Day in the Life of Dispatch: 10 Questions with Jennifer


March 12, 2024

After nearly five years, Jennifer Ovnicek continues to provide support for Precise Transport drivers as one of our dispatchers. From her home in Wallace, Idaho, she connects with drivers from shale plays throughout the U.S. 

There’s much more to Jennifer’s story than just that. We interviewed her to see what she’s done and what it’s like doing her job. 

What type of work did you do before you joined us at Precise Transport? 

I have worked in several administrative positions over the past 30 years, including insurance, commercial insulation and research and development for alternative fuel sources. One of those sources is the Hy-Drive system, which was designed for big rigs going over the road to improve horsepower and lower emissions. I have also worked in the hospitality industry managing hotels and restaurants. I have actually done numerous other things such as owning my own residential and commercial cleaning service and working as an operations manager at US Bank.

This seems like a different line of work for you. What prompted you to apply?

The position seemed like something I would enjoy, and I thought it would be fun to try something new. Working from home was also a great incentive for me.  

What has it been like working for Precise Transport?

Precise Transport, as an employer, is like having a second family – my work family. It has grown significantly since I began my employment here, but it still has that same feel. Working for Tim Smith, in particular, has been a great experience. He is very kind, easy to approach, and is an honest and intelligent man. He is the reason I am loyal to this company and why I plan on staying with Precise Transport for the next 20 years. I truly value him as a person in general and as an employer. His tenacity is very inspiring to me.

You have a lot on your plate. It has to get challenging at times, right?

The biggest challenge in this position is just transitioning from one customer to another, all while using different software, following different procedures for each customer, and making sure you are doing things correctly. We’ve grown quickly, so every now and then we have a bit of miscommunication.  The dispatchers all have their own style, which I think is great, as long as the ending result is the same: delivering what we promise to our customer.  

What keeps you coming to work each day after all this time?

The best part of my job is the relationships I have made with the other dispatchers and the drivers. Working from home is also very nice, especially when you work 12-plus hour shifts.

Is there such a thing as a “typical day” in your job?

On most days, I start off reading all the emails that have come in since my last shift. I then orientate myself on what fracs I will be dispatching, familiarize myself with what drivers I currently have dispatched, and read texts from overnight. I then proceed with my day, making calls and communicating with drivers, other dispatchers, customers and the field supervisors. I make sure all the loads are dispatched and arrive to location without delays or issues. 

The phones can be very hectic, so calls and texts can sometimes be a lot. If there is an issue or a request from the customer, you need to be able to handle that and not lose your attention on the drivers and the dispatching part of the job. I wrap up my day by sending out a recap to Precise Transport management and a shift report to our customer.

How do you feel about the work schedule?

I work 12-hour shifts, from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific time, so there isn’t a lot of time in between shifts. Before this position I worked a typical 8-hour day, and you really feel the difference when you then work 12-hour days. You do get used to it eventually. We work six days on and four days off, and the 4 days is what makes the long hours during the 6-day stretch worth it. It allows me to spend time with my family, which is the most important thing to me.

Since you work from home, do you feel you’ve had a chance to get to know your colleagues? After all, it’s not like you can grab a beer together after work. 

As a whole, the Precise Transport team is a great group of individuals. I dispatch for North Dakota and Wyoming drivers, so I don’t really know those who work in Texas. At one time I knew everyone, but we have grown significantly since then. 

I have great relationships with most of the Precise Transport team. There are very different personalities, but I have always been a people person. I feel that respecting others is important and working together as a team is key to our daily success. I have solid relationships with most of the drivers, as well. You build strong friendships and relationships over the years of working with them.  

OK, so you like your job and your colleagues and have a great boss, but what we really want to know is: How’s the pay and benefits? 

We definitely have a competitive benefits package including medical, dental and vision. We get some PTO, which increases with the more years worked. We recently were given a life insurance plan, as well, and we have an IRA. With experience, your value to the company grows along with your pay. I always want to be learning and improving and, with that, compensated fairly.   

Are there any other perks to the job that you want to mention? 

We also are remembered on our birthdays and our yearly anniversary date with a card and a thoughtful message inside. Tim, from time to time, will send out a gift box full of gourmet chocolates, nuts or candies along with another message of his gratitude for the work we do. Those things are all appreciated and keep the employee morale up. It is those gestures that keep you motivated and wanting to always do your best and, above all, it’s nice to feel appreciated. We get a generous Christmas bonus at the end of the year, too. Overall, I am very happy and plan on being with my Precise Transport family until I retire.    

Thanks, Jennifer, for not just sharing your story but for all you do for Precise Transport!