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Important Features

Key Software Features from 1.57 – 1.53

29 May, 2023

Dispatch Science’s delivery platform has experienced remarkable growth since 2018. Our devoted team continuously rolls out exceptional updates for both the desktop platform and mobile Driver App. With an impressive tally of 56 updates since September 2018, averaging one per month over four years, we proudly showcase our steadfast dedication to innovation.

Our ultimate aim is to provide customers with the finest delivery management tool to tackle logistics challenges. Take a deep dive into Dispatch Science’s five 5 fundamentals for further insights.

This article will touch on the most important features from the last 5 releases. To delve into specific release features, click on the respective release numbers. 

 

1.57

Recurring Routes

This new feature is a way of combining distribution routes with recurring or repeating orders. This is very useful if you have routes with orders that occur on a repeating schedule.

For example, say you have a pharmaceutical customer that has the same 500 orders that require your drivers to stop at various, labs, clinics, and long-term care facilities every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Instead of building a different distribution route for each day, you can simply make one route recurrence that will create the same 500 orders every MWF. This feature makes it easier to group, organize and repeat those distribution routes however often you want, providing greater precision and customizability for your route planning needs.

 

Use-Case Specific Notification Rules

Wouldn’t it be nice to have more flexibility around when you send delivery notifications to your customers? 

Consider a situation where a customer is not available at the specified delivery address. Instead of leaving them wondering, you can set up specific notification rules to send a friendly message like, “Sorry we missed you! Please reschedule the delivery at your convenience.”

Let’s say you wanted to give advanced notice to high priority customer that their order is on the way and provide continuous updates along the way.  With advanced notification rules, you can easily configure this use case and others more complex.

 

1.56

Advanced Distribution

Advanced Distribution transforms your bulk list of orders into optimized routes, saving you countless hours and grey hairs. It is the perfect tool for last-mile distribution and routed delivery services that must deliver a high volume of orders. It will also delight shippers, as more deliveries can be fulfilled at one time. 

With growing complexity and delivery volume in the transportation and logistics industry, this task is becoming increasingly complicated and time-consuming.

Last-Mile Example:

Suppose you’re a route planner working for last-mile carrier, and your shipper customer sends you a file of 1,500 orders/jobs/tickets. The shipper says they want the orders to be delivered on a next-day service. But your day is quickly piling up with other tasks.

How can you quickly figure out how to optimize and distribute this bulk workload to your fleet of drivers for tomorrow? How many drivers will it take? How many total routes? Which orders go to which drivers, and in what order are their stops?

With Advanced Distribution, your capabilities include:

Minimizing the number of drivers: Suppose you aim to ensure that each route in your workload is completed within 8 hours or less. By selecting this option, the system will distribute all 1,500 stops/orders into optimized routes of 8 hours or less with the fewest number of drivers possible.

Specifying number of drivers: Alternatively, if you have a fixed team of 30 drivers, you can choose this option to divide the entire workload among them. The system will generate optimized routes for each driver, ensuring that all 1,500 stops or orders are efficiently assigned. However, in this case, the system will not consider the specified duration per route, allowing flexibility in how each driver completes their assigned deliveries. 

Experience the Advantages:

Boosts the speed and accuracy of route planning, dispatch, and overall delivery process.

Increased % of on-time delivery.

Accurate and faster shipment quoting.

Reduced fuel consumption.

Enhanced customer satisfaction.

Improved customer acquisition.

Book a demo with us here to see this new feature in action.

 

 

Increased Order Assignment Flexibility

Many third-party route optimization programs do not allow for much flexibility when it comes to assigning orders to drivers that have a pre-scheduled route and stop sequence that has already been optimized. Sometimes you just want to override the optimization and give an order to a driver when it makes sense. For example, an on-demand order comes in with a pickup location that is 100 meters away from your only driver in the vicinity. 

Dispatchers and route planners: wouldn’t it be nice to assign this unexpected on-demand order to that driver, even if they are already in a pre-defined (or scheduled) route, without it affecting the rest of their stop sequence?

This new feature can essentially turn a scheduled, or fixed route, into a hybrid route that has been modified to allow on-demand orders to be inserted between other orders. Prior to this feature, new orders would go at the beginning or end of the route plan, but never in between.

Capabilities include:

Fixed Stops Allow Insertions: Imagine you need to insert an order into an existing route without triggering a full re-optimization or disrupting the original stop sequence. Our system allows you to achieve this seamlessly. You can insert new orders between existing stops, ensuring efficient utilization of resources, while preserving the original order sequence. This feature is available as long as the time windows for on-demand order insertions permit.

Full Optimization: When complete route optimization is desired, our system offers the flexibility to adapt the stop sequence. With this option, every time a new on-demand order is dispatched, the entire route is reoptimized to ensure maximum efficiency.

Experience the Advantages

With this new feature, dispatchers have more flexibility to assign on-demand orders to different drivers — with the option to keep the original optimization or to reoptimize their stop sequence. The two capabilities allow for increased order assignment flexibility and agility in fulfilling on-demand orders that would potentially otherwise require an additional driver to complete. You would thus cut down on fuel costs and driver expenses while also increasing the % of on-time delivery for those on-demand orders.

