Having a strong Dispatcher is the key to making this whole “keeping track of the guys in the field” scenario work. The Dispatcher should be in constant communication with the Area Supervisors and handles all the paper at some point. Area Supervisors turn in their paperwork to the Dispatcher. These include time sheets and completed route sheets for those that are plowing for them, and for those accounts assigned to them. What the Dispatcher says – goes. The Dispatcher, if doing his/her job properly, will know what routes are not going to be completed on time, what routes are always trouble, and what plowers have not shown up this time out.
The Dispatcher keeps duplicate time sheets and route sheets at his/her fingertips. Two or three times during the event the Dispatcher checks with the Area Supervisors to find out what has, and has not yet been plowed. He marks the ‘completed accounts’ on the sheet that lists them (or checks them off as having been completed). In this fashion, the Dispatcher has at his fingertips an accurate accounting of “where we are at” during the event. Knowing that the Area Supervisor is very busy in the field, this is a great ‘check and balance’ to ensure that all accounts are serviced and not forgotten. Good communications flow between the Dispatcher and the Area Supervisor is necessary for this to flow smoothly. The Area Supervisor must answer the questions that the Dispatcher poses about ‘who’s done, and who’s not done’.
And, one BIG hint to making this all “work”……the owner of the company should NOT be the Dispatcher. That does not work at all. I don’t know of ANY company where the Owner is the Dispatcher, and it is successful. Just doesn’t work. The company owner is too close to the overall situation to make rational decisions about what should take place in the field. Keep that in mind.