If you are new to Opendock, you are probably sending all carriers to Opendock.com and nothing else. If so, that’s great! Sending carriers to Opendock provides the best and easiest user experience for a carrier to schedule appointments.
If you have been with Opendock and AppointmentPlus for more than a couple years, then you may be sending carriers directly to your Booknow page. While this is currently functional, it can create some confusion for carriers and potentially usability issues.
We recommend all warehouses send their carriers directly to Opendock.com. This allows carriers to search for your warehouse and schedule appointments through the very same booknow page. The difference is by using Opendock it allows them to see all of their appointments across multiple warehouses and provides an easier interface to make appointment updates and cancellations.
What’s the Difference?
Sending carriers to Opendock.com allows them to register/login to our Opendock interface where carriers can search for any warehouse on the network (not just your warehouse) and see their appointments for any warehouse.
When carriers find a warehouse using our search function, they click schedule and it takes them to a booking page. This page is the exact same Booknow page that carriers can be sent to directly. However, sending them through Opendock.com has several benefits:
- Carriers do not need to save/memorize/ask for a specific URL
- Carriers can have a single login/password for Opendock and not a unique one for each warehouse’s Booknow page they need to schedule
- Carriers can see all of their appointments for managing and updating all together across every warehouse they are scheduling
- Carriers become familiar with the process so any warehouse using Opendock will not have to retrain carriers how to use it
Wow, so many benefits for the carriers. So how does this help the warehouse? The easier it is for the carriers the more they utilize it while minimizing the number of questions they need to ask you at the warehouse. By making it easier for carriers we make it easier for our warehouses by saving them time and energy.
Sending carriers to your customized URL and Booknow page is a quick and easy way to get the carriers right to your warehouse’s schedule. Unfortunately, by skipping Opendock, that carrier will need to remember that URL and will need to make a login just for your warehouse.
This isn’t too challenging if you are the only location they work with, but over time carriers start to build long lists of URLs, logins, and passwords. Also, if this carrier does not regularly book with you, they may not save this information, so if they get another shipment they may need to ask you for the URL again and to reset your password.
It also makes it more challenging if they want to cancel or reschedule appointments. This is especially true if they book a high volume of appointments which may be challenging to display on the Booknow page, while Opendock has an interface to help them manage all of this.
So while it is possible to give carriers a direct link to the Booknow page, it’s more work on your end and could make things more difficult in the long term. This is why we recommend you to make it easier for yourself and just tell your carriers “go to Opendock.com” and they can look up your warehouse name and location to schedule.