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Cons of Not Having a Dock Appointment Scheduling Solution

The Cons of Not Having a Dock Appointment Scheduling Solution in Place

Technology and supply chain integration has been a time- and sanity-saver across the industry. With all of the advancements that have occurred, it really doesn’t make sense to work harder when you can work smarter. But while many processes have been automated, dock appointment scheduling software has been implemented slower than others, which can cause some major headaches.

What is dock scheduling?

It doesn’t matter whether you have one or a hundred docks in your facility, it’s important to know who is coming and going, and when and where. Dock appointment scheduling software allows you to organize that information to determine traffic and inventory coming in and out of your location by setting a constrained plan for freight arrival and unloading times throughout the week. While the old “they’ll be there when they’ll be there” routine may seem easier in the onset, it causes a lot more headaches throughout the process in the long run. Using technology to organize freight and expectations is a simple solution that helps to streamline the process.

Wasted time

Did you know that up to 70% of a transportation planner’s time is consumed by making pickup and delivery appointments? That’s because the old way of doing things left you with two ways of handling freight: accepting loads as they arrive at the docks, perhaps with a call from on the road to make your team aware of their timeline, or via manual scheduling via phone calls and emails. In both cases, a lot of time ends up wasted and miscommunication can abound. Particularly on freight-heavy days, a message that isn’t passed along or added to the schedule can wreak havoc.

By upgrading to a cloud-based dock appointment scheduling software like Alpega’s Smart Booking, you remove human error from the equation, allowing freight carriers to schedule their arrivals and departures 24/7 online without having to wait for someone to be in the office to answer the phone. No more time consumed taking calls and manually entering them into the schedule or headaches caused from miscommunication. Online dock appointment scheduling software allows your team to focus on more pressing issues that can’t be automated while providing a clear and organized routine for your facility and freight drivers–saving everyone time that would otherwise be spent waiting for congestion to clear during heavy traffic volume days.

Warehouse and dock congestion

As briefly stated above, not having a clear schedule available to your employees, but also freight services, can lead to warehouse and dock congestion–and no one needs the hassle of trying to divert and route semi trucks around each other in the yard.

Without knowing the exact number of trucks, the amount of product or types of inventory that are arriving, it can make efficiency impossible.

Alpega’s dock appointment scheduling software gives you real-time information about who you can expect to arrive when, allowing you to avoid surprise heavy traffic by scheduling freight pickup and delivery throughout the day, and thus avoiding congestion and employee exhaustion. Why react to freight schedules when you can mitigate a pile-up before it even has the chance to occur?

Detention fees

Getting slapped with a fee is frustrating enough, but when it’s caused by circumstances that could have been avoided, it’s even worse. When carriers are forced to wait in line to pick up or unload, stress levels run high. Drivers expect the same service in a shorter period of time. Exceeding their allotted free time–and the likelihood of being given a detention fee because of issues outside of their control–can lead to even more stress or less-than-ideal relations between the carrier and your facility.

Dock appointment scheduling software mitigates those situations by decreasing congestion and giving your team the full loading and unloading time in the appointment to get the job done. By providing a clear schedule and timeline, you can ensure that any hiccups along a freight’s route doesn’t happen on your watch.

Errors due to miscommunication

You already know that transportation management and dealing with a supply chain is a complicated job with a myriad of stakeholders. Unfortunately, with so many moving pieces, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks and for miscommunication to abound.

When the processes that can be automated are automated, it cuts back on the potential for miscommunication. While it won’t get rid of mistakes for good, having a discipline in place like dock appointment scheduling software will minimize them as much as possible and saves everyone from headaches, fees, and frustration.

Safety incidents

When congestion starts and the team gets backlogged, employees have to work quickly to stay on schedule. You’ve definitely seen injuries or safety issues occur when the team is frantic. Plus, a stressed team working faster than usual is a team that is more likely to make mistakes in general. By keeping the day’s routine consistent, visible, and spread out through dock appointment scheduling software, you’re giving your employees the time they need to get the job done without cutting corners, thus minimizing safety incidents.

Alpega’s Smart Booking cuts out the headaches

From cutting down on congestion to making sure everyone in the warehouse knows what’s on the day’s docket, Alpega’s Smart Booking gives you a low-cost, online scheduling solution that fits your facility’s needs and handles everyday problems like a pro. Utilizing Alpega’s dock appointment scheduling software will automate freight pickup and delivery with ease. Let technology handle your facility’s calendar so you can focus on the stuff software can’t handle.

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