In the trucking industry, companies are responsible for handling millions of dollars of freight belonging to their customers. Pick-ups and deliveries must be scheduled precisely in the world of just-in-time manufacturing. Dispatchers spend their day on the phone talking with customers to book loads and schedule their handling. They have to quickly determine rates for these loads, then schedule a driver and truck to handle the load. This information then needs to be passed on to the driver to get the job done.
Irish Rose Consulting developed the Dispatch Management System to help dispatchers for one Wisconsin-based trucking company handle this workload. When a customer calls a dispatcher using the Irish Rose system, the dispatcher can enter information about the load such as who the customer is, who and where the load is being shipped to, the commodity being shipped, and the requested delivery date. Using third-party mileage systems from Information Software and ALK Associates, the system is able to automatically calculate the shipping distance, then look up the rate for the load in a rate table entered by the dispatch supervisor. This allows the dispatcher to immediately give the customer a price quote for the load.
For scheduling trucks and drivers, dispatchers can easily view all loads with a pending delivery date. Truckers can be selected from a pick-list, and a load detail sheet can be printed for the trucker. Driving directions can also be printed using the mileage databases.
Finally, when a load is completed, information from the bill of lading is entered into the system to allow reconciling load information. Actual miles driven are entered into the system to allow the system to gradually learn more accurate mileage rates.