Changing from spreadsheets to route optimization software solutions

Automation is a trend in the logistic industry. Even if your company is aware of its benefits, it might be reluctant to change. People might be fearful of not being able to integrate correctly with your existing, successful business operation.

These concerns are understandable. A delivery route planner and route optimization software solution will significantly improve your performance, but your team needs to feel confident and prepared to work with it.

We give you a selection of issues to consider in the transition from manual methods to software solutions, reviewed by experts’ research and based on supply chain companies that have transitioned into different IT systems. *

Communicate effectively
You require efficient communication with your team prior and during implementation. Many future users of the software may be resistant to change, so they should be informed in advance about the details of the implementation. A cross-organizational communication process also aligns existing goals and KPIs from all areas of your company.

Build a team in charge of the project 
You should engage each department from your company and partner them in specific teams, accordingly to their expertise and role within your operations. By this, you ensure that this new approach fits into your strategy and creates synergies within your existing processes across the different areas of the company.

Assess your existing business, processes and information technologies
Make sure you have records of your existing procedures, policies and control systems, as their data will serve as valuable input for the new system and its successful adjustment into your existing network. A map of your current process, is vital to design a new; improved operation and helps into distributing duties and responsibilities to your existing employees and commit them.

Manage change and train users
The lack of human disposition can turn into delays. Amanda Palazón, CEO of Spain’s Instituto de Mercadotecnia y Management, calls to study your existing culture, resources and capacities, in order to boost your current human assets and take note of their proposals in the process. Resistance is particularly challenging when change involves external parties. Training is vital, everybody needs to feel integrated in the process, in order to increasingly gain confidence and address potential doubts or misunderstandings regarding their new roles.

Monitor and evaluate your performance.
A baseline set of indicators can help you both address issues in the process of change, and support your improvements in terms of existing and new KPIs. The company must have a clear set indicators not only to assess how to integrate a new software, but to revise how you will measure your expected results against your previous performance.

Most of the technical concerns regarding implementation can be addressed by experts. Nevertheless, you are the most qualified person to personally address the concerns of your team.

What concerns do you have changing from spreadsheets to route optimization software solutions? How do you manage changes in your company? I would like to hear your feedback. Leave me a comment below.

*Denolf, J. M., Trienekens, J. H., Wognum, P. N., van der Vorst, J. G., & Omta, S. O. (2015). Towards a framework of critical success factors for implementing supply chain information systems. Computers in Industry, 68, 16-26.

Other interesting blogs:

Home Delivery World 2016

The importance of metrics for logistics managers

How Route Optimization Can Help Your Company Save Money

3 Things Successful Warehouse and Logistics Management Leaders Do

Francisca is the Business Development Director of Drivin, a SaaS transportation management solution that generates an optimized delivery plan, improves customer service, and reduces transportation costs by up to 30% from day one.