In the supply chain industry, a dispatcher is responsible for organizing drivers for pick up and delivery appointments with customers and vendors.
More specifically, dispatchers are accountable for maintaining records, reviewing driver logs for problems and tracking drivers’ hours and staying on top of equipment availability. Dispatchers also track weather patterns for their drivers to flag possible issues. While there are many software platforms designed to help dispatchers, the job calls for good intuition and understanding of the industry.
If you’re considering a job as a logistics dispatcher, you should have at least a high school diploma or GED, and a degree in transportation or logistics would make you highly valuable. Dispatchers should be experienced with technology and capable of learning industry-specific software platforms. You should be an adept communicator in English, and knowing a second language can make you a perfect applicant for any dispatcher job.
Consider honing these skills to become a supply chain dispatcher.
A crucial aspect of the job is the organization and structuring of the most efficient shipping loads to stay cost-effective. This involves combining shipments according to routes and timelines with the intention of minimizing the number of trucks and drivers.
Dispatchers also have to figure out the best delivery processes and directly negotiate rates with both suppliers and customers. If there are any special requirements (e.g. when shipping volatile chemicals or livestock), a dispatcher must take these factors into consideration during the planning stage and take care of any necessary paperwork.
To be successful, dispatchers must be capable of efficiently communicating with drivers, suppliers, executives, customers and other dispatchers. They must also generate reports and send emails, which require good written communication skills.
The position of dispatcher calls for interacting with people over radio and phone. Often, they are talking with people in stressful situations. The ability to listen, understand context, speak clearly and communicate important information is invaluable in this position.
Truck dispatchers are typically asked to keep records of dispatched calls, routes, schedules and truck maintenance. They also document customer interactions and keep details of route variations. Furthermore, truck dispatchers keep records of training sessions, driver licenses and regulation-related matters.
It is usually up to dispatchers to develop billing and invoice documents. Dispatchers with this responsibility make certain that drivers get essential documents prior to making a pickup. They also send invoices for payment and manage issues regarding charges for services rendered.
Thanks to technology, the job of a dispatcher is constantly changing. Those who resist the adoption of new tools or cling to outdated systems will quickly find themselves irrelevant.
They must be able to understand the ramifications of new information and technology, for developing solutions to both existing and future problems.
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At ZDA, we help people navigate successful careers in the supply chain industry. If you are currently looking for a career as a logistics dispatcher, contact one of our top recruiters today to find out how we can help.