Last updated on January 4th, 2023
There are lots of different softwares that can be beneficial for small businesses, but one that is very niche is dispatch software.
Admittedly, not a lot of online businesses would necessarily need a dispatch software because of the way they work.
However, for businesses who do provide direct delivery of products or on-site services for clients, a dispatch software is arguably one of the most essential softwares your business should invest in and implement.
If you want more advice about dispatch softwares for your small business, including some recommendations, then I have pulled together this guide to help you out. Check out the information below and I hope that you find it informative and useful!
What Is Dispatch Software Used For?
First, let me explain what dispatch software is and what businesses use it for.
Dispatch software is an incredibly helpful digital tool that businesses predominantly in the field service industry use to help manage their teams and operations.
Field services are services which are provided to customers and clients at certain locations which are outside of a business’s official offices or grounds.
Instead, field technicians are ‘dispatched’ from the business’s official grounds and travel to an offsite location where they provide a service. Some examples of field service technicians are plumbers, electricians, and mobile beauty technicians.
There are over 20 million field technicians working worldwide in a variety of industries, and the industry itself is currently facing a shortage of 2 million workers due to factors such as an aging workforce and the impact of COVID19.
Dispatch softwares is used by businesses to manage their field technicians by assigning and re-assigning jobs, routing field technicians to the service location, and track their movements while they are off-site.
As you can see, not all businesses will need to use a dispatch software. Most businesses over remote services and a lot of businesses which sell products outsource delivery and shipping, so they have no need for a dispatch software.
However, I have seen a few businesses during my career that do require a dispatch software to help them provide off-site services and in-house delivery of their products.
I’ve already written an article about whether or not a dispatch software is necessary for your business, and I came to the conclusion that businesses who do use field technicians can really benefit from using dispatch software.
Today, around 52% of businesses use manual methods to handle and organize their field service fleets. This includes direct emails, whiteboards in the office, notes, and online calendars.
The challenges of these methods are clear to see – managers have to jump between platforms and juggle different tasks to effectively organize their fleet, messages can be missed, field technicians can get lost, etc.
This is where dispatch softwares really shines.
They make organizing fleets so much easier by automating tasks, offering clear channels of communication between team members and managers, and providing managers with one centralized platform where they can oversee their operations from one place.
One study also found that 75% of field service businesses saw an increase in productivity once they implemented mobility tools – so a dispatch software can really improve your business’s operations.
If this sounds like the kind of solution to your business’s main problem, then you will definitely want to check out some examples of dispatch software your business could potentially use and implement.
Below are my top recommendations for dispatch softwares for small businesses. Each one I have researched in depth and even tested out myself – so check them out, and I hope you find the information below helpful!
ServiceTitan is a dispatch service that was designed to help businesses in the field service industry by offering a centralized platform for fleet management.
This means that operations can be streamlined, customer experiences can be improved, all while lowering costs through increased efficiency and productivity.
It offers a color-coded drag-and-drop dispatch board that is easy to view and use to oversee all of your technicians’ tasks. You can even set up tasks for the far future to keep them on track and prepare them for upcoming jobs.
This makes it a very easy to use software for managers and offers a ton of benefits when it comes to fleet management and task efficiency.
It also allows customer information to be stored and shared whenever there’s an incoming call – meaning there’s no lack of communication and gives your services a more personal touch when the customers are handed over to your technicians.
This also means that dispatched technicians can send live updates to optimize your services.
As for automated features, customers can automatically confirm jobs are completed through their smartphones so the ServiceTitan dispatch board can start assigning new tasks before the technician has even made it back to their vehicle.
Jobber is another highly recommended dispatch software for small businesses thanks to its intuitive user interface and ease of use.
It offers many features including a drag and drop calendar to help easily manage appointments and schedules. This means that manager can organize each individual team member’s time by rescheduling jobs, assigning tasks, and more with just a click and a drag.
This is available along with other important tools to help prevent overbook, underbook, and double booking your technicians. These are incredibly valuable, especially when it comes to keeping your customers happy and satisfied with your business’s services.
There’s also plenty of dispatching features that benefit both managers and technicians. Technicians have access to an integrated Google Maps for a familiar and easy to use system that will show them the optimized route to each client.
With just a click or the touch of your fingertip (if you are using the incredibly useful mobile app version of this software) then technicians can set their route and get to their destination as quickly as possible.
So, Jobber is a fairly straightforward dispatching software that provides plenty of benefits for both fleet managers and field technicians.
SalesForce has a stellar reputation with businesses thanks to its amazing range of softwares and products that offer so many solutions. When it comes to field service management and dispatching technicians, it also offers a great solution through its service cloud product.
SalesForce’s field service features allows for real-time collaboration between technicians and fleet managers by collecting and unifying data.
This means that managers and technicians can keep track of job schedules, van and equipment inventory, and much more all through one easy to use dashboard.
This not only helps businesses provide a fast and speedy service, but also ensures that the technicians arriving on the job have the right tools and knowledge to provide clients with a high quality service.
Technicians can also use AI to help them recognize and identify equipment parts and assets through images to limit the amount of confusion or miscommunication between technicians and their managers.
All of this is done through a cloud-based mobile app which means that employees can have all the information they need instantly no matter where they are located.
Plus, SalesForce also offers smart Field Service Analytics to help improve visibility over key performance indicators (KPIs) and provides real-time visibility.
This kind of data is valuable not only for rewarding employees and addressing low-performers, but also provides evidence to address customer complaints and any repeating patterns that pose a threat to your business’s reputation.
The final software I will be recommending here is mHelpDesk, one of the best all-in-one field service management softwares out there.
