Alexia Smith

Recent Posts

Meet our Dispatch Drivers: Nicole!

Posted by Alexia Smith on October 19, 2018 at 10:18 AM

We had the chance to chat with one of Dispatch's very first drivers, Nicole, to learn how she got started, why she drives with Dispatch and what makes this the perfect gig for her.

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Company Spotlight: Catapult

Posted by Alexia Smith on October 18, 2018 at 10:34 AM

- Tell us about Catapult. What is it that your company does?

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Minneapolis- Geared to Drive

Posted by Alexia Smith on October 5, 2018 at 11:14 AM

As one of America’s more progressive cities, Minneapolis was one of the first cities to implement a minimum wage rate for employees. When combined, Minneapolis and St. Paul form the largest metropolitan area known as the Twin Cities. The living standard in the metropolis is designed to provide comfort and a higher quality of life.

Statistics show Minneapolis’ employment in trade and transportation had increased to 2.9% in August 2018 as compared to March 2017 when it was 1.8%, while the unemployment rate has decreased from 3.2 to 2.6%.

Minneapolis Welcomes Professional Drivers!
Professional drivers enjoy Minneapolis’ commitment to employment laws. The state sets out rules for the number of hours different professional drivers are allowed to work in one go. Section 393.76 of the 49 CFR divides work hours into four separate statuses: On-duty, driving, off-duty and sleeper berth.

Controls set by the government aim to make working conditions more humane and sustainable. Employees are legally entitled to an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours after working consecutively for seven to eight hours!

Increase in Non-farm Payroll = Economic Increase
Most economic growth statistics are based on metrics such as gross domestic product and the consumer price index. A key indicator for Minneapolis’ job market is the non-farm payroll. This data represents the workforce that is not employed in governmental agencies, non-profit organizations or household businesses such as farms.

The expansion in Minneapolis’ non-farm payroll statistics shows an increase in its secondary and tertiary industry. The shift away from the primary sector is an improvement for the citizens of Minneapolis. More jobs are emerging in the service sector which will prove to be financially beneficial for the economy as well the workforce.

Municipality-based Snow Ploughing
If you’ve never driven in snow, Minneapolis may or may not prove to be the best place to begin trying. Heavy snowfall blankets the streets and roads from January to March, making driving more tedious and dangerous.

However, every municipality in Minneapolis employs their own snowplows to help clear the ice off of roads. Additionally, many schools properly train professional drivers to maneuver their vehicles in the harshest of temperatures safely.

Traffic Conditions
In an effort to reduce the number of cars on the roads of Minneapolis, the law has begun to fine households with more than 2 cars parked in their driveways. While many car enthusiasts have spoken out against this, the move is seen as practical and environment-friendly.

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Top 3 Apps That Can Save You Time in the Field

Posted by Alexia Smith on September 25, 2018 at 2:28 PM

Remember when checking up on a task meant going through an entire drawer of files? Or how confirming a customer delivery meant calling the courier service multiple times a day? Yeah, I’d rather not.

Modern day businesses are now run with a swipe of your fingers. To stay ahead of the curve, companies are required to adapt to tech-smart operations. Doing this has been made significantly easier with the invention of apps. These apps have made it possible to manage, delegate, and keep track of the business as a whole. This article will look at the Top 3 applications that can help you save time while at work:

Mela
Mela is a project management app that brands itself as a ‘smart collaboration’ app, and it actually does what it says.

As a smart work application, Mela helps organizations speed their projects up by efficiently managing fieldwork – both online and offline.

Mela aims to negate modern day fieldwork issues that plague organizations and slow work down – causing a nuisance for managers and supervisors. The lack of communication leads to loss of clients’ trust and errors without the team managing to root out the cause. Mela simplifies and centralizes all information. A single platform from where everybody can collaborate, communicate, track information, and eventually – save precious time.

Additionally, Mela also offers data analytics which offer detailed insights that help users monitor important metrics and results related to their use. Mela is optimized for the use of every person in the chain of command: from supervisors and managers all the way to contractors and workers.

Dispatch
Providing speedy and timely product deliveries to customers always remains the forefront priority of any business.

Sadly enough, local deliveries are often a dilemma for business owners. They can either opt to buy a delivery vehicle which comes at a high cost or outsource packages to a courier service, risking being bound by their quality of service, which if subpar, can anger their own clientele.

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The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Fleet

Posted by Alexia Smith on September 13, 2018 at 4:20 PM
There are many decisions that need to be taken and implemented when planning a fleet. Along with a fleet come other expenses such as procurement, maintenance, insurance, fuel management, background checks for drivers, vehicle tracking and the list goes on. Whether you choose to own your fleet or expedite all these headaches, you will need to consider all of the possible outcomes and circumstances of this scenario.

Questions such as, ‘who manages the fleet’ and ‘how much money are we willing to spend’ should be at the forefront of your decision making strategy. Many companies will undertake the financial working needed to make these decisions but they forget to add in factors such as the operational nature of the business, future expansion plans and the expertise needed to efficiently manage a fleet.

