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Significance of Dispatch Management in the Retail Industry

The introduction of globalization and trade agreements has empowered the retail industry to achieve a market value of 32.8 trillion U.S. dollars by 2026.

Dispatch Management in Retail Industry

Retailers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach to craft a unique customer experience. Moreover, the customers are drawn to online shopping due to the convenience of doorstep delivery, flexible shopping hours, and the time-saving benefits that enhance their overall shopping experience.

This transformation has paved the way for the evolution of retail delivery, broadening the horizons of retail businesses. Retail delivery involves precisely coordinating the order-to-dispatch and dispatch-to-delivery processes within the supply chain.

Dispatch Management : A Brief Overview 

Dispatch management  is a comprehensive process of efficiently coordinating and managing the movement of goods from one location to another. It includes a complete cycle of planning, scheduling, and monitoring logistical operations, as well as the timely allocation of deliveries to the best-suited drivers and vehicles. 

Dispatch management encompasses various phases, including planning, execution, and analysis of the entire order-to-delivery cycle within the fulfillment process. It also involves crucial considerations, such as aligning vehicle capacity with order volume and ensuring vehicle availability meets the expected service level agreements (SLAs).

Challenges in the Retail Industry 

Manual Planning of Multiple Orders 

With retailers' expansion into offering doorstep product delivery, there has been a significant surge in order volumes. Retailers now face the challenge of fulfilling numerous orders daily originating from various sources, all of which must be dispatched under their expected delivery SLAs. This requires comprehensive and efficient planning of the order delivery cycle.

Traditionally, this task falls upon a dispatcher responsible for orchestrating and planning the delivery of multiple orders daily. This process is time-consuming, susceptible to errors, and frequently leads to inadequate planning, resulting in a subpar delivery experience for both customers and drivers.

Monitoring on-ground activities & responding to gaps in execution  

Once an order is in transit, the dispatcher's role shifts to actively monitoring the on-ground activities of the driver. In the event of unexpected delays, delivery disruptions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns, or any other unforeseen situations, the dispatcher needs to identify and implement corrective solutions to ensure deliveries remain on schedule and efficient. 

The restricted visibility of on-ground activities can make it quite challenging for the dispatcher to stay fully informed about the current situation. This limitation may result in delayed responses, which could impact further phases of the fulfillment cycle.

Managing the shortened SLAs & narrowed profit margins

The introduction of two-hour and same-day delivery services has significantly reduced delivery timeframes. Dispatchers have to expedite the delivery process to meet these tightened delivery windows. This often leads retailers to absorb elevated delivery costs, which can reduce profits.

Retailers face challenges scaling down service level agreements (SLAs), managing high delivery volumes through manual methods, and maintaining profitability amid thinner margins.

Managing Customer Loyalty

Customers who feel valued during delivery are more likely to remain loyal. Customers have smoothly transitioned from traditional offline shopping to online retail, primarily due to the convenience of delivery services. Once an order is placed, customers expect real-time updates on its status. Dispatchers may encounter challenges in simultaneously addressing customer inquiries, managing on-ground operations, and ensuring all stakeholders are informed about the order's progress.

Over time, it can become increasingly challenging for dispatchers to handle multiple "Where is my order?" (WISMO) calls or customer queries regarding orders in transit. Missing out on addressing these customer inquiries can result in dissatisfying experiences.

Role of Dispatch Management in the Retail Industry

Automated Dispatch Plan Creation 

Dispatch scheduling software empowers dispatchers by automating their manual operations. When an order is received from any source, the dispatch automation software efficiently processes the order and seamlessly transitions it to the next stages of planning and execution. The introduction of technology ( dispatch management solution) enables dispatchers to:

  • Generate quick dispatch-to-delivery plans.
  • Eliminate the probability of errors.
  • Shift their focus to other critical operational tasks, enhancing overall efficiency

Real-time Visibility of Ground Operations 

The integration of dispatch optimization  software provides dispatchers with a comprehensive view of on-ground activities. As soon as an order transitions into the transit stage, the real-time visibility feature of the dispatch management solution allows dispatchers to access the precise status of the order.

In the event of unexpected delays, dispatchers can swiftly explore potential solutions, such as reassigning orders to the next available driver in the case of a vehicle breakdown or proactively informing customers about potential delays due to road traffic conditions. This enhanced visibility and control provide a more efficient and responsive delivery process. It enables dispatchers to:

  • Stay informed about any on-ground disruptions
  • Offer proactive solutions 
  • Foster healthy relationships with customers 

Controlling Operational Costs

One of the most effective ways to reduce higher delivery costs is through efficient dispatch planning. Dispatch management software empowers dispatchers to consolidate orders and assign tasks to drivers within the same vicinity. This strategic approach minimizes service overlap areas and ultimately leads to cost savings.

Ensuring successful deliveries on the first attempt is another key cost-saving measure. A well-structured dispatch plan enables dispatchers to group order deliveries with order pickups for returns, effectively reducing costs and increasing efficiency. This strategic approach optimizes the use of resources and minimizes unnecessary trips, contributing to significant cost savings. It enable dispatchers to:

  • Create plans that combine order deliveries and pick-ups for a specific service area, optimizing the use of the same driver.
  • Reduce expenses associated with covering additional miles by generating efficient route plans.
  • Lower operational costs by achieving a higher First Attempt Delivery Rate (FADR), reducing the need for multiple delivery attempts.

Reducing WISMO and increasing customer satisfaction

Dispatch scheduling software leverages real-time visibility of orders in transit, effectively mitigating the necessity for customer inquiries about order status. WISMO calls can significantly affect a business's bottom line and the overall customer experience. By minimizing WISMO calls, companies reduce the workload on service operators and enhance customer loyalty and the overall customer experience.  It enables customers with:

  • Order Tracking
  • ETA updates
  • Real-time status

DispatchOne | Enable, Streamline and Scale Dispatch Operations

The right technology can empower businesses, enabling them to achieve tasks they couldn't accomplish previously or to perform them with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Dispatch One, powered by OS1, provides turnkey dispatch solutions designed to meet the diverse delivery needs of the retail industry, regardless of scale. This agile, easily scalable, and robust dispatch management tool empowers dispatchers and other stakeholders to unlock the full potential of their retail business's delivery segment.

Get in a discussion with our dispatch software experts and explore the growth opportunities of your business.