How can I use Route4Me’s route scheduling software for advanced route planning?
What Route4Me features could simplify and strengthen the route planning process?
How can I plan routes for multiple drivers?
We are often asked these questions and you may want answers to these questions as well.
So, in this article, we highlight some Route4Me features that you might not yet have explored… or you might not have used to its fullest extent.
We will address these features by looking at:
- Which features will help you in running your business smoothly
- And how to use them
First, take a look at the different vehicle route planning options offered by Route4Me.
Basic Steps to Plan a Route in Route4Me’s Route Scheduling Software
When you select “Plan a Route”, you’ll see five options as mentioned below.
Interactive Map Editor
From here, you can zoom in on the map and find locations by yourself. This is a great option when you need your drivers to drop things off at a specific door or entrance… like at hospitals or retail centers. Just find the location, select “use this exact location” and then Route4Me will plan a route to that location.
Copy and Paste
As the name suggests, you just need to copy your addresses and paste it here. That’s it!
Upload a File
If you have a file with your customers addresses, then this option is useful. Just upload the list directly to Route4Me and it will fetch all the information. You can always upload more addresses to the route later on.
This option helps you import data stored in other applications. Currently, you can import data from the following applications:
- Google Drive
This is a perfect option if you only have the addresses on paper. Whether you receive a printed manifest, or you’ve got invoices that need to be logged into your account, you just need to scan the document and upload it to Route4Me. The routing optimization software will interpret the image, gather any addresses from it, and then plan and optimize the routes on its own.
Very powerful if you have clients that still work mostly with paper printouts.
#1 Interactive Map Screen
The interactive map screen is an advanced feature that helps you plan routes from the map itself. Once you’ve uploaded your addresses onto your account, they will appear on your map. From here, you can plan routes and see at a glance, where your customers are located.
Here is how you can do it.
#2 Border Marking
You can create borders on the map to assign specific routes to specific drivers or sales team members.
#3 Create and Assign Territories
You can create territories and assign each to a specific sales team member, as shown below.
Great for keeping your sales representatives focused on meeting clients, not driving around aimlessly and not closing sales.
For example, you can assign the northern area to Team A to cover on Mondays and Wednesdays. And assign the southern area to Team B to cover on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In this way, you can save significant time in vehicle route planning.
#4 Service Time
This feature lets you increase or decrease the service time to see whether your drivers can handle it. This helps you experiment with the service time.
#5 Assign Drivers
This feature helps you assign a specific number of drivers for a specific route.
If you’re not sure about how many need to complete the route, just enter 1 to 100, as shown below. Route4Me’s route optimization software will then assign routes to the drivers on its own. It’s that simple!
You can also assign a route to a specific driver as you wish. Your drivers will appreciate handling routes near their homes and not spending hours after work driving home.
Driving before sunrise or after sunset can cause serious road mishaps. During such times, the sky is still illuminated, while the roads begin to get dark.
Thus, there’s an imbalance between light and dark. This causes vision issues for drivers which can lead to accidents.
So, your drivers shouldn’t cover an area during such times. You should thus plan routes accordingly.
But, identifying such roads, especially in an unknown area, is difficult. And, this feature makes that process easy.
Just go to the Optimization section in the route editor and click on Time Windows Team Route.You will then see the sunrise/sunset feature under Route Duration option.
Select it and key in the zip code of the area, as shown below.
Route4Me then provides optimized routes to ensure your drivers don’t drive during these times.
#7 Custom Avoidance Zones
Your customers can become annoyed if your drivers show up late. And, this may lead to customer abandoning your services.
Often, the main culprit is unforeseen delays. Mostly due to high traffic areas. So we created custom avoidance zones.
This feature ensures that your drivers don’t cover zones that can cause delays… like the downtown core.
It helps you create and select up to 10 custom zones that you want your drivers to avoid. Once selected, it looks like the image below.
Go to the Avoidance option in the route editor > Click on edit list > Draw new avoidance zone . And you can then create your own custom zones.
You can also select from the existing options available and plan accordingly. For this example, we have Manhattan, New York City selected.
The fleet route planning software will automatically avoid any streets inside this selected area. And you can customize the selected area to fit your needs.
#8 Turn Restrictions
Did you know that you can save gas by just avoiding left turns?
Well… that’s exactly how UPS saved mountains of cash on their expenses.
How does UPS route its trucks?
By avoiding left turns, UPS was able to save a whopping 98 million minutes of idle time per year.
The good news is that Route4Me’s route scheduling software can help here as well.
It has a feature, called Avoid Left Turn, that helps you cut down on the driving idle time to save gas.
And, that’s not all. You can also allow or avoid U-turns or right turns, as shown below. This feature is available under Turn Restrictions in the route editor.
If you happen to drive on left side of the road, we can reverse the avoidance to remove right turns from the planned route.
So, when you get so many powerful features, do you really need to worry about vehicle route planning any more?
Featured image credit : fotogestoeber/Shutterstock.com