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The complexities faced by building product distributors today are as numerous as ever. Increasing demand, varied customer requirements, and job site deliveries are just some of the challenges that need to be overcome. Manual routing and driver scheduling using whiteboards or spreadsheets is still a widely used planning method by building supply distributors today. It’s vital for building supply companies to implement technology that improves efficiency, reduces error, and optimally utilizes resources.
Your customers require premium service. Late product deliveries to waiting crews cost valuable time and money and could cost you a customer. Whiteboards on the wall of a dispatch office or local spreadsheets are not easy to share across internal teams who need up-to-date status reports and actionable insight into constantly changing operations.
Routing and scheduling technology can change all that, ensuring dispatchers know the equipment type and delivery constraints required for an order. For example, conveyor or boom trucks may be used for offloading product onto rooftops while flatbeds with forklifts can be used for ground delivery at sites with no docks. Having this data, along with predefined delivery time windows from customers, in your routing and scheduling can dramatically reduce the number of delivery attempts required to get the product to a crew, ultimately helping building suppliers streamline operations, execute more efficiently, and control cost.
These types of solutions can also provide real-time visibility for all key stakeholders. Sales can reserve a boom truck for a priority customer while waiting for the order; dispatchers can reduce wasted hours in phone calls with drivers; and customer service can get updates on route status and when orders will be delivered.
The Appian solution from Trimble MAPS features an electronic route calendar similar to the whiteboards or spreadsheets common in dispatch offices but enhanced with a number of digital capabilities. On a single screen, dispatchers can quickly view asset and driver availability, track route progress and updated ETAs, and provide visibility of line item detail on unloaded orders for optimal route placement. Selecting a tool built for the industry and which provides an end-to-end workflow will help organizations meet the challenges created by rising demand.
Join us for our upcoming webinar to learn how Appian helps get the right equipment on the right truck with the right driver, all while taking into account customer constraints and delivery time windows. Register now >