The Modern W orkplace - Appointment-Plus

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The Modern W orkplace - Appointment-Plus

Facility Management Journal

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One of the most apparent benefits is the

time savings. A reliable scheduling system

can ensure deliveries arrive at their specified

times, making it easier for dock managers

to better plan employees’ work schedules.

Without it, the facility could experience

periods of inactivity whereby staff wait

around for the next unknown delivery. This

trickles down to the carrier vehicles as well,

since they now can “get in and out” quickly

without waiting in line for docks to open.

Additionally, the online driver selfscheduling

feature can free up dispatchers

and other facility staff for more pressing

needs, instead of having to schedule delivery

times and docks over the phone or by email.

As the old adage goes, “Time is money,”

and this is certainly the case when it comes

to delivery supply chains. A proven dockscheduling

system and process can cut down

on operating costs, especially overtime

salaries that are common at facilities that

don’t schedule delivery times or have

inadequate processes. Late deliveries force

the facility to keep workers past their normal

work hours. Also, a facility may need to call

in additional employees in instances where a

backup of delivery vehicles occurs.

Another money-saving feature on cloudbased

schedulers is recordkeeping and

reporting functionality. Many carriers will

charge their inbound clients a fee for trucks

held at the loading dock for more than

two hours. These fees can range anywhere

from US$150 to US$200 an hour, and

it’s typically one’s word against another in

instances where the truck was unloaded and

released in less than two hours. Some online

schedulers let a facility track and monitor

the progress of deliveries, including when the

truck left the dock. This evidence has helped

inbound facilities avoid these unnecessary

and often unwarranted fees.

In addition to the measurable benefits of

online dock-scheduling system, there’s the

satisfaction this technology typically brings

to both dock staff and carriers alike. Like

many others, dock personnel and drivers

may prefer to conduct tasks such as booking

deliveries over the Internet instead of having

to pick up the phone or send a customized

email. Many of today’s scheduling software

programs are as easy to use as a social media

service or email that makes the process even

easier and more appealing to all involved.

This all equates into a new system most are

happy to adopt.

Scheduling inbound deliveries is not

rocket science, but it can be a tedious and

burdensome process for facilities lacking in

proven and dependable booking practices.

An online dock-scheduling software

application can be just the solution a site

needs to automate its delivery processes and

incorporate a system beneficial to staff and

carries alike. FMJ

September/October 2011

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50

Eric Richard is the senior

technology writer at Appointment-

Plus (www.appointment-plus.com),

an online scheduling software

system that has booked more

than 65 million appointments and

reservations since 2001.

www.fmjonline.com

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