The delivery process plays a major role in the success of a Logistics Business. Ensuring that deliveries are made on time, each time, should be a priority for these businesses. Luckily, logistics businesses can rely on route planning to make the delivery process more efficient and reduce costs in the process.
Route optimization is the process of finding the most efficient route for drivers to take during the workday. This method of finding the most efficient routes requires you to know more than the shortest path between two points. Route optimization is able to assist businesses with order fulfillment as it takes into consideration other factors that could affect the route. These issues include the number of turns and junctions within a route, the traffic congestion occurring at the time, and the nearest driver that could take the route.
The route optimization software is able to plan and schedule the most efficient vehicle routes through the usage of real-time data. This real-time data is able to offer drivers and dispatchers full visibility into their route plans. It forms advanced algorithms that allow you to take control of your deliveries, leading to greater order fulfillment in a day.
Route optimization software allows businesses full control of minor details as well as set restrictions such as the drive time, shift patterns, and vehicle weight limits. For customers, route optimization software leads to greater customer satisfaction as they have better interactions with the company due to their needs being accounted for during the delivery process.
What is Route Planning?
Route planning is the process where you decide on the most effective method of transportation and this happens by importing a list that contains orders that must be made and the destination where they must be delivered. Once this has been established, they must be placed in an order that makes sense so that jobs and tasks can be scheduled for deliveries.
Route Planning Benefits
Many logistics and delivery businesses are aware of route planning, but are they aware of the benefits it offers? Here we detail some of those benefits.
Increased safety for drivers
When you plan routes before deliveries, drivers are given the time and opportunity to familiarise the routes before they get on the road. Drivers are able to avoid traffic which usually wastes their time and increases their anxiety. They also avoid getting stuck on unfamiliar roads which makes driving more stressful for them.
Helps you save fuel
When you implement route planning you’re able to choose better routes for deliveries and due to the reduction of time spent delivering, you’re able to save fuel. It also saves time for drivers as they won’t get lost or spend time looking for the road that will lead to their destination.
Reduction in expenses
Route planning is able to reduce your expenses as you use less fuel and the increased safety means the chances of accidents or incidents occurring is also reduced. Your vehicles will experience less wear and tear which leads to less money is spent on insurance claims.
How to Optimize Routes for Seamless Operations
When optimizing delivery routes, you can follow the strategies below to avoid making any route optimization mistakes.
Analyze and collect data
Though planning needs to be detailed in order to reduce time spend on deliveries, it might not always be an achievable goal. Ensure that all your planned travel times are realistic by critically analyzing your data. Your data can offer insights to any delays that might occur, such as traffic when calculating travel times
It’s also important to collect as much data from the routes that you drive. By collecting this data you are able to learn to make routes more reliable and efficient, improving your planning from the insights gained.
Include stops in travel time calculations
Stops that might delay delivery are often not accounted for when planning routes. Businesses must ensure that they check in their data for information regarding the type of building, the number of floors it has, the amount of experience the driver has, and the size and time of delivery to prepare for any delays that might occur.
Consider the delivery options offered
In a bid to satisfy customers and remain competitive, businesses might offer multiple delivery options, such as same-day delivery, next-day delivery or morning, afternoon or evening deliveries. This might make it convenient for the customer, but it complicates the delivery process for the business.
It is advisable to reduce the number of delivery options for customers as it’s unnecessary. A method businesses can use is influencing the customer to pick a specific delivery option. This can allow the business to make multiple deliveries in one day for the same area at a specific time.
Use the right transportation mode
Ensure that you use the right transportation for deliveries as they could have limitations. For example, using a truck for deliveries in downtown areas is not very practical. When choosing which transport mode to use, consider the degree of urbanization as well as the number of delivery addresses in the given area.
Consider how you want to organize your routes
You may need to tweak your software or the settings to ensure that your routes are organized differently. They should be organized in a manner that helps you avoid traffic by prioritizing the deliveries to the addresses that are the furthest away first. Keeping your routes compact can be useful for drivers who often deliver during peak hours.
BONUS – Use route optimization software
Optimizing routes can be quite difficult for humans to perform as they can include many combinations and permutations. It can also be time-consuming and it could take hours before a proper plan is formulated.
It is advised that businesses allow route optimization software to perform these as they can be done in seconds. Your software should be able to examine data as well as track operations on a single platform.
Route planning is able to prevent any mess-ups that might occur during the delivery process. This ensures that the driver is at ease and your customers receive a service they can’t complain about.
Continue to learn more about the 6 Ways To Master Route Optimization!