- Plan ahead and communicate with drivers and customers to avoid any issues during the busy holiday season.
- Use dispatch software to manage driver assignments and track their progress.
- Provide drivers with the resources they need to stay safe and comfortable during long hours on the road
The upcoming holidays are a time of happiness for most though for a fleet manager, it is a time of high stress. This is because most dispatchers know that their delivery drivers must know how to prepare for holiday season.
This is because, during the holiday season, online delivery orders spike greatly and cause a massive strain on the supply chain. Not to mention the adverse road conditions that also affect delivery speed and driver safety.
We understand the troubles that the holidays bring with them for dispatchers and managers. That is exactly why in this blog, we will give you tips on how to prepare your fleet for holiday season.
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Why do Dispatchers Need to Start Preparing for the Holidays?
If you are in charge of the deliveries made by a business, then you need to be fully responsible for the safety of your vehicles and drivers. The holidays are some of the harshest days of winter, with dangerous elements such as black ice that can put lives in danger.
During winter, you need to make safety your top priority. Making deliveries on time should be the last thing on your mind though it is still important to meet customer expectations. There is no doubt in the fact that it is crucial to stay safe in such circumstances.
Though meeting all the requirements of Christmas time deliveries is easier said than done as it requires a lot of planning and effort. You wouldn’t want to face all the issues at the worst time possible. This is why it is imperative that you stay prepared early so that you can deal with anything that might affect your delivery process.
You can prepare your drivers and vehicles in multiple ways, many of which you might already know. Though for a better chance at fighting the weather, you might need some extra tips to aid you in your journey.
Top 5 Fleet Management Tips for Dispatchers During Holiday Season
Winter is the bane for many delivery services as it makes life hard for everyone involved. Even more so for dispatchers and managers, as they are held responsible for any delays or mishaps. So it is best to look at a few tips to make sure that your deliveries remain uninterrupted.
1. Ensure that your employees are up to the task
The most critical link between you and your customers is your employees. They are the first point of contact for your company which is why you need to ensure that they are best suited for the work conditions.
If your team does not have a lot of experience dealing with snow, then it is best to give them some additional training to make sure that you don’t face any issues. There are also some aspects that are often ignored but have massive consequences.
There have been cases of trucks crashing because of fatigued drivers. This is a serious matter that could affect entire families. This is why you need to see to it that your drivers are getting adequate rest and nutrition so that they stay alert.
2. Have backups in place
During winter, there is no guarantee that your deliveries will reach their destination. This is because a lot of factors can affect your delivery processes, such as traffic or worker shortage. To avoid this, it is a bright idea to have backups in place to take care of any delays that may occur.
Finding backup employees during Christmas might prove to be difficult though it is better to spend extra to have them in place. You might also ask your employees to ask for potential workers from their families to make your search easier.
3. Do not inflate expectations
In a busy time such as the holidays, you can never truly guarantee early deliveries. Since there are a lot of factors such as vehicle reliability at play, you need to understand that it is better to quote a later delivery time to stay on the safe side.
If you ever inflate the expectations of customers and underdeliver by just a couple of hours it can still tarnish the reputation of your business. Punctuality is taken seriously and is expected of delivery companies by customers.
4. Stay ready with your vehicles
Your vehicles are what make your ride to the destination possible. So it is essential for you to be taking care of them during times of high priority. Since the scope of fleet maintenance is far grander it is better to look at a dedicated fleet maintenance guide.
Though right now you need to focus on vehicle capabilities in handling winter. Winter is the season when most trucks are most likely to give out on you. So you must invest in equipment that enhances the mobility of your vehicles such as hi-lift jacks, snow chains, or traction boards.
You also need to make sure that your vehicles are fit to run in the winter. Usually, diesel trucks have an issue with gelling diesel that can clog the fuel lines. It is essential to aim for maximum visibility as it can give the drivers a better sense of judgment when driving.
5. Get a route planner to meet delivery goals
How can you assure your customers of timely deliveries while having more stops on the route? This question is answered by route planners that can plan your routes in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
When you have hundreds of deliveries to make you cannot expect to make all the routes yourself as it is time-consuming and stressful. Though choosing the perfect route planner can be even more time-consuming. Luckily we have just the solution for you!
Meet Holiday Delivery Deadlines with Upper
Forget the hassles of planning routes at the last minute. Upper can single-handedly take care of all your route planning needs as it is capable of creating the most optimized routes known to mankind in a matter of minutes.
Upper is a blessing to dispatchers as they no longer have to work long hours planning routes and sending them to the drivers. With Upper, Dispatchers can send routes with a single click instantly to the drivers.
Upper has helped businesses from multiple fields achieve their delivery deadlines consistently without fail. Upper ensures that your delivery routes are as fast as possible so that your operation speeds are boosted greatly.
Automated Route Planning at Your Fingertips
Plan and optimize unlimited routes for hundreds of stops with just a few clicks. Use pre-planned delivery routes for your holiday peak hours on Upper
Winter is very harsh on fleet vehicles as it causes roads to become slippery with snow and ice. This causes a vehicle to lose traction and go out of the driver’s control and crash badly. Pair this with traffic and you have a recipe for disaster.
As a dispatcher or fleet manager, you can start your preparation before 15-20 days of winter holidays. Many businesses also start rolling out marketing strategies before a month to get most of the holiday season.
Most cars are not built to operate in snow as they have tires and drivetrains set for maximum efficiency. A vehicle that is built for snow will have chunky tires for extra traction and more to suit the environment.
Any fleet is supposed to be fully prepared for the holiday season, as without preparation, there can be grave outcomes. There have been fatalities due to unpredictable natural factors such as black ice that cause crashes.
While black ice is something that you cannot avoid, there are other factors that you can easily counter. One should not neglect the avoidable factors such as vehicle failures if one wants to make all their Christmas deliveries on time.
While being on time is a difficult task, route optimization software like Upper comes to the rescue to make it simpler. Upper makes sure that your fleet gets nothing but the best routes in existence so that you can achieve your delivery deadlines.