Transport Managers play a key role in fulfilling shippers promises to their customers and in meeting customer expectations. They are responsible for managing the execution, direction, and coordination of all transportation matters within the haulage business. This includes managing budgets, organising schedules and routes, ensuring drivers and vehicles operate safely. Compliance and governance are top priorities.
Transport planning can be daunting if you don’t have the right tools and information to hand – managing lots of moving parts, staying compliant, working to tight deadlines and the slimmest of margins is all very stressful.
Systems can add to stress too. They may help with part of the planning process, but not the whole process. Job planning can take too long and there’s a risk plans are not as efficient as they should be. It’s easy to over-commit and set up yourself up for failure, even before wheels start turning.
When the plan is underway the clock is ticking and there are targets to hit. Customers need to be kept informed and resources managed effectively. As well as managing the plan, you need to know exactly where you are against the plan you’ve created. See if everything is going to plan, and if not, you need to find and resolve problems early.
Here are our top tips for co-ordinating your delivery planning process more effectively:
- Keep a detailed database of customer locations and site requirements to ensure the correct driver and vehicle are allocated to the job as you plan.
- Validate timed deliveries before you output the plan to see if the plan you’ve created is realistic and achievable. You’ll avoid over-committing resources and stand a better chance of delivering your promises.
- Plan using live driver and vehicle calendars to see which resources are available to do the work. You’ll avoid be able to plan with confidence when planning jobs and avoid having to make last minute amendments to your plan.
- Use a cloud transport management system that gives everyone access to the same information to avoid duplication. It means you can all work remotely together as a team, and plan work around vehicle locations or maintenance schedules to improve utilisation.
- Send jobs directly to a driver’s mobile instead of relying on paperwork, emails or text messages. Keeping driver’s updated via an integrated ePOD app for example, means you can update them directly from your system and receive ePODs back in retur,n as jobs are completed – avoiding delays and lost paperwork.
- Integrate vehicle or mobile phone tracking with your system to receive live load status updates. You’ll have better visibility of your plan in progress and early notification of exceptions which you can address quickly, as well as keep customers better informed.
- Display job progress on an arrivals board in your traffic office to make it easier for your team to identify problems as early as possible.
- Give customers access to job progress on-line or via a track and track app to minimise inbound ETA enquiries you receive into your traffic office, leaving staff free to focus on more important tasks.
If you’d like to improve your delivery planning process and would like to take to us to see how a transport management system can help, give us a call on 0191 250 2220 or make an enquiry.