Want to make your dispatchers happier?
Give them route optimization software. It’ll help them avoid mistakes, so your drivers will keep showing up on time and you can maintain a good reputation.
Let’s look into how route optimization software helps dispatchers out in a little more detail, shall we?
Good Routes Start With Great Dispatching Software
Planning routes with pen and paper is time-consuming and often inaccurate. If you have dozens of customers and multiple drivers, it can take hours. And after all that time spent, how do you even know you’re going to end up with a truly optimized route? There are many factors involved with route planing, such as traffic, construction, weather, and customer availability. It’s easy to make a mistake and mess up a route when you try to do it by yourself.
Such a mistake could seriously delay your drivers. Your customers won’t be happy about that. Not at all.
But there’s no reason to plan routes by yourself. Route optimization software can plan 100% accurate routes for you in 30 seconds or less. All you need to do is plug in your customer’s addresses, and the software takes care of the rest.
Some route planners have a plugin that connects your eCommerce platform, such as WooCommerce or Shopify, to your route planning software. That way, you can automate the process of transferring customer data, which saves time and eliminates the risk of data entry errors.
If you’d prefer to transfer customer data manually, you can easily disable this feature.
The Importance of Avoiding Left Turns
Did you know that UPS saves hundreds of millions of dollars a year, simply by avoiding left turns?
It’s true, and you could save a bunch of money by avoiding left turns, too.
Think about it: when your drivers turns left, they don’t have the right of way. They need to wait for traffic to clear before they can take the turn. There’s no telling how long that will take, and all that idling eats up a lot of time and gas…
This is an especially big problem for big rigs, as they may need to take up an extra lane in order to not clip anything.
That’s why you need to make sure you invest in the right route mapping software. With just the touch of a button, a route planner can take all the left turns out of your routes for you. That would take hours to do by hand.
Here’s another feature that same day delivery software provides: sunrise/sunset restrictions.
It’s dangerous for your drivers to drive east during sunrise or west during sunset. The sun gets in their eyes, making it difficult to see.
Protect your drivers! With route planning software, you can set up your routes so that your drivers make it to all their stops on time while avoiding driving east during sunrise/west during sunset.
It’d be very difficult to do this when you plan routes with pen and paper. But with software, again, all you need to do is press a button.
Keep A Close Eye On Your Drivers
One of the biggest challenges for a dispatcher is that you can’t see what your drivers are actually doing when they’re on the road.
Optimized routes won’t do you much good if your drivers aren’t actually following the routes you give them.
Your drivers might be stopping for snacks or even running personal errands while they’re on the clock. You can’t physically see them, so how do you know?
That’s why it’s so important that your final mile delivery software has a GPS tracking feature. With GPS tracking, you can see exactly where your drivers are and how fast they’re going in real-time. Whenever you want, you can check in on a driver and make sure they’re sticking to their route and staying on schedule.
Keep Customers In The Loop
Geofencing is another feature you should look for in your route planner.
This feature lets you draw custom borders over a real-world map. Then, you can set it up so that certain actions are triggered when one of your drivers crosses through a border.
For example, you draw geofences around your customers, and then have it so that a text message is automatically sent to customers when your driver is about to arrive. They’ll appreciate the notice.
You can also use geofences to automate the process of your driving checking in when they arrive to a stop and checking out when they leave. That’ll save your drivers 30 seconds or so at each stop.
30 seconds might not sound like much, but it adds up. Consider how many stops your drivers make in a week, a month, a year. Over time, automating the check-in/check-out process will save you countless hours and thousands of dollars.
Look For Territory Mapping, Too
We’ll leave you with one last feature you should make sure your vehicle route planning provides, and that’s territory mapping.
It’s a huge waste of time and gas to send your drivers back and forth across your entire service area. Instead, you should split your service area up into separate territories and assign a driver to each territory.
That’s exactly what territory mapping allows you to do. Your drivers will be much more productive when all their stops are closer together.
You can also use territory mapping to stay organized when you have customers that are only available on certain days (for example, you can put all your customers that are available on Monday-Wednesday-Friday into one territory and customers that are available on Tuesday-Thursday into another).
So, do you have any questions about route optimization software? Let us know in the comments section below.