This article lists the pros and cons that come with each available option and aims to help business owners make an informed decision. Although it is difficult to trust other companies with your operations, it is imperative that you trust those whose core business objective revolves around efficient logistics and fleet management.

Why Own a Fleet?
Most of the time, the nature of a company demands a fleet at hand, and other times fleet programs serve as an employee perk more than a business-related need. Other times fleet vehicles are needed to transport goods from one place to another. Additionally, advertising your brand becomes easier and can also be influenced through the make and type of the fleet.

Options in Fleet Management
Fleets can be purchased as a part of the current business or they can be outsourced to other companies that provide transportation and delivery as a service. A number of companies have come up recently offering a delivery service. The core business of these companies is in dealing with efficient delivery. Additionally, companies can own their own fleets and set up departments to run them effectively, but it will cost them more than a logistics company would.

Deciding Factors
Before looking up manufacturers and fleet programs that offer you the best dollar value sit down with your accounting department and draw up an estimated comparison between owning and leasing. You should base the comparison on:

  • The difference in outsourcing and insourcing costs
  • The monthly running costs of each option (e.g. payments, maintenance, insurance, gas salaries)
  • Possible hiring of fleet manager/ setting up a department focused on fleet management
  • And, nature of the fleet’s function

Since the financial aspect reigns over all components, companies tend to overlook features other than pricing. The decision to lease or own should be tied into your business culture and its long term objectives.

PROS: 

Cost Transparency
Companies that choose to own their own fleet have greater control over their expense sheet. Their costs are more transparent as everything is in their control. Outsourcing leads to a higher rate of dependency and companies have no control in how much is spent on their fleet and where the prevalent amount goes.

Control
By owning and managing your own fleet, you have the ultimate say. You are able to select your drivers, the types of vehicles that are on the road and when and where they are heading.

Insurance Premiums
For every car in your fleet you must have insurance to help cover liability costs such as equipment breakdown or accidents. Quality insurance takes a toll on the pocket, and procuring insurance for an entire fleet is not only a burden on the pocket but also the mind. Fleet insurance comes in many types and forms and one must be acquainted to them to be able to choose the best option. Additionally, worker’s compensation, in case of injury, is a whole other aspect to begin thinking about.

CONS: 

Increased Risk
Operating inefficiently opens up companies to a multitude of risks from legal entities to employee safety. Due to the ever-evolving nature of technology and legal requirements, it is easy to miss out on the fine print.

Storage
If you are thinking of owning a fleet, we sincerely hope you have considered and allotted a space for them. Some companies with storage restrictions send their vehicles home with the employees. Employees may end up using the corporate vehicles for personal use, adding mileage and wear and tear which you will have to account for.

Lack of Control
Managing a fleet requires efficient route planning as well as job rotation and employee satisfaction, among others. A lack of the correct expertise needed can drive up costs and result in delivery chaos. By outsourcing, you can simply tell the logistics company of your wishes and they will implement it.

Decreased Cash Flow/Increased Overheads
Due to the additional purchasing, recruiting and operating of the fleet, companies that own their fleets will experience a decrease in cash flow. This can be especially problematic when there are bills to pay and the company is not liquid enough. Outsourcing can help drive down costs and do not blow a hole through your accounts, making them more appealing to stakeholders and your company’s monetary position.

Fleet Management Technology
Opting to collaborate with a company that deals in delivery allows you to make use of all the technology they apply into their management system. Owning a fleet will require you to invest in a transportation management system. Not only is such software expensive, you also need to learn how to navigate through them.

Increase in Capital Investment
Companies end up paying direct and indirect costs; pouring resources into a department that is far from their core competency. The capital investment is only apparent once the in-house fleet costs are separated from the other expenses. Outsourcing your fleet and all of its add-on responsibilities can visibly reduce your expenses. This frees up capital and precious resources which can be employed towards the firm’s long-term objectives.


Dispatch makes use of data analysis to create customized experiences for your customers through their screens, ensuring effective communication channels and optimized satisfaction. Our easy to use interface makes sure that businesses can navigate and order same-day delivery for their products with ease. The technology allows for you and your customers to have a fleet of vehicles in the palm of their hand. To learn more, visit Dispatch!
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Top 5 Ways to Optimize Your Logistic Operations

Posted by Alexia Smith on August 30, 2018 at 2:13 PM

A lack of good management can prove to be a burden for a company’s bottom line, leaving unhappy customers and employees in its wake. Logistics professionals should view their roles as customer-facing and continually add value.

Having a logistics strategy can help you make informed decisions, increase error- response time, and flexibility in the process for unforeseen changes, saving up to 40% on logistics costs. As difficult as it may seem to choose the best practices for logistics management, here are the top five ways companies can optimize routes.

1. Freight Collect
Shipping companies usually engage in a practice known as ‘freight paid,’ in which suppliers pay for transportation costs. Switching to ‘freight collect,’ despite the consignee paying for the freight, comes with more advantages. It’s important to remember that the company which pays for shipment will not necessarily be responsible for transporting as well.

