This post is part of a series of posts on Warehouse Operations. It is highly recommended that you have gone through the previous posts on Warehousing
Warehouse dispatch refers to the process of dispatching the packed orders via a fulfillment route (typically a truck or a delivery person). This is the last step in the Warehouse order fulfillment process. An efficient warehouse dispatch process is critical for ensuring timely and accurate delivery of goods, as well as maintaining a reliable and effective supply chain.
Types of Dispatches
There are two types of dispatches.
- On demand Dispatch
- Scheduled Dispatch.
On Demand Dispatch
On demand dispatch is used when the order needs to be delivered as soon as possible. So one product is picked up in real time and delivered instantly to the customer. The vehicle then comes back for the next delivery. This is closely addressed in the On Demand Delivery post. A typipcal example of this is Food delivery or quick commerce grocery delivery.
Scheduled Dispatch is used when multiple orders are taken together and delivered along a route. Most E-commerce deliveries happen this way. The process detailed in this post is more aligned with the Scheduled Dispatch.
Steps in Warehouse Dispatch Process
There are several key steps in the warehouse dispatch process.
- Order allocation to dispatch routes
- Loading the orders into the dispatch vehicle
- Notifying the customer of the dispatch.
Order allocation to dispatch routes
After the orders are packed, the orders need to be dispatched to specific dispatch vehicles which are going to deliver the corresponding order.
Identification of the trucks depends on the route mapping of the vehicles. Route mapping or order assignment as it is called sometimes will involve complicated planning of the route each vehicle takes to deliver in the most efficient manner keeping in mind the customer satisfaction. We will talk about this in a future post.
Depending on the vehicle chosen based on the route planning, the packed orders need to be carried to the dispatch bay.
Loading orders into the dispatch vehicle
At the loading bay, the orders are loaded into the dispatch vehicle. Once all the orders are loaded, the dispatch process gets completed.
Notifying the customers of the dispatch
A good customer experience behavior is to notify the customer when their order is loaded and the dispatch is initiated. This is usually accompanied with a tracking link of the vehicle so the customer knows where the vehicle is. This is better covered in our article on last mile delivery.
Challenges in the Warehouse Dispatch Process
Despite the importance of a smooth and efficient warehouse dispatch process, there are several challenges that can arise. One of the main challenges is managing a high volume and variety of orders, which can be overwhelming for warehouse staff and lead to errors or delays. Another challenge is maintaining accurate inventory records, which is crucial for ensuring that orders can be fulfilled and that there is no overstock or understock of items. Additionally, meeting delivery deadlines and ensuring timely and accurate delivery can be a challenge, particularly for businesses that operate on a tight schedule or have demanding customers.
Using technology to improve Warehouse Dispatch
To improve the efficiency of the warehouse dispatch process, there are several solutions that businesses can consider. One solution is implementing an automated warehouse management system, which can streamline and optimize many of the tasks involved in order fulfillment. Another solution is using real-time tracking and monitoring tools, which can provide valuable insights into the performance of the warehouse and help identify potential bottlenecks or areas for improvement. Finally, training and empowering employees to take ownership of their tasks can be a powerful way to drive efficiency and ensure that the warehouse dispatch process is running smoothly.
In conclusion, the warehouse dispatch process is a critical component of supply chain management and is essential for ensuring timely and accurate delivery of goods. By implementing automation, using tracking and monitoring tools, and empowering employees, businesses can optimize their warehouse dispatch process and improve overall efficiency and customer satisfaction.
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