Traffic. Rush hour. Accidents. Those are some of the many variables your fleet might encounter while following their routes. Even if they know the road like the back of their hands, the changes of everyday will add more valuable miles to the supposed best route, showing that for a route to be the best one, the process needs to go further than just knowing the roads and turning on the navigation software. It has to be optimized.
Optimization, which comes from a mathematical term, means to find the best option from various alternatives, and when talking about roads, there are almost infinite possibilities. This number gets multiplied when talking about fleet management. Knowing this, for a logistics manager to decide on a route with multiple stops might look almost herculean, if not impossible to do on a daily basis. But he is not alone. He can always count on route optimization software.
Route optimization software is the main reason why important delivery companies like UPS are reporting big savings in fuel and maintenance. The software, after user inputs of the desired stops, destination and origin, will generate a route that will not only reduce your planning time by at least 50%, but also drivers will be able to travel more routes in the same time.
While it might sound that this system was made for bigger companies, having route optimization software is important for every fleet based business. Saving a couple miles per trip doesn’t sound like much at first, but sooner than later, those numbers start to add up, and those hours mean less fuel used and less vehicles in the road.
No matter how good someone might know the roads, they keep evolving along with the city. Roads change, get cut or even get their directions switched. This could end up becoming a legal problem for the business if not taken care properly. It is not easy to check the status of every road every day, which might end up changing what was thought to be the optimized road to the worse the driver could have taken. This won’t be a problem for the software, which will take all these matters into account when delivering the best way, every day.
Safety is also one of the subjects to have in mind in every logistics planning. Over 36% of crashes take place in an intersection, according to a study by the US Department of Transportation, and U-Turns consist of 60% of them, which are not only dangerous, but also take time, fuel and put every part involved at risk. Having less turns is one of the goals of route optimization software, which helps save money, time and lives.
But the business will not be the only ones gaining a benefit from the software. Clients demand punctuality in their deliveries or tech support, and being able to guarantee that the service will be there at a specified time will not only position the business above the rest, but also give the client a sense of security when waiting for the product to arrive.
Having every route done through a software is also helpful in other ways. Gone are the pen and paper for every driver. The software helps maintain a log of every single stop your business has to do, tracking of all their stops and whether it was done or not. It also builds on itself, developing feedback between the vehicles and the software which will help make even better roads in the future. User input along the pre made algorithms will create the best custom experience made specific for every business.
Route optimization software will not only develop the best routes, but it will also optimize your business to have the best results.