper documentation of the same. Any special needs attached to a shipment should be duly noted down.

5. Maintain Focus

A dispatcher needs to constantly upgrade and work on software to coordinate loads, manage routes, resole driver-related issues, take calls, and much more. 

Since there's a whole lot of multitasking involved, they need to be organized using quick thinking, unwavering focus, and adaptability to perform this stressful job.

Appropriate task management with a built-in reminder system that assists in time-consuming administrative tasks helps keep dispatchers focused on the major fleet activities.

6. Use Technology Diligently

A pre-requisite for every dispatcher is working with software. Dispatchers should be thorough in software updating, especially Microsoft applications. 

Software and upgrading technology are mandatory to perform many dispatching related functions like information on truckload carriers, freight brokers, waste management, private fleets, and construction. 

Software modules are created to manage file storage, dispatching, accounting, load bidding, fleet maintenance, IFTA reporting, GPS tracking, and more. 

It also automates SMS notifications, proof of delivery, feedback tools, and real-time driver tracking easier.

The software should make use of a user-friendly interface to save time, measure performance, and make strategic decisions. 

7. Adhere To Security And Safety Norms

Dispatchers must possess proficiency in the norms, rules, regulations, and legal formalities on truck driver safety and truck dispatching. Disregard for safety can quickly spell a fleet's doom.

Truckers and even fleet owners are not necessarily aware of the latest government rules and regulations. But dispatchers must mandatorily oversee the company's adherence to legal compliance.

Merely knowing the gps definition isn't enough, dispatchers must be able to harness the power of GPS-based fleet management systems to track mandatory hours of service and employee break times.

Dispatchers must also be aware of their organization's employee handbook, sexual harassment issues, online training, onboarding recruits, and security reporting.

8. Should Be Detail Driven

A dispatcher doesn't get enough credit for always thinking one step ahead. Strategically mitigating potential distractions, delays, and obstacles for the fleet's progress is no easy job. 

Dispatchers must rely on very elaborate strategies and should be driven by detail. Since they are almost always multitasking, it's crucial that they double-check for accuracy. 

They must also keep knowledge about construction issues, congestion, weather issues, accident-prone areas, traffic hazards, and other problems that can hamper smooth dispatching. 

In Closing

From scheduling and compliance to task management and billing and invoicing, a fleet dispatcher's job is a far cry from child's play.

Thus, it is essential to have the right trucking dispatch software to maintain an infallible and robust system that makes the job of a dispatch truck driver much easier.

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