Despite managing their warehouses effectively, many businesses are unable to fulfil orders on time. A lot of organizations that do everything right in their warehouses fail to understand the importance of optimizing their delivery routes.
What is route optimization?
Distributors have to fulfil a number of orders on a daily basis. In most cases, there are various routes to reach a destination. Route optimization focuses on finding the best route among these different choices. Optimizing routes can help keep a tab on fuel and maintenance costs and avoid delivery delays. Some factors that are considered when optimizing routes are traffic conditions, the number of intersections or turns and the number of left-hand turns.
There are two primary routing methods- standard routing and dynamic routing. While standard routing depends heavily on human interference, dynamic routing functions automatically, which means a person does not have to manually fill in routing tables. Additionally, in standard routing, routes are user-defined, whereas, in dynamic routing, locations are dynamically filled.
Route optimization software: The need
If you think you can optimize your routes manually, think again. Route planning is not a child’s play. There are millions of permutations and combinations that you need to consider. To help their teams perform the task flawlessly, many businesses opt for route optimization software.
Multidrop route planner software uses complex algorithms to optimize delivery routes. The tool is used to plan the sequence of stops for fleets. When optimizing routes, delivery schedule software takes various factors such as vehicle capacity, time windows and the number of vehicles in the fleet into account.
Benefits of route optimization software
Route optimization software help identify the most cost-effective routes. A study suggests that taking the optimized route can reduce fuel costs by up to 30%. A major focus of route optimization software is to help reduce the time spent by vehicles on the road. When your vehicles are not on the road frequently, your maintenance costs come down.
Additionally, the loss of functional time is reduced as vehicles are in service for a longer time before being pulled for maintenance. Most importantly, your vehicles wear out slowly which means lower premiums and replacement costs.
Route planning software does not just help save time on the road but also in the office. Because everything is taken care of by the software, your managers don’t have to spend numerous man hours buried in files looking for important data and then making heads or tails of it to make critical decisions.
2. Improved safety
Route optimization software is designed to help reduce the time for which vehicles are on the road. Less time on roads means improved safety.
When your drivers are on the road, they have to negotiate different types of turns including tricky U-turns. Each turn comes with its own unique set of challenges; more the number of turns, higher the chances of accidents and delays.
To help address this problem, route optimization software comes with a feature to avoid left turns, rights turns and U-turns. When your driver chooses a destination, the software automatically plans a route without or with minimum turns.
Yet another problem that drivers encounter when on the road, is inclement weather. A study shows that around 22% of accidents are weather-related crashes. To address this problem, route optimization software factor in the weather forecast for the region for the route date when planning a new route.
3. Improved Customer experience
“Our driver got stuck in traffic” is no longer a good enough excuse to placate a customer who is irked by your inability to abide by delivery timelines. To help avoid delays, route optimization software scan traffic conditions continuously, to suggest the best route.
In case a vehicle breaks down, the software uses GPS tracking to help you identify drivers who are nearby. You can then assign the task to the new driver and re-optimize the route to ensure the order is delivered on time. When your on-time arrival rate increases, more customers fall in love with your brand.
4. Improved driver morale
Taking optimized routes help drivers avoid unnecessary delays and risks. When their driving conditions improve, drivers feel more confident on the road. When optimizing routes, route planning software factor in driver breaks and lunches, ensuring they have enough time to recharge.
Satisfied drivers are more likely to stick to your business for a longer time and put their best foot forward, contributing to business success.
5. Improved productivity
Drivers who take longer brakes than necessary or don’t manage their time well can cost the business serious money. Route planning software can help address this problem. These tools use GPS tracking and other methods to help managers monitor the actions of their drivers. Real-time tracking help managers take necessary actions in a timely fashion.
6. More number of jobs per day
Ideally, you would want your drivers to complete the maximum number of jobs per day; however, increasing the workload can backfire, resulting in disgruntled drivers. Opting for a route optimization software can help address this problem as the tool will optimize the route both in terms of distance travelled and time spent on the road. When the service time of your drivers reduces, you can assign them more jobs to improve your bottom line.