Maart 16, 2022
What is Route Management?
The key to customer satisfaction in every business includes improving operations, meeting deadlines, and providing the highest quality of services. Route management uses optimizing software that works with other route efficiencies, such as fleet routing systems, to ensure that truckers have access to the best routes to their destination to do their tasks. This system minimizes the distance to the destination, reduces the amount of consumed fuel, and helps monitor the vehicle's activity to ensure safe driving practices. A route management system uses the same codes as location tracking systems, sending radio signals to satellites via emission ports and receiving them simultaneously. They allocate the data to the driver's app, which aids the operational activity. Some services also use GPS to provide excellent navigation.
Challenges in Manual Routing | Route Management 101
Routing is not an easy task, no matter how small or big the delivery operations are in a business. Here are some of the biggest challenges in manual route management:
Multiple Routing Variables
Planning routes manually needs a lot of information, such as available drivers, service areas, vehicle capacities, and delivery timeframes. The more steps involved in these routes, the more complex they become. So planning optimal routes is nearly impossible. It is time-consuming, and also we are only human, so we make mistakes, which cause wasted time and money. Route management software solves it by doing tedious work and instantly generating the best possible routes, regardless of the number of stops.
Processes without Agility
A challenge with manual planning is the incapability to shift quickly when unexpected changes like poor road conditions or a weather warning. Without route management software, one cannot let drivers know in real-time about these changes. When they do let them know, they need to figure out which route to take instead, which is time-consuming, significantly, if more than one route or driver is affected. With the right software, the given team can respond to changes in real-time and receive automatically adjusted routes based on the new circumstance.
Benefits of Route Management Software
Using a route management system has many benefits, including reducing costs thanks to creating the most optimal routes. The cost savings from route management tools are more than 12 percent in profitability and 13 percent in vehicle utilization, with a 15 percent decrease in travel time. Now let us take a closer look at the benefits route management brings to businesses:
Reducing Fuel Costs
Route management software is a great time-saver because it allows planning routes as efficiently as possible. Spending less time on the road reduces fuel consumption and its cost. An optimized delivery route can save 20 to 40 percent on fuel and driving time.
Planning Complex Multi-Stop Routes
Unlike the basic GPS app, route management software helps generate optimal travel routes, no matter how many stops one needs to make. It also considers variables like vehicle capacity, available drivers within specific hours, and the different delivery time windows promised to customers.
Increasing Delivery Count | Route Management 101
Route management software lets more deliveries by allocating more efficient routes without over-scheduling drivers and risking burnout or irritating customers with approximate delivery timeframes and late deliveries. Route management software ensures that service time is not impacted by knowing when needs more truckers to do the intended amount of deliveries.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Customers always want to know their parcels. Route management software can provide customers with real-time updates on drivers' whereabouts. They also can talk to their driver directly, just in case. Customers ask for visibility and efficiency in their delivery services. On-fleet doubles as real-time driver tracking and visibility software, benefiting both the business and its customers.
Increasing Driver Satisfaction
Drivers value optimized routes because they do not need to worry about getting stuck in traffic and not getting deliveries done or terminated late.
What Should Route Management Solution Include? | Route Management 101 Every effective route management solution should have some particular features and characteristics to succeed. The followings are the essential characteristics to be considered.
Route optimization software should determine the most efficient order in a list of addresses. It uses GIS (Geographic Information System-based) software for the high-density fleet routing process. It can also counterbalance multiple data inputs such as route times and service days to optimize the required time.
Fleet Routing | Route Management 101
Fleet routing solutions follow drivers with the geo-coding of all available data and events, checking the vehicles' and drivers' conditions, and controlling speed limits. Monitoring and understanding driver behavior leads to better training for making safer and more efficient driving habits.
Fleet mapping typically creates a real-time view of vehicles' history of cities, highways, and streets. It allows selecting from several layers, determining the level of detail, and plotting the vehicle's position according to the reports. Using fleet routing and mapping, they can rebuild the route taken by a driver on any given day confirm any deviations or unscheduled side trips. It also considers criteria, such as exceeding a specified speed or excessive idling with all information presented on the map.
Real-time positioning presents a map view of vehicles' current positions, knowing which driver is close to the given pickup assignment, who can take the work a driver cannot complete, and the driver's proximity to a customer's place.
Driver Direction | Route Management 101
Driver direction provides driving directions to the truck's next stop based on run sheet data, and there is no need for driver input. It delivers a graphical view of the calls to the driver and re-calculates the route when a driver chooses an unexpected stop.
Reports and Alerts
Fleet and driver statistics can provide a new level of understanding for the fleet's efficiency. It helps to identify those areas where they can reduce costs or improve productivity. The reports are usually produced according to the specific settings and configuration, working with the most relevant and actionable information possible. A good report has entries on the time and location for stops and breaks, refueling, and more and reports the exact route for each vehicle.
