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8 Minute Read

Routing Software: The Top 8 Benefits

The impact of route planning on product delivery is well known to most companies that deliver products. Route planning seeks to minimize travel time by taking into consideration various factors such as driver schedules, delivery times, traffic, vehicle capacities, and other variables.

routing optimization software

This means that developing an effective logistics route plan can significantly improve your company's performance. Reducing fuel consumption, improving driver morale, and enhancing customer experience are just some of the advantages. There are several ways you can improve delivery efficiency, but the most effective is finding the right last mile routing software

The Top Challenges in Route Planning

Developing an effective route plan comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some of the factors that you have to consider in order to generate optimal plans:

  • Time windows: Once you've provided delivery windows to customers, you need to find an efficient way route with them. This is especially challenging if customers are self-scheduling deliveries.
  • Traffic conditions: Traffic conditions can vary depending on the day of the week, the time of day, and many other factors. Traffic congestion often follows a predictable pattern, but it may be unpredictable or unavoidable at times.
  • Customer demand for fast deliveries: Shoppers demand faster delivery times for many reasons. Keeping up with customer expectations can be challenging, especially if your delivery routing process itself isn’t speedy enough.
  • Service time factors: Different kinds of deliveries take vastly different amounts of time. Installing a washing machine will require you to be on-site longer than you would for dropping off a parcel. You need to consider these differences in order to create ETAs that are even remotely accurate. 
  • Site-specific requirements: Some delivery sites might be in remote locations only accessible by smaller vehicles. Some buildings might have flights of stairs that mean deliveries require a crew of at least two. You need to factor these parameters in to make sure the right orders wind up on the right routes.

It's vital to keep these factors in mind and gather accurate, real-time information when planning your routes. You need to know about historical traffic patterns early on so you can adjust your routes as needed. Additionally, you need to know how fast your customers expect their orders to arrive, which will help you prioritize shipments.

It can be difficult or impossible to manually plan your route adequately with so many considerations. That's why you need the right route optimization software in a nutshell.

route optimization white paper

Why Invest in Routing Software?

When planning routes, it is impossible to take into account all variables at the same time by hand. Manual route planning is time-consuming and subject to human error.

The solution here is to use the right routing software. Modern route optimization software uses complex algorithms to shorten delivery times. At the same time, it allows drivers to see their route and receive real-time instructions, thereby cutting down their stress. 

The more complex your delivery operations, the more you’ll need the help of a sophisticated route planning app. An advantage of using software is that your products get to their destinations on time. The right solution ensures fast delivery, maximizes resource utilization, cuts down the risk of accidents, improves customer satisfaction, and saves time. 

Here’s a quick rundown of what you can do with the best route optimizer:

1. Boost productivity

Your fleet will be more productive if you plan your routes efficiently. You can make deliveries in the shortest amount of time and therefore complete more deliveries per day. When your routing software also provides accurate ETAs, there will be fewer failed deliveries each day. This means your drivers don't have to waste time with re-delivery attempts.

At the same time, the right delivery truck routing software can boost productivity for your office-based staff as well. With the right solution, routing can become a task that only takes a few minutes. As a result of improved productivity, your resources and energy can be devoted to other areas of the business.

2. Reduce transportation costs

Carefully planning your daily routes decreases driving time, reducing both your fleet’s fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance costs. It is unproductive to expose your vehicles to unnecessary wear and tear.

Having well-planned routes allows you to utilize vehicles only as needed. You'll save money in the long run and extend the life of your delivery vehicles. Additionally, reducing driver stress will reduce the chance of costly accidents. All of this is to say nothing of the decreased labor costs per delivery.

And this is to say nothing of the very real savings that come when you're making more stops per route. By shortening the amount of time it takes to complete any given delivery, you can decrease delivery costs across the board. Not only do you reduce labor costs for each delivery, you also cut back on fuel costs. These are two of the largest expenses for most fleets, so it's hard to overstate the impact here.

3. Improve strategic planning

Daily routes are one thing, but they're not the end-all be-all of your last mile operations. You need to make strategic decisions about where your distribution centers are placed. It's also important to make sure your fleet is right-sized for your expected demand levels.

Luckily, the right route optimization software can help. First of all, it can empower you to run test routing scenarios based on proposed changes to your logistics network. In this way, you can get actual data into whether or not your network of hubs and distribution centers is optimal.

