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Don't underestimate the importance of appointment scheduling

Don’t underestimate the importance of dock appointment scheduling

So much hinges on the unloading and loading process, and businesses which optimize their appointment bookings gain a huge competitive advantage. In terms of sheer cost, avoiding congestion and not having trucks waiting around is a real cost saver, especially as drivers are becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Not to mention the time and money that can be saved by automating the process.

Predictable delivery times needed for customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is also dependent on dock appointment bookings, and shippers’ ability to offer predictable delivery times are in high demand. Add to this the increased accuracy delivered by an automated solution and you begin to see just how much of a competitive advantage a well-managed dock appointment scheduling process can be.

So why aren’t more businesses embracing appointment booking solutions?

falling behind

Some sectors, and the B2B transport industry is one of them, are slow to evolve. There are plenty of reasons why embracing the latest technology is unappealing: implementation, risk, habit… But none of these excuses will stop your business going obsolete when your customers leave you for a more savvy competitor.

Hands up who still uses a spreadsheet to manage their slot booking process? If we were at a transportation industry event, you’d be surprised how many raised arms you’d see.

Imagine a large warehouse facility, such as a processing plant or a distribution center. Trucks are constantly arriving and leaving. Often they show up late, or require a specific dock that is being used by someone else. Miscommunication might mean they end up showing up at the wrong time… Managing dock appointments in these facilities isn’t easy. There are many moving parts and constantly evolving factors. Throw in third-party carriers, contracted by shippers for ad-hoc pick-ups, and it just gets more complicated.

Managing this process manually is not only unnecessary, it’s a huge risk. Every mistake, every unexpected delay adds up. A single truck arriving late can result in hours of congestion and missed deadlines.

EMBRACING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY

The challenges that face businesses shipping and receiving goods range from communicating with drivers, to limited visibility with regards to capacity and delivery times. Technology exists to solve all of these issues. Dock appointment booking solutions provide the real-time warehouse transparency needed to know when to book a slot, whereas tracking technology automates touchpoints between all parties and provides a dynamic ETA.

This technology combines for a seamless transportation flow, resulting in lower costs, better performance and higher customer satisfaction. Leading businesses already know this. They stopped wasting time and effort manually booking slots some time ago. If that’s not the case at your business it’s time to drop the spreadsheet, put down the phone and start digitalizing your transportation management.

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