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Importance of Big Data Logistics

Posted by Alexia Smith on August 27, 2018 at 11:40 AM

Information is the root of constructing an analysis that not only provides us a view on our past performance, but also helps us in foreseeing the future. Big data provides the information we require in making that analysis, and the fact that it is in huge quantities makes the analysis increasingly accurate and realistic.

With such analytical power, big data is making fast inroads in industries that despite generating huge volumes of data, remained largely fragmented and didn’t use the collected information for improvement in operations. Logistics, having multiple functions and a huge scale of operations, is one such industry that has only recently started realizing the importance of it.

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Industrial Versus Traditional Courier Services

Posted by Alexia Smith on August 21, 2018 at 4:50 PM

The days of slow and unreliable delivery services are far behind us, when we had to put up with waiting for months on end for the post. Sometimes, the waiting period to receive an important package would be ridiculously long which meant that the need to create a faster and more efficient transportation services has always been there.

Courier services are the perfect solution for transporting items at faster speeds and remaining in charge of your deliveries. With services like same-day delivery, most modern courier services such as Dispatch provide customers with the ability to monitor and manage their deliveries.

Looking to sign-up for courier services for your business? Do you need the help of a traditional or industrial courier services? It is a common misconception in the industry that all courier services are the same. While there are plenty of details that separate an ordinary courier service from the best in the industry, being able to distinguish between traditional and industrial couriers is essential.
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Chicago- A Hub for Professional Drivers

Posted by Alexia Smith on August 7, 2018 at 3:21 PM
Being one of the major cities in the United States, Chicago has plenty to offer in terms of functional public transportation. While most Chicagoans would argue regarding the overall functionality and reliability of the public buses and trains, the city still manages to pull off a better public transport system than most other cities. The “L” train and Metra Rail operated by the Chicago Transit Authority were once two very popular options amongst most commuters looking to get around the city. However, recent shifts in Chicago's dynamics have pushed Chicagoans to rely on professional driving services for convenient commuting and delivery options.

Chicago’s Transit System Is Not Strong Enough To Accommodate Everyone
Chicago has been experiencing rapid growth over the past couple of years. With over 2.7 million individuals calling Chicago their home, the city's transit system is not strong enough to cater to the entire population. Ask any Chicagoan, and they would tell how crowded the bus was this morning, how they had to wait as much as 30-minutes to catch a bus with enough space to accommodate them, and how they almost got smashed against other people during their train ride back from work.

Taking claustrophobia to whole another level, rush hours in Chicago offer you the perfect mosh pit experience. Sticky and sweaty bodies are almost touching your face, people are pushing you around to get on or off the train, service delays, route cuts, and just forget about breathing space! With such conditions of the public transport system, Chicago has become an essential market for professional drivers looking to make some serious money.

More People Joining The Professional World, More Customers For You
Starting this year, Chicago is experiencing significant growth in the employment rate. The Illinois Department of Employment Security reveals a substantial increase in the number of jobs in the private sector, setting the city to one of its all-time highest job peaks. Wondering how this applies to you? Growth in employment rate indicates an increase in the number of professionals in the city. This indicates a broader market of customers looking to utilize courier services to send important packages, documents and parts around the city and an increase in the number of customers willing to pay for a reliable service to get their work done on time.

An Abundance of Opportunities
Two airports with tens and hundreds of passengers flying in and out of the city, there are plenty of opportunities for professional drivers trying to build their career. While the O’Hare and Midway can promise an abundance of passengers in search of driving services, the city's strong history of segregation means that there are dozens of customers on the South Side trying to get to the other side of town and vice versa. Approximately 750,000 Chicagoans live on the South Side and are deprived of public transport. With most of the jobs located on the North Side of the city, there remains a high demand for people looking to get things from point A to point B.

Join Our Team of Professional Drivers In Chicago!
From mouth-watering Chicago-style hot dogs to views of the Lake Michigan, working as a professional driver in Chicago is nothing short of an adventure. Explore new parts of the city, meet interesting people and work at your own pace by joining Dispatch. We provide you complete independence to design your schedule, work as you please and make real money while doing what you love.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can join our team of professional drivers in Chicago.
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A Guide to Selecting the Right Fleet Tracking Software For Your Business

Posted by Alexia Smith on July 30, 2018 at 3:47 PM

Expensive fleet tracking systems that are maxing out budgets and time and again failing to deliver the support a company needs to carry out their operations successfully is becoming more common than ever. Perhaps the most commonly shared dilemma of most CFOs and managers is being able to find the right fleet tracking software for their respective companies. In this day and age, fleet tracking software has emerged as an essential part of most industries.

With a growing need for faster and efficient delivery services, fleet tracking makes it easier to manage vehicles, maximize fuel efficiency, enable route planning and boost productivity. While a fleet tracking software can optimize your business operations, finding the right software is no joke. For companies looking to purchase their first fleet tracking software or updating the existing system, here’s everything you need to know.

Identify Features That You Need
It is critical for a business to be able to identify their needs, before they can begin shopping for fleet tracking software. Start your journey by making a list of features you need, to make good use of your investment.
The following are few important things to when making your pick:

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