By the same token, routing software can help you make sure you're getting the most out of your capacity. One of the most common complaints we hear is that businesses feel like they should be able to meet demand with their current fleet capacity. When this happens, the culprit is usually routing.

By adopting the right the right routing software, you immediately get a sense of your real capacity and use that as a planning baseline. At the same time, you can run what-if scenarios to test potential network changes.

4. Boost driver satisfaction

Every business that depends on deliveries needs to minimize driver stress. If your route planning is poor, drivers may choose to work somewhere less stressful. You put your business's finances at unnecessary risk when you have to replace disgruntled drivers. Your reputation may also be damaged, making it harder to recruit drivers.

The more satisfied and loyal your drivers are, the more likely they are to stay with your company. Effective route planning results in smoother operations and better use of your employees.

For drivers that are paid by delivery, optimized routes will enable them to deliver more per day. They'll therefore make more money. Even drivers who are paid hourly will benefit from having realistic routes with accurate ETAs. After all, this can ensure that they’re not running late the entire day through no fault of their own.

5. Reduce the risk of accidents

Drivers may become stressed or anxious if their routes are inaccurate or uncertain. If your route planning fails to take into account road work, traffic, or any other obstacles that may cause stress, your drivers may suffer a mental and emotional strain. 

An accident is more likely to occur when a driver is distressed. They impose a significant safety risk and threaten your resources. Accidents can harm your drivers and others on the road, destroy property, and potentially lead to legal issues and increasing costs. Effective route planning minimizes these risks.

Drivers who follow well-defined and planned routes are less likely to become frustrated or fatigued. The result is a decreased likelihood of a crash. The same is true of drivers who are given the tools to do their jobs as effectively as possible. E.g. a driver mobile app that offers turn by turn directions, easy communication, digital proof of delivery, etc. 

6. Increase connectivity

Of course, route planning doesn't happen in a vacuum. It's intimately connected to processes like route execution, customer communication, strategic planning, and others.

That's why the right routing solution for your business is the one that connects easily with other processes and enterprise solutions. In a perfect world, you'd find a single solution that could handle not just routing but the entire last mile. In this way, you can create new efficiencies throughout the entire delivery process.

For instance, when routing and customer communication happen in the same solution, you can easily roll out self-scheduling workflows. The system sends messages to customers with dynamically-generated time slots for customers to choose. This eliminates the need for scheduling calls. But it also helps ensure that your routes are efficient even when customers are choosing their own windows.

7. Enhance customer satisfaction

If your delivery times are delayed due to inefficient routes, you may lose customers or partners. By choosing the most efficient routes and working to ensure that your ETAs are accurate, you will achieve faster delivery times, better on-time rates, and improved customer satisfaction.

In this way, you can gain a competitive edge in your market. At the same time, you can increase your clients’ loyalty and attract new customers by offering prompt delivery. Your reputation will improve if your company can meet tight delivery time windows.

That's why one of the key features of modern route optimization solutions is leveraging AI to improve delivery ETAs. Accurate ETAs are just a nice-to-have. Rather, they're a key piece of the customer service puzzle.

How do you make accurate ETAs a reality? It starts with collecting data on a

8. Reduce failed deliveries

Accurate ETAs do more than just keep customers happy. They also make it much more likely that the customer will actually be home to receive the delivery when it arrives. This can save you time and money in the form of reduced re-delivery attempts.

Of course, this is an area where you can reduce re-delivery attempts even further with the right approach. Showing up at the right time is critical, but keeping customers in the loop is just as important. Here, customer notifications about delivery ETAs can be extremely valuable.

In an ideal world, you'd also empower your customers to track their own deliveries from the comfort of their own devices. With a dedicated delivery tracking portal, you could show customers the locations of the delivery truck in real time, as well as live ETAs and even driver information.

When consumers have the option to track their deliveries, they check their tracking portals 2.5 times on average. Simply put, customers are eager for information. And when you make that information easy to access, you greatly reduce the likelihood that they'll miss the delivery.

If they can see that truck is only five minutes away, they're much less likely to run out to the store. When you take the guesswork out of when to expect the delivery to arrive, the entire process goes much more smoothly.

Truck route planning software offers an efficient way to optimize delivery schedules and improve day-to-day operations. By optimizing logistics routing, you can increase your efficiency and decrease costs. Ultimately, the key to finding the most efficient and cost-effective routes is to invest in the right route planner.

route optimization guide


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