party cake

Save the Party and Manage Deliveries with Distribution Software

Posted by Stacey Papp

Let’s start with a common summer scenario. You’re at a backyard barbecue, relaxing in a lawn chair in the shade. Springsteen is on the radio, crooning about Americana and the workin’ class. The burgers are sizzling on the grill and smelling goo-od. You decide to head to the cooler and get yourself a cold one to wash the food down with. 

But when you open up the cooler lid … there are no brewskis to be found. “Dan,” you say to your host, “What the heck? No beers?” Dan shrugs. “Sorry. The store was all out when I went there today, and I didn’t have time to drive to another one.”

It’s the stuff of nightmares, right? While alcohol doesn’t make a good party, plenty of people like to enjoy a brew or two while hanging out with friends in the summer – so how is it possible that a store would be out?

The fault may lie not with the store, but with the distributors. In a season where lots of people are having parties and barbecues, companies like beverage distributors and caterers are kept pretty busy – and if a business doesn’t have a strategy in place get everything and everyone where they need to be, when they need to be there, then they can run into problems like not having enough drivers for all the job orders. 

And just one mistake could end up costing the business big – no retail store wants to be in a situation where our friendly party-goer above and his buddy Dan can’t spend money because the beer never got from the warehouse to the shelf, and there won’t be any second chances for a distributor who messes up an order for a store, or for a caterer who brings party food late.

It’s pretty essential to a beverage distribution or catering company that dispatchers get the right amount of drivers out there on the best routes to stores or homes, and that operations leaders maximize productivity during busy seasons. The question, of course, is how?

Using fleet management distribution software can help during both busy and slow seasons. Dispatchers are able to see at a glance which drivers are where – including who’s coming back to headquarters and can pick up more orders – without having to be glued to the phone. A simple-to-read digital dashboard can provide an instant view of everyone’s whereabouts – which also helps if a customer calls asking for a delivery time. 

Meanwhile, drivers can use the GPS to plot out the most efficient route, taking into account traffic, road closures, cold cut collisions and other obstructions, helping ensure they arrive within a given delivery window – which, in the case of a catering business, can mean the difference between hot food and cold. 

All work orders are digital – no more paperwork lost on the floor of a truck. If anything changes, operations leaders can update job orders on the fly, and drivers receive push notifications or text messages to let them know what’s new, giving ops leaders a direct line to the field.

For businesses like catering companies and beverage distribution, summer and all the parties that come with it are a time to shine. Fleet management software can help make sure the drinks and food make it there on time and in the right quantities – making these companies real American heroes.

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To learn more about what telematics is and how it can help businesses of all sizes, download our eBook!