If you’re interested in a dispatching service, it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right one. Dispatching services range from large to local, comprehensive to bare-bones, and every service will have a different area of expertise. Selecting the one that’s the best fit for your company can seem daunting, but by asking yourself a few key questions in advance, you’ll know which services are best for you!
1. Do you need a dispatching service?
The first and most obvious question to ask yourself is whether or not you need a dispatching service. Look at your company and decide whether you’ve struggled with any of the following:
- Finding loads.
- Managing drivers.
- Maintaining motor carrier compliance.
- Handling paperwork.
- Providing customer care.
- Managing delays.
If you have had difficulties with any of these elements, consider a dispatcher. Dispatching services can help with all of these issues, and could be a great resource for you in particular. Dispatching services might also be especially helpful for anyone in the process of transitioning to owner-operators. If you aren’t experiencing any of these obstacles right now or making the transition to owner-operator, consider waiting before committing to a dispatching service. Hiring a dispatching service does bring extra fees and expectations to your day to day workload, so it’s a good idea to only hire one when you need their services or expect to need them in the near future.
2. What do you need from your dispatching service?
Listed above are a few key issues dispatching services can help with, but you may not find a service that provides all of them at once. Prioritize your needs and decide how many of them you need met compared to how many you’d like to have met. If you’d like someone to help handle paperwork but are also anxiously trying to find loads, your priorities are clear. Once you’ve organized these priorities, it’s much easier to determine which dispatching service will be best for you. Find a few reputable dispatching services and find out what specific services they can offer to make sure you’ve found one that fulfills the most important requirements on your list.
3. Does the service have a good reputation?
A good dispatching service will have a good reputation. It’s worth asking around among your peers and other trucking professionals to identify services that have a proven track record of good work. It can be particularly helpful to find services that have a proven track record in emergencies or high-pressure situations. Check for online reviews, as well; if a service doesn’t have any online reviews or testimonials, make sure you can find someone to vouch for this organization before agreeing to work with them.
4. How experienced is this dispatching service?
This goes along with understanding a dispatching service’s reputation. Does the service you’re interested in have years of experience, or are they new to the industry? An experienced service likely has firsthand knowledge on how to handle difficult situations, and may have valuable connections in the field. Experience isn’t the most important factor when choosing a dispatching service—a newer service may be more flexible and inexpensive, for example—but is worth considering nonetheless.
5. Is it easy to communicate with the service?
Remember, one of the main points of a dispatching service is to improve your company’s communication. While you’re asking questions and getting to know a specific service, this service should respond quickly and be easy to work with. If a service doesn’t communicate well in the early stages, it’s a bad sign for all the communication work that needs done down the line. On the other hand, strong communication now is promising for the future. You need a dispatcherr that you can depend on from start to finish, and it’s not too much to expect that they are able to show their accessibility from the start.
6. Are you aware of any potential extra costs?
Double-check the fine print of any dispatching service you’re thinking about committing to. Just because one service has a certain set of standard fees doesn’t mean every other service has that same set of fees! Depending on the service, you may find dispatchers that charge per load, per week, or a percentage (often around 5% – 10%) of the payment per load. Some dispatchers may ask for quick payments, which could potentially make your financial system more difficult rather than less depending on your situation. Make sure you completely understand the payment method of your dispatching service of choice, and make sure their method fits with the style of your own company.
At Provident, we understand that finding the right dispatcher can be a challenge. That’s why we work hard to help you find the service that best fits your needs. Looking for other ways to lighten your load? Learn more about getting your invoices paid quickly by factoring with us here.
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