With the rise of technology, tow truck fleet management has become easier than ever. However, there are tons of dispatch software packages to choose from, and each one is different for each type of business. So, we’ve compared 6 of the top dispatch software programs to help you make the best choice for your company.
What are the most common things I should look for in a dispatch software?
To begin, we’ve gathered info on some of the most common features to look for in a dispatch software. Here’s a quick rundown:
Again, these are only the most common features. So now, let’s compare the specific aspects that each dispatch software has to offer.
Dispatch Anywhere by BEACON SOFTWARE
Beacon Software has been in the towing software business for a while, and as such has multiple dispatch solutions for your towing business. However, their flagship product and the most comprehensive of their programs is Dispatch Anywhere. Dispatch Anywhere can be a great solution to flexible businesses who deal with roadside assistance calls, companies who work with auto shops, and fleets that work with involuntary towing. The software is built to truly save dispatchers time, which means more jobs and revenue for your towing business as a whole.
The program hosts an easy-to-use interface that offers an easy way to manage and assign drivers at a glance by location and time to the call. During different stages of a job, the main administrator or fleet manager has the power to require certain fields at certain parts of the process (i.e. requiring input to the VIN number field to complete a call, but not requiring a P.O. number until closing out the job on the backend.) The Dispatch Anywhere GPS feature offers not only a map view of your drivers’ locations, but also an option to track driving behaviors, which could cut down on maintenance costs due to reckless driving.
The software package also flows seamlessly into its mobile app counterparts, allowing drivers to easily switch trucks through the app, take pictures, store damage waivers, and easily view jobs in their queue. As for the accounting and backend portions, administrators can restrict fleet manager access by business location or learning curve while keeping a streamlined system together for their main hub. Dispatch Anywhere has Quickbooks integration but also includes a fluid accounting system that allows more efficient auditing with notifications of missing fields for any particular invoice.
Although the platform features great ways to communicate with your drivers and monitor your business through the backend, it doesn’t have the in-house customer communication processes that some other dispatch technologies may have. While they do offer inventory management options and the option to send select pictures to a client, the platform works through third-party vendors for features like lien processing and job status/location updates. So, if your business already boasts high software capabilities for customer service purposes, you may want to stick with the software you already have.
InTow Software Suite by DENTED DEVELOPMENT
Dented Development seems to have made the InTow software platform for businesses who are more focused on speed and revenue generation as well as vehicle recovery.
Instead of mileage calculations for your drivers, InTow reports more of the direct revenue generated per truck, per driver, and per customer. The platform syncs quickly and easily with QuickBooks and allows drivers to update any status changes in the field in real time – including decoding VINs and photo storage.
The platform allows fleet managers to schedule drivers and setup users by organizational level, as well as create custom reports that fit your business. Fleet managers are also able to sync most other software packages with InTow so that the application can act as a one-stop shop for everything that you already use.
Again, this dispatch software tends to be more internally focused than client-facing. It does give the client a bit more information into the status of their vehicle but lacks on-site credit card processing capabilities, a client portal, or an ability for the customer to track their driver’s ETA. So, while it allows most towing software to integrate with the platform, it may actually require other types of software for other aspects of your business.
Omadi by OMADI
Omadi may be the balanced solution to newer towing companies that are already a bit more tech-savvy than your average towing business. The platform can work as a one-stop shop for all of your operational needs as well as provide new features that can make your business run even more smoothly.
In addition to including most of the features of popular towing software, Omadi is built for both hardware and cloud storage, which can allow you to never worry about lost information through an old computer. The platform includes sections for lot and impound management, as well as mobile notifications for you and your drivers.
The application also includes more client-facing features including paperless tow tickets and e-signatures for direct drivers and electronic violation reporting for property managers and police departments. The software also includes an electronic database for “Do Not Tow” lists, a digital parking log to see all active permits for a location, and a miscellaneous invoice feature for billing that is not necessarily towing-related.
Omadi’s most advertised and possibly most useful feature is their Drag & Drop dispatching option. This feature allows you to see which on-shift driver is closest to the customer, and then drag and drop their truck to the client to assign the job.
