Some businesses have it easy. Their customers come to their location when they want to buy something.
Other businesses, such as courier services and pest control companies, are required to send employees out to meet with their customers. In addition to all of their other expenses, they need to pay for gas and vehicle maintenance. These businesses depend on route optimization to control their expenses and protect their profit margins.
What Is Route Optimization?
Route optimization is the process of determining the most efficient way to visit a set of stops. It’s more complicated than figuring out the shortest route from Point A to Point B. Many factors, including traffic, construction, and weather, must be considered to save as much time and fuel as possible.
The Route Planning Process
Route planning is so complicated that you shouldn’t attempt to do it by hand. That will take hours, and you’ll likely end up making mistakes that delay your field employees. Your customers won’t like that!
Instead of taking the manual approach, you should use routing optimization software. Such software is able to produce optimized routes in 30 seconds or less, and it gives your field employees everything they need to arrive on time consistently.
With routing optimization software, the route planning process consists of these six steps:
- Define route parameters
- Plan routes
- Dispatch routes
- Monitor routing activity
- Audit routing activity
- Improve planned routes
Below, we’ll go over each of these steps in more detail.
Define Route Parameters
Before you plan your route, there may be constraints specific to your business that you need to enter into the system.
For example, you may need to limit each field employee to a certain amount of driving hours for regulatory reasons, or there may be a crime-prone part of town that you want to avoid.
Routing optimization software allows you to just plug in these constraints and forget about them. It will adjust your routes according to your needs for you.
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!
After you’ve set your constraints, you just need to enter the addresses you’d like to visit to plan your route with routing software. Then, your route will be ready in less time than it takes to tie your shoes.
You can use the extra time you would have spent planning your route manually to focus on other areas of your business, such as client relations or sales and marketing.
The best delivery optimization software has an online app that your field employees can download on their personal mobile devices. This enables you to share a route with a field employee even when they’re not in the office.
The route optimization software you choose should also be cloud-based. That way, any adjustment you make to a route will be automatically reflected in your field employee’s mobile app. You won’t need to bother them with a phone call to communicate a change of plans.
Monitor Routing Activity
GPS tracking is another feature to look for in your delivery route optimization software.
The biggest challenge of managing field employees is that they’re mostly unsupervised. Are they obeying the rules of the road and sticking to their routes? Or are they driving dangerously and taking unapproved breaks while they’re on the clock?
Tracking software reveals the answers to these questions. It allows you to see where your field employees are and how fast they’re going in real-time. You can make sure they’re doing exactly what you’re paying them to do.
Audit Routing Activity
Routing optimization software with GPS tracking also helps you understand your business better. It keeps track of many different stats, including:
- Number of clients served per day, week, month, quarter, year, etc.
- Average vehicle speed
- Average length of client visit
- Mileage per vehicle
You can use this data to make more informed business decisions.
So, what are some of the ways you can leverage routing optimization software to improve your business? Do you have any questions about this article? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.
Finally, answering these three questions correctly will confirm that you understand route optimization:
- What is route optimization?
- What are the six steps that make up the route planning process?
- What are some of the benefits of using route optimization software?