In the digitized world, the threads are coming together at the dispatcher 4.0

Logistics is all about numbers – it’s obvious that the merchant has an advantage there. Dispatchers –which are often forwarding agents – are indispensable for every logistics service provider. They form the interface between customer, accounting, purchasing and production. But how is the dispatcher’s work changing in a world that is becoming ever more digital? Can a logistics service provider like DB Schenker offer its dispatchers a future?

Yes he can! “The dispatcher is still one of the most exciting job profiles in logistics,” confirms Bernd Drossel, Head of Planning at Schenker Germany. “Dispatchers bring together the various players in the location and are crucial for the success of the company.”

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Digital systems support

The classic task of the dispatcher is still the same, yet on different terms. For example, if a dispatcher used to track 30 to 40 vehicles for the customers, today he has up to 90 in view.

This is made possible by the digital systems and platforms in which DB Schenker proved to be a pioneer. Whether scanner, digital dispatch interface or telematics – already fifteen years ago, DB Schenker got its dispatchers used to efficient IT solutions. Different tools provide the dispatcher with the necessary information, such as prices, freight, truck status or capacities. “Today, IT systems perform many difficult tasks and give him time for the actual dispatcher activity,” says Drossel. “He can concentrate on his core tasks again: purchasing, sales and driver management.” In addition, the IT-supported documentation has another immense advantage: “Today, the individual disposition steps can be passed on without any problem. A good work-life balance is not unknown to the modern dispatcher,” says Drossel.

Bernd Drossel, Head of Planning at Schenker Germany

“Dispatchers bring together the various players in the location and are crucial for the success of the company.”

Dispatcher evolves from planner to consultant

However, customers are also expecting more from their service providers than just transport – they need holistic solutions that respond quickly, flexibly and reliably to their special requirements.
The dispatcher becomes a consultant, helping his customers optimize supply chains. “Never before did we know more about our customers than today,” confirms Erik Wirsing, Head of Innovation at Schenker AG. This knowledge as well as intelligent IT systems help the dispatcher to control more vehicles and more shipments at the same time – making supply chains more efficient and transparent. Self-learning systems offer another advantage: Once the dispatcher has decided on one of several alternatives, the system learns and adapts accordingly.

“From organizer to consultant: the #dispatcher remains one of the most exciting job profiles in #logistics“

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“The dispatcher will have to provide much more value-added services in the future, for which he has no time today,” says Wirsing. Surrounded by screens and touchscreens, he communicates with customers worldwide and drivers via mobile, Skype and social media. He will be the crucial point to bring together individual solutions with the parameters of the overall system. Erik Wirsing agrees with Bernd Drossel: In the digitized world of tomorrow, all threads are coming together at the dispatcher 4.0.