It offers a lot of features that go beyond regular dispatching, including automated customer contacting, scheduling, and billing – all to help reduce the number of menial and repetitive tasks that can tank your productivity.
It’s a very straightforward software to use with a clear dashboard that is easy to navigate and a drag-and-drop calendar that reduces the time spent on administrative tasks for dispatchers and managers.
Overall, mHelpDesk is a robust dispatch software that has everything you need and a lot more.
Dispatch Software Buyer’s Guide
So, those were my top recommendations for dispatch softwares for small businesses. If you want to check out more options, you can easily conduct your own research and discover more dispatch software providers online.
Automation is quickly becoming more and more common in all kinds of industries and businesses, with more than a third of businesses now having five or more automated divisions.
This is because automation can help improve worker productivity and as a result, automated options can be found across lots of different softwares for marketing, human resources – and dispatching.
There are lots of ways automation can help improve your dispatching processes including sending automatic tasks and jobs to technicians who are already out of the office, sending and receiving updates from the fleet, and more.
It’s not just me who thinks that automation is important for a business dispatch software – one survey found that 50% of fleet managers agree that the ability to reroute their field technicians during emergencies is the most important factor that contributes to a field service business’s success, with the ability to keep the fleet updated on schedule changes being a close second with 48%.
As a result, automation is a benefit that a lot of small businesses should look for in their dispatch software.
Driver And Technician Tracking
Another incredibly useful feature that small businesses should look for in their dispatch software is the ability to track their drivers and field technicians (see also ‘Best Procurement Software For Small Businesses‘).
This is because this feature can provide so many benefits to help increase the efficiency and productivity of your workers as technicians are less likely to pull over and take a break on company time.
It can also be used to alert managers when drivers are stuck in traffic so they can contact the clients and inform them there may be a delay, and also highlight any unsafe driving practices (for example, speeding) that your drivers are committing while working.
As a result, driver and technician tracking is a feature that all kinds of field service businesses look for in their dispatch software.
One study found that 72% of US field technician fleets use a GPS tracking system with 96% agreeing that the software was beneficial and 32% reporting a positive return on investment just six months after implementation.
So, along with automated features, driver and technician tracking is arguably one of the most important features to look for in a dispatch software for small businesses.
Data Intelligence Options
Data intelligence is incredibly important for businesses as it provides business owners with valuable insights to help them make informed decisions regarding their business.
So, a dispatch software can help businesses discover more data that they can visualize and analyze to help them make important decisions regarding their field technicians and how their services operate.
For example, a dispatch software can help make tracking delivery times for each of your field technicians – and you can use this information to reward the most productive employees.
Employee recognition is important to 37% of employees so this could improve your employee’s satisfaction rates, retention rates, and productivity all in one go.
What this means is that when looking for the ideal dispatch software for your small business, it’s a good idea to look for one that offers data insights ready for analysis. This can help inform your business decisions to further improve the operations of your company and potentially help it grow!
Costs are a big concern for all businesses, big and small.
What this means is that more small businesses are beginning to pay more attention to how they spend their funds, cutting back on unnecessary spending where they can.
As a result, it’s important that you take care to set yourself a budget for your dispatch software. Dispatch softwares can vary wildly in price and the more technicians you add to your plan, the price can increase substantially.
So, I recommend you work out how much you are willing to spend on a dispatch software beforehand.
Also, it’s proven that dispatch softwares can help reduce costs for businesses (for example, by lowering fuel consumption by routing drivers to their destination via the fastest route), so implementing one may actually save you more in the long run!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Dispatcher Software?
I talk more in-depth about dispatch software and what it is used for in one of the sections above, but here is a quick description of what dispatch software actually is.
Dispatch software is a system which helps automate the routing and scheduling processes that comes with managing teams of contractors.
From delivering products to sending field experts to locations to help with on-site problems, dispatch software helps a business track their agents movements, assign tasks, and help agents find their job sites through routing.
It helps make these tasks more efficient and clearly communicated to dispatched agents to reduce the chances of errors or mistakes, client wait time, and overall improve the operations of the business.
How Much Is Dispatch Software?
It’s difficult to put a price on dispatch softwares as they vary so much in functions and features. Because of this, their plans can range widely in cost – especially when you consider different plans designed to suit different sized businesses and teams.
On top of all this, a lot of dispatch software providers do not provide their pricing plans online and you need to get in touch with them to ask for a quote.
However, from my own research and experiences, I would roughly average out the cost of a dispatch software for a small business to be around $100 per month – but prices can quickly rise as you start to add more users and technicians.
I’ve seen some dispatch softwares cost over $1,000 per month due to the number of technicians.
So, it’s not cheap to use a dispatch software – but the benefits make it a necessary choice for a lot of businesses.
What Challenges Do Dispatchers Face?
The biggest challenge dispatchers face is arguably ensuring that all the correct information is delivered to the technician efficiently.
This includes the address of the job’s location, the fastest route to that destination, the details of the job the technician is expected to perform, and any other important information that can help the technician complete their job quickly and to a high standard.
This is because if a technician does not have the information they need, they could end up delaying their service or miss out on important instructions set by the client.
This can result in lower customer satisfaction which can impact customer retention rates and damage your business’s reputation and business!
As a result, studies have shown a rise in customer satisfaction rates when mobility tools and softwares have been introduced in field service businesses, so a dispatch software can help businesses overcome this challenge and its negative impact.
So, most small businesses won’t likely need to use a dispatch software but for small businesses who provide in-house delivery services or field services, a dispatch software could have a huge impact on its success.
As a result, a lot of small businesses want to find and implement the best possible dispatch software to help boost their business. I have researched and tested many different options and used my findings to create the guide above.
Hopefully, the information here will have helped you find the right dispatch software for you and your small business.