Of course you want it. We always want real time data – it helps us communicate to our customers and allows our dispatchers time to focus on more important tasks. But, how do we get this information automatically? That’s where geofencing comes into play. It allows you to create a virtual perimeter around a real-world geographical area. Notifications are sent when devices cross the digital fence.
The Magic of Geofencing
Thanks to geofencing, we can configure a magical line around the perimeter of the shipper or receiver. When a driver passes through the geofence – the load automatically changes status to “At Pickup.” When the driver crosses that line again, on the way to the next stop, we can then see the load as “Picked Up.” Seems like a feature every TMS should have.
If the broker calls, and the driver is past that line – we can tell them with confidence, “The driver is at the pickup.” or “The driver’s got the load. I’m showing in transit”.
Sounds great. I don’t have to put the customer on hold, and I don’t have to try to get in touch with the driver for an update while they wait.
Is Geofencing Fool Proof?
But, that convenience isn’t without risk. There are many reasons a driver can pass a geofence triggering a false status change.
As an example, the driver arrived but the facility is closed. Maybe, he arrived there to park and sleep. Perhaps I have location data in my system that isn’t exactly right and he never shows “At Pickup” or “Picked Up” at all.
Incorrect information leads to incorrect communication, and we can all agree that is something to avoid.
Checking In vs. Crossing the Line
Checking in at a location is not the same as passing a magical line in the sand. So, how can we automate this communication without risk?
The answer is, by giving the driver access to the same system as the dispatcher and allowing them to check in and check out with the tap of a button.
With Alvys, drivers tap the “Check In” button in the Driver Mobile App when they actually check in, and the dispatcher is notified right away. When they upload any document to the app, it’s there on the load. The dispatcher, and anyone else using Alvys can access it (if they have been granted permission). The driver is a user of the system like any other, and you can configure their user permissions and visibility in a manner that suits your business needs.
You’re In Control
Drivers are on the road, so they use a phone. Dispatchers are at a desk, so they use a computer. The look and feel are different but the system is the same so they can streamline their communication with each other with or without a geofence.
With a modern-age TMS we can absolutely configure the system so that the load status changes based on the asset location, but that doesn’t mean it comes recommended. When looking to introduce technologically driven automation into your operations consider providers that understand you, your customers, and your business.
Alvys is a software system built by people who have driven, dispatched, and created technology. If you’re interested in understanding how our system works for drivers and will help make the process of checking in and checking out work for your business, click here. You can give it a spin for free.
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