From the start, Dispatch has been a disruptive technology in the B2B final-mile space. Businesses started adopting our delivery platform to get real-time visibility, transparency, and dynamic ETAs, but what happened is it left their internal fleets in the dark. Our customer base started approaching us to say that while solving one problem, we were creating another.
These businesses have a lot of capital tied up in their internal fleets, and while they know they want to transition this over time, it’s not easy to sell off hundreds or even thousands of company vehicles. We needed to find a consistent solution for our customers, so we took that feedback and built Connect.
Dispatch Connect is a holistic software solution that handles internal company routing and delivery management, with the ability to outsource final-mile deliveries to Dispatch. It provides a unified end-user experience, whether customers are using their internal fleet or the Dispatch marketplace of independent contractor drivers to fulfill deliveries.
How Dispatch Connect Works
With Connect, the driver experience is a little different. The driver base for Connect is typically an employee driver inside of the business. So whether that’s a route truck driver, parts runner, or larger DOT driver, they’re using a very similar mobile app that our independent contractor drivers would use. It's custom-built for an in-house fleet driver.
For our customers, it gives a fully unified experience and drives asset utilization inside of the organization. Traditionally, many of our customers manage in-house deliveries with whiteboards and files, sometimes uploading their daily routes into routing software to try to drive efficiency. It’s a lot of manual work trying to figure out how to optimize their existing vehicles. Sometimes those vehicles are out doing a hot-shot run, and they’re not available.
We take all of that manual delivery management off of their plate using software to allocate parcels to available in-house vehicles and then automatically outsourcing overflow to the Dispatch marketplace. It takes all the burden off of our customers so they can focus on what they do best, and that’s delivering great service to their customers.
Changing the Delivery Game
I think we’re the first ever to combine delivery management with a marketplace. There’s other software out there that you can use to manage vehicles. We’re taking that down to a parcel level and then pairing that with a national marketplace of professionally trained independent drivers. With Dispatch Connect, it’s all built holistically from the ground up as one platform. So that gives us a lot of ability to make sure we have control to drive great service level agreements (SLAs), customer satisfaction, and consistent pricing.
Also, because we’re able to track down all the way to the parcel level, and not the vehicle level, we’re able to maximize efficiency. Sometimes it makes more sense for a package to go out on an internal fleet. But with Dispatch Connect, we can determine when it makes more sense to send it to the Dispatch marketplace because of the lower variable costs and save capacity for higher ticket items. We can really fine-tune optimization between the two different options, the Dispatch marketplace, and an internal fleet.
Also, when it comes down to tools available to the end customer we can heat map deliveries, help inform our customers where to put resources for new stores or expansions, and give them more data-driven visibility into their business, far more than they’ve ever had in the past.
It’s Just The Beginning
There’s so much opportunity in this space, and this is just the beginning. It’s an exciting time for us because of the sheer amount of data we have across thousands of customers all over the country. We’re using that data to continue to drive utilization in the software.
Also, there’s so much opportunity for further driving efficiency when you look at cubic space on vehicles. Often, measuring space is done with eyeballs, knowing roughly the size of the product, and playing a guessing game as to how much will fit into the delivery vehicle. We can start to use product information management systems to calculate cubic space automatically, instead of having someone manually put it in a pile and guess if it fits in the truck. There are all sorts of exciting things ahead, and we’re just scratching the surface.
With Dispatch Connect, we have a fantastic delivery management software that lets businesses manage deliveries down to the individual parcel and then take that information and pass it onto other stakeholders. And that in itself is really powerful. But then you pair this with our marketplace model, and that’s where the synergy is just magical. We’re able to take an internal fleet and mix that in with thousands of independent drivers all over the nation and help our customers meet their business goals.