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How the Right Delivery Driver Route Planner Impacts Efficiency

Businesses are facing more and more pressure from consumers these days. Now more than ever, enterprises are exerting all their efforts to fulfill orders as quickly as possible while increasing their delivery efficiency. Otherwise, their customers will go to their competitors. At the same time, companies are increasing their delivery efficiency so they can complete more orders per day and can achieve higher revenues and customer satisfaction.

delivery driver route planner

There are plenty of different tactics that businesses can take to boost efficiency in this way—but many of the most impactful ones come down to what technology they're using. Here, it’s critical to have a delivery driver route planner that’s up to the task of improving delivery planning and execution. 

Why Companies Don't Deliver Efficiently

To improve efficiency in last mile deliveries, you first need to understand why and how delivery inefficiencies happen. Being well-versed on the sources of inefficiencies will give you a better understanding of how to address them. 

Outdated technology

Technological solutions and tools that are outdated can slow down your growth. The tools may have helped you back in the day, but if they're no longer efficient according to today's standards it may be time to upgrade. To improve efficiency, you must invest in the latest technology so you are not left behind.

Conventional route planning

There are plenty of factors to consider when planning routes. These include truck capacity, delivery driver parameters, pick-up points, drop-off points, package sizes, weight, and delivery time windows, to name just a few. Route optimization requires taking into consideration all factors affecting delivery times, and then finding the shortest path between all those points. Done by hand, this process can take hours. This means you can hardly accommodate last-minute orders or same-day deliveries, and you may be getting a lot less out of your capacity than you want to. 

Lack of predictability

Even when you’re able to generate routes that are efficient in terms of miles driven per stop, you might not be accurately estimating when the trucks are going to arrive at their delivery sites. This presents a few issues: First, it means that drivers will frequently be running late and customers will get annoyed and may decide to take their business elsewhere. Second, it means that you can’t actually ensure that you're maximizing your delivery capacity, since you don’t know how many stops the driver can actually make in a given time period. 

route optimization white paper

How a Delivery Driver Route Planner Can Help

The pitfalls we listed above are all too common, which is why adopting the right delivery driver route planner is key to completing more deliveries and increasing customer satisfaction and profits. Obviously, the right routing tools will help you find the shortest routes for any sequence of stops given your particular set of parameters. Best-in-class delivery route optimization software will also enable you to generate highly accurate ETAs so you can ensure that customers are getting the best quality service and you’re making the most efficient use of your trucks and drivers. But in the modern era, those capabilities should just be table stakes—any solution worth adopting will offer even more benefits than that. 

Here's are some of the other ways the right technology can help you improve delivery efficiency:

Make rapid adjustments

The right route optimizing software enables you to make the necessary adjustments to handle last minute orders and changes. This is one way of boosting delivery efficiency in case the unexpected happens.

For instance, you already planned the routes for the day but a new pickup has to be scheduled and added after your driver leaves. The route planner for delivery allows you to make changes on the fly to accommodate the new pick-up and delivery request. Plus, an advanced planner also provides drivers with real-time updates so they are informed immediately of any change in plans.

Plan in advance

The delivery route planner also helps you handle low and high customer demand scenarios more efficiently by allowing you to plan your capacity in advance. The ability to plan ahead of time minimizes the risk of last-minute major changes that can cause a driver shortage. The planner also helps you optimize schedules on a weekly and monthly basis using whatever data you have.

For example, you can plan for the deliveries for the next month once you know how much volume you'll be handling. If you have a high order volume, then you still have time to employ a new driver or contract with a third party. In contrast, if you wait until the last minute to plan for your deliveries, then you'll end up being short-staffed.

Monitor drivers in real-time

Tracking drivers in real-time goes hand in hand with effective route planning. After all, there's no point coming up with optimized routes if your drivers can't or won’t follow them. Thus, monitoring drivers in real-time is also necessary for improving delivery as drivers play a major role in ensuring efficient delivery operations.

When you have a real-time view of how each delivery is unfolding—via constant status updates from drivers via a connected mobile app—you can quickly and easily spot potential delivery exceptions and keep your deliveries on track. The faster you can spot and respond to incidents in the field, the more effectively you can ensure efficient delivery execution—even once the rubber meets the road and real-world conditions threaten to derail your plans. 

Provide real-time updates and notifications to customers

The right delivery route planner also offers real-time updates and tracking to satisfy customers' demands for transparency and visibility into their orders. Customers want the ability to track orders on their own devices and receive notifications once the order is out for delivery and when the driver is nearby. Allowing customers to track their orders and providing them with automated alerts and updates will cut down missed deliveries and increase customer satisfaction.

Increasing delivery efficiency does not have to be complicated or require herculean internal efforts. Having the right tools, such as a delivery driver route planner, can help you optimize delivery routes, plan in advance, and track drivers in real-time. The result? Increased customer satisfaction via improved delivery performance and real-time visibility—to say nothing of reduced cost-per-delivery. 

DispatchTrack offers the most powerful end-to-end suite of tools for last mile logistics operators. Dispatchers, drivers, customers and clients can access our app on any device to schedule, track, modify and verify your deliveries.

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