 

 

Better Dispatch Board Customization and UI

Dispatch Boards are one of the most important areas within the platform for a dispatcher or fleet coordinator because they provide various ways to visualize, organize and filter different orders and drivers. 

With the 1.56 update, we have introduced a dedicated landing page for Dispatch Boards. Now, you can easily access a comprehensive list of all your boards from a single location. This centralized view allows for quick navigation and efficient management of your Dispatch Boards. To further enhance usability, we have implemented a search bar feature. This addition enables you to swiftly locate specific Dispatch Boards by searching for relevant keywords or board names.

A dedicated landing page for Dispatch Boards.

 

These UI improvements in the latest release offer a more cohesive and user-friendly experience for managing your Dispatch Boards. Enjoy the convenience of a centralized view, efficient search capabilities, and simplified board creation.

A more cohesive and user-friendly experience for managing your Dispatch Boards.

 

 

1.55

Better Auto Dispatch Controls

Auto Dispatch is a unique and defining feature offered by Dispatch Science, empowering dispatchers to automate and streamline the delivery process by taking into account a range of crucial factors, such as driver availability, location, capacity, skill sets, and preferred routes. It even considers constraints such as customer time windows, order priorities, and service level agreements. By intelligently combining these variables, Auto Dispatch automatically assigns the right driver to the most appropriate order, creating an optimal and balanced workload distribution.

With the introduction of version 1.55, we have further enhanced the capabilities of Auto Dispatch to provide even greater flexibility and efficiency. Notably, an important improvement has been implemented: Auto Dispatch will no longer dispatch orders to drivers who have the “going off duty” status. By considering the drivers’ availability and preferences, this brings a higher level of customization to the dispatching process. It guarantees that drivers who are about to go off duty will not receive any additional orders, ensuring a smoother transition and preventing any unnecessary disruption to their schedule.

 

Improved Application Log Search

The ability to search for application logs are useful for seeing changes in add-on applications within Dispatch Science, such as custom pieces of code, or scripts as well call them. For whatever f there was an error with an application, users have the ability see the details of that error, such as where and when it occurred, with a small error description. As of 1.55, users can now filter their application log search by attachment and text.

 

 

1.54

Better Fuel Surcharge Calculators

Does tracking and managing fuel take you more than an hour per month? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy and organized method of both managing and calculating fuel surcharges?

Dispatch Science users now enjoy an elevated level of flexibility and control when it comes to calculating fuel surcharges. This update empowers businesses to more accurately charge their customers based on their own base fuel prices, mileages, and reference fuel prices that may vary across states or countries.

Enjoy an elevated level of flexibility and control when it comes to calculating fuel surcharges.

For example, say you wanted to charge a different rate for different mileage ranges pictured below. This simple configuration would allow different rates for different ranges. From 0 to 130 gallons, you could configure a fuel surcharge of 1.99%, and from 130.01 gallons to 140 gallons, you could configure a different fuel surcharge of 5.79%, and so on. 

Charge a different rate for different mileage ranges.

This is just one of the many fuel surcharge calculation options.

 

Improved Visibility on Accounts Receivable

There are two features which better equip finance controllers, accountants and customer service reps to keep track of accounts receivable, thus improving transparency and visibility on accounts receivable:

Transactions Aging Summary (unpaid invoices): This new feature will show a summary on Unpaid Invoices and Automatic Late Fee the Accounts which have unpaid invoices, presented in ageing buckets.

Automatic Late Fee Addition for Late Invoices

Dispatch Science now offers the ability to add late fees automatically when generating invoices in the event that an account has unpaid invoices past their term date (either manually created invoices or system generated invoices).

See Drivers Last Delivery Time and Date

Having visibility into the duration a driver has been waiting since their last delivery is a valuable asset for effective dispatching.

The Last Delivery feature provides the precise date and time of the driver’s most recent completed delivery, whether it was executed by the driver themselves or assigned by the dispatcher. This information is conveniently accessible on the Driver’s Summary tab within the Driver Details section, tailored to the user’s time zone.

 

1.53

Grouping Orders by Geolocation

Order grouping is a powerful tool that significantly simplifies the lives of drivers and enhances overall operational efficiency. By strategically organizing and grouping orders, dispatchers can ensure that efficiency is maximized by assigning orders at the same location to one driver.

Order grouping by geolocation is especially useful because addresses are often written in slightly different ways. For example, “Street” versus “St.”. In such cases, relying on geocoordinates to group orders together proves to be more precise than relying solely on syntax-based addresses, which may not accurately group orders as intended.

 

1.57-1.53 In Summary

The Dispatch Science platform has changed a lot over the last few releases. There is never a time where our team is not improving the platform and its various features and modules to meet the needs of customer requirements in myriad areas; from system integration, to route optimization, to invoicing and billing customers, to increasing route planning speed and accuracy.

Want to learn more about how this powerful and easy to use platform can improve on-time delivery and impress your customers? Get in touch with the Dispatch Science team at info@dispatchscience.com or sign up for a demo here

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