How to Choose a Route Management Solution Provider
A route manager works for companies supplying transportation services. They manage staff and make sure vehicles are functional. They manage timetables, resolve customer complaints and deal with accidents and other emergencies. When selecting a route management vendor, do homework. Consider the following: - Expertise: Make sure the vendor specializes in the given industry. They need to understand business and its requirements. Avoid cookie-cutter solutions. - Installed base: A good vendor should have a fairly large base of vehicles. - Technology: Ask vendors how much they have invested on research and development. Technologies constantly evolve, so the vendors have to invest heavily to stay at the forefront. - Financials: The vendor needs to be viable. Ask for an independent review of their commercial quality. - Customer references: The customers are always the best source of insight. Ask to speak to the customers about their experiences with the solution. - ROI: A good vendor should show the path to ROI in complex numbers. When selecting a route management solution and vendor, they become partners in business success. A relationship built on credibility, trust, and honest communications set the course for successful outcomes.
Route Management Software Operations | Route Management 101
An option to the traditional method is using route optimization software, which reduces the time to prepare the route for sales reps. According to the planned visits, it identifies the best routes with the most petite length. Here are the key ways route management software can help make delivery operations run more efficiently, lower operational costs, and generate more revenue.
Automate Route Planning
As we mentioned earlier, route management software automatically plans the most optimal routes based on all the different factors one wants it to consider. It includes the number of stops, unique delivery time windows, driver-working hours, vehicle capacities, and more.
Visualize Delivery Routes
Drivers should not need to look at a route and spend extra time deciphering what it means. By imagining the routes rather than using text lists, drivers can tell where they need to go. For example, on-fleet factors like time, location, traffic conditions, and vehicle capacity map out the most efficient routes for delivery trucks. If anything unexpected comes out, such as a roadblock, flat tire, etc., routes can be re-optimized and real-time updates sent out to the drivers. It also eliminates many tasks for delivery managers.
Automate Driver Dispatch | Route Management 101
Managers can automatically set rules to assign deliveries based on proximity and route distance with route management software. The software dispatches drivers automatically, telling them exactly when and where to go, a visual of their route, and any other instructions they need along the way.
Tracking Delivery Metrics
Tracking delivery metrics is essential to improve delivery operations and stay as efficient as possible continually. Most route management software has built-in reporting capabilities to see which areas need improvement to lower costs and increase profits. For example, on-fleet can help monitor the following KPIs and segment the data by team, driver, day, week, and hour of the day. - On-time rates, - Service times, - Successful deliveries, - Customer feedback ratings, - Idle time, - Drop-offs per pickup.
Provider Customer Updates
One can send customers automatic status updates when their delivery has started and delivery ETAs through text message with on-fleet. The platform allows customers to communicate with drivers and call centers, empowering the team to problem-solve in real-time. With on-fleet, customers receive automatic status updates when delivery has started.
Top Tips to Improve Delivery Routing
The more efficient businesses deliver their products, the more successful they are as a carrier. Optimizing delivery routes is a critical factor in this sector. The followings are some tips for route management and improving delivery routes.
Check the Data
Take a critical look at present data and ask yourself: are these travel times realistic? Does the software take traffic to downshift during rush hour into account? Many pieces of software calculate travel times based on optimal flow, but that is rarely practical.
Account for Stops
The route management process frequently ignores stops and the time they take. Given plans are affected as soon as the deliverer delivers a package on the third floor of a building with no elevator. Some data can provide you with greater certainty and more security, such as information regarding the type of structure, the number of floors, and the distance from the road to the front door. Then there are factors such as the driver's experience, size, and delivery time, which may also influence. You probably already have many of these data in possession: use them.
Think about Organizing Routes | Route Management 101
It may be helpful to tweak software or settings so that routes are organized differently. The driver may not be stuck in traffic for very long if they deliver to the addresses that are furthest away first. Keeping routes compact may serve driers well.
Use the Right Transportation
Using a vehicle for deliveries in the center of town is not very practical. Downtown traffic is often best traveled using a bicycle or bike. Deliverers do not use either of these to make deliveries in outlying areas. Location intelligence is everything.
Consider the Heart of Route
Hubs or transshipment points are the core of the route management process, so think hard about where to find them. Being stuck in traffic every night because the transshipment point to use during rush hour is next to the motorway is not practical. An optimal stretch of delivery areas is critical. Do you take natural borders or points in the infrastructure into account? It may save lots of time in delays as well as in mileage.
Input Specific Processes in Software | Route Management 101
Standard scheduling algorithms are helpful, but they are not always fine-tuned to organization and processes. Online supermarket Picnic, for instance, mainly operated in cities and discovered that this insight allowed them to create a better planning algorithm than ORTEC. They did not want their small electric vehicles driving on motorways or other controlled-access highways. Again, they found that standard route tooling would not do and changed the algorithms.
Consider Delivery Options
We have more delivery choices to choose from than ever before. Although it is suitable, it does not help make delivery routes more efficient. Decreasing the number of delivery options is preferable. Another intelligent solution is to encourage the customer to pick specific options. If you already have another order in the same area at a specific time, be adaptable with delivery options and offer that time place at a reduced price.
Collect as much data from the routes as possible. It is impossible to make routes wholly reliable and efficient in one go. The given business can learn a lot from the data. These insights allow the managers to improve planning. It is such a shame that many companies do not utilize their data.
After reading this guide on route management 101 you have a good idea of route management software and what to look for in future apps. Using the right route management software is invaluable in delivery service and fulfillment strategy. It is easy to get started with our 14-day free trial. In case of any questions, talk to our customer support.
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