Planning routes is a tedious task. In addition to figuring out which roads your team members should take to reach their destinations, you must also account for traffic, construction, weather, and many other factors. That takes time away from everything else you need to do to keep your business running smoothly.
Also, no matter how much time you spend planning your routes, there’s always a chance that something will happen at the last minute that ruins your plans. There might be an accident that causes a traffic jam on a freeway, or one of your team members might call in sick. Either case would require you to start your route planning process all over again.
That’s why you need a road trip planer. Such a tool allows you to create optimized routes in less than 30 seconds. All you need to do is upload the addresses of your customers, customize the settings (time windows, road restrictions, etc.), and then the software will come up with the most efficient route possible. And if there’s a change you want to make to your route at the last minute, you can make that change, re-optimize the route, and have your new route ready in less than 30 seconds as well.
Route optimization isn’t the only thing a road trip planner can do for you. The best route planners have extra features, such as GPS tracking and geofencing, that will make your business even more efficient. Read on to learn more:
Make Your Employees More Productive
A road trip planner provides routes with the shortest distance possible, giving your field reps more time to finish their client visits and other work-related tasks. The time gained can then be used to visit more customers. So, in a way, you’re creating more business without having to increase your resources.
Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?
Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!
Also, if you have a VIP client who wants to schedule a visit on-the-fly, when your employees’ schedules have already been planned and they’re already out in the field, the software can help you out. Using the fleet management software, you can find out which field employee is the closest to the VIP client and then include the stop to that employee’s route and reoptimize the route in seconds.
The dispatcher won’t even have to call the field employee to relay the route update as the software comes with a synchronization feature that ensures any amendments made on a route for a specific rep will automatically be updated on the rep’s smartphone.
Delivery optimization software also comes with a GPS tracking feature that helps you track your employees’ real-time activities on a map in the software to ensure your field reps follow the routes they’ve been assigned. While tracking your employees, you’re also assuring yourself of their physical safety.
For example, if an employee suddenly stops at an address far from a client’s location, you can contact them immediately to find out if their vehicle has broken down or if they got into an accident. Alternatively, your field employees can use the road trip planner’s chat feature to send messages to their team as to their statuses.
In addition, the software can collect data from the app installed on your field employees’ mobile phones. So, instead of waiting to get to the office to input any important data of a client visit, your field employees just need to work off their smartphones.
For example, they can update a client status in the software by putting in additional notes. They can even capture clients signatures by using their phones to confirm their client visits. In this way, the field employees don’t have to carry around sheaves of confirmation papers and run the risk of losing one of them. And, when you eliminate such tedious work through the app, you free up your employees’ time to work more with your clients and do the essential parts of their jobs.
Improve Your Business with Data Analysis
The GPS tracking feature on your field employees’ smartphones also feeds data back to the route optimisation software every day. This data gives you crucial information on the performance of your field employees. It can also give you insights into whether your field employees have missed a client appointment, if a certain stop took too long to complete or if the planned versus actual stops made are the same.
So, the software gives you a better basis for evaluating your operational effectivity by giving you more knowledge of your field employees’ performance and your business overall.
A road trip planner also collects information on the use of your vehicles, such as the number of miles driven. You can use such information to be proactive with your vehicle maintenance, instead of waiting for your vehicles to break down before repairing them. This means there would be no disruption to a regular work day.
In addition, with the route planner, you can decrease the possibility of employees using your vehicles for personal use or speeding. This will decrease time wastage, fuel usage, and overtime pay. Also, with historical information, you can find out which areas need improvement.
Make (And Keep) Your Customers Happy
When your field employees arrive on time, your customers will be happier with the positive impacts of your balanced schedule and efficient routes.
Moreover, if a client wants to check on the status of where the assigned field employee is, he or she can log in to the online customer portal provided by the software. The client can then see where the field employee actually is and plan his or her day accordingly.
Lastly, with the software’s geofencing technology, customers can actually receive texts on their phones when the assigned field employees are already nearby. They’d appreciate such notice.
All these features of a road trip planner will make and keep your customers happy. And, when your current clients are happy, you’ll ensure customer loyalty and the clients might even recommend your business to others. Such good word-of-mouth marketing is much more valuable than any kind of paid marketing strategy and could expand your customer base. You’ll win all around.
What strategies do you follow to increase field efficiency? Do you have anything to add or do you have any questions? Feel free to leave your comments below.
In addition, here are brief questions to ask yourself to see if you understood how a road trip planner can increase the efficiency of your field operations:
- In what ways can routing software help your field employees become more productive?
- How can you give better customer service by using a road trip planner?
- Why is it important to analyze the data that the delivery route optimization software collects from your field employees?