Relaying assignments to your chauffeurs is an important task that requires multiple forms of consistent internal communication.
As most of us operate 24/7, orders come in at all times of the day and night. Fortunately, most people book well in advance. I have explained how I use a rotation list of chauffeurs to fairly distribute work. The next step is to notify chauffeurs of the assignment.
There are many different ways to do this and I suppose the most common for smaller operations is to do it over the phone. But when you grow to a level where you have more than 20 trips per day, you would spend nearly two hours on the phone if you discussed each assignment for just five minutes.
I use several methods to notify chauffeurs of their assignments along with a redundant check the “day of” to make absolutely sure that there is no confusion in what time to report to work each day. This prevents “no-shows” on our part.
The life of a chauffeur is uncertain, as there are no set hours each day and
they must work as work is available. We do provide each employee with two days off each week. We also try to give them as much advance notice as possible when they have been scheduled.
The first notification of an assignment is provided each day on a recorded message updated daily at 5 p.m. We use a specified extension or voicemail box and record a new “greeting” each day. It follows a format of saying, “This schedule was updated at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The dispatcher for the evening is “Insert name.” The MOD (Manager on Duty) is “Insert name.” It goes on to say the assignments for Wednesday are as follows: We cover one full week in the recording.
The second notification is by e-mail. We e-mail the entire trip ticket to the chauffeur two days in advance, providing all the details of the trip. They can print it out if they wish but we also put a paper copy in their lockers on the same day. This makes sure they see it on their computer or at their lockers.
Each day at 8 a.m., the dispatcher calls every person on his/her shift to confirm the assignments on the shift one more time. It is a quick call to make sure they remember the assignment. They are then marked in our computer as “confirmed.” At 5 p.m., the night dispatcher confirms all the chauffeurs that will work during the night. We repeat this process seven days a week.
I am interested in hearing how others do it. Sharing your ideas just might help another company out that may be struggling with this part of the operation.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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