Although there are tons of features available through Omadi’s software, their core package really only provides the baseline of what a dispatch software can be. Features like PPI modules, client portals, fuel expense monitoring, and even adding more than 10 users require a software upgrade or add on. However, depending on how your business runs and your operational needs, the additional costs could be a great investment overall (rather than purchasing software from multiple companies and consolidating through the app).
Swoop by SWOOP MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Swoop can be a simple software solution for established towing companies that have specific and established operational needs but want a simple way to unite their processes.
Swoop is a simple towing software with the necessary basics for your business. So, whether you’re upgrading from a paper system or consolidating different types of software accumulated over your years in towing, Swoop can help you streamline it all. One of the features that the software boasts is their accident scene management, which allows for expedited arrival and professionals who know specifically how to handle a certain situation.
Swoop also allows for simple and straightforward communication with clients, including ACH payments, text message updates on driver location, and customer reviews/satisfaction monitoring. The company also provides custom pricing so that you can pay for the features you want and not for the features you don’t want.
Although Swoop is an easy and clean-looking platform, the features they offer are not necessarily revolutionary. It also lacks QuickBooks integration in favor of ACH or its own accounting system that’s specific to the software. Therefore, this application may be more suited specifically for those towing companies that are transitioning from a purely or partially paper system to a fully digital platform.
TOPS by TXI SYSTEMS/TOWXCHANGE
If other towing software packages are more internally focused, TOPS seems to be more focused on the business relationships between your business and your clients/customers. Its features could be useful for your typical roadside assistance and recovery business but may be a better investment for companies focused on repossession. Here’s why:
TOPS aims to make communication from the first call to the last interaction between you and the client as transparent as possible. The platform hosts a call processing interface that features one screen to easily allow dispatchers to update information on the vehicle in real-time.
From there, TOPS distinguishes itself with easy lien processing and even auction administration tools along with its inventory management system. It allows direct connection with local municipal and law enforcement tools, as well as automated call pricing, a comprehensive inventory search for customers, and two-layer protection for account and price changes.
TOPS also includes TOPS Link – a feature that allows clients and customers to go online and request service, check ETAs and the status of their vehicle, and look for their vehicle in your inventory. Even if customers come in person to your lot, TOPS include an easy clerk checkout feature as well as a virtual till and payment recording.
Although it has great features for repo businesses, the TOPS software suite seems to have a steep learning curve as far as interface navigation. Their screens can seem clunky, making it hard to pinpoint a specific point of data or even data set. The pricing for the software is also by person. So, after two simultaneous users, the price may increase a little or a lot depending on the size of your business.
Towbook by TOWBOOK
Finally, Towbook can also be a simple way to transition the towing company who wants to bring their paper operations into the digital world and/or for a rapidly growing business since the platform does not charge per user.
Towbook’s most advertised feature is that the platform is built for the cloud so that none of your information is lost, all information is easily accessible from anywhere, and so that you have basically unlimited storage capabilities. The application also hosts a Pinpoint feature, which allows you to find the customer even if they don’t know where they are.
The program can also generate impound letters and inventory management for the occasional repo job. So, it seems to be a completely digital platform that is ready to use for invoicing, dispatching, ticketing, private property towing, mobile device access and more.
Even though the user interface is pretty clean and straightforward, there may be a bit of a learning curve if you’re not completely used to technology. The software’s pricing is also dependent on features and call volume. So, if you’d like to include features like call history tracking, a client portal, or even the in-app pre-trip inspection checklist, you’ll end up paying more per month.
So, that’s our comparison of the 6 most popular towing dispatch software programs. As you can see, each type of product fits different businesses in different ways. So, even though each platform can include some type of training or free demo, it’s important to shop around to figure out which one will truly work out for your unique business.
It’s also vital to shop around for your tow truck insurance for the same reason. There’s no one-size-fits-all type of tow truck insurance and the first insurance company to offer you a rate may not be the best. That’s why our tow truck insurance experts are here to give you free quotes that are tailored to your business.
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