Customers want their deliveries to arrive on time. That, of course, is no surprise.
Give your customers what they want! That’s the best way to keep your customers happy, and keeping customers happy is the best way to ensure your customers remain your customers and don’t wander off to one of your competitors.
Arriving on time can be difficult. Many businesses still plan routes with pen and paper or use a free route planner like Apple Maps or Google Maps, which can get you into all sorts of trouble. First of all, it takes forever, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of customers and multiple drivers.
Secondly, even after all that work, there are just so many factors at play (traffic, construction, one-way streets, turn-only lanes, and much more) that your drivers might not even arrive on time.
Route4Me’s route optimization software makes the pen and paper method obsolete. We can provide 100% accurate routes automatically.
If you still plan routes with pen and paper, the following seven sets of stats will surely convince you that it’s time to stop doing so:
According to a Sustainable America report, the average American driver spends more than 16 minutes a day idling their vehicle, which burns up 3.8 million gallons of gas collectively. That’s $7,980,000 of waste every day.
Let’s do a little back-of-the-envelope math here: by simply eliminating 8 minutes of idling per day, you can save around 32 gallons of gas and $70 per day with a 4-cylinder engine. With an 8-cylinder engine, you can save around 64 gallons and $140 per day (these figures are based on the current average price of gas at $2.20 a gallon).
#2 Left Turns
UPS delivery trucks save 10 million gallons of gas every year.
How does UPS route its trucks?
By avoiding left turns. Also, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, nearly half of US car crashes are intersection-related, and the majority of crashes are the result of left turns. The Atlantic supports that report, as they once found that 60% of all crashes are caused by left turns at intersections.
In 2014, American drivers spent 6.9 billion hours stuck in traffic. That’s 42 hours – a whole week’s worth of work – for each commuter.
Traffic takes time, and it also takes a lot of gas. Drivers in the US use 2.9 billion gallons of gas a year while in traffic, which is about 26 gallons per driver.
22% of vehicle crashes are weather-related. According to Edmunds, 46% of weather-related crashes in the past decade happened due to rainfall. 17% happened due to snowing/sleeting.
Bad weather is expensive. The NHTSA reports that every year, companies lose around 32.6 billion hours due to weather-related congestion, and the cost of weather-related delays ranges from $2.2 billion to $3.5 billion annually.
Also, driving speed needs to be reduced by a third when it rains or when the road is wet. For example, if the speed limit is 55 kph and it’s raining out, you should drive no faster than 40 km/h.
#5 Sun Dazzle
The risk of being in a head-on collision while driving a heavy goods vehicles quadruples in twilight conditions. In 2012, sun dazzle caused 2,905 accidents (423 serious and 36 fatal).
#6 Late Delivery
A Voxware poll found that 55% of customers would stop using a retailer after two or three late deliveries. 59% said they would stop using a retailer if they received two or three incorrect deliveries.
#7 Aggressive Driving
According to the US Department of Energy, aggressive driving can increase your gas mileage in towns by 5% and on highways by a whopping 33% .
How Vehicle Route Planning Software Can Help
So, those are the problems. How is Route4Me the solution?
Idling – Our vehicle route planning software comes with a GPS tracking feature that allows you to monitor your drivers in real time and track them on a map. If a driver is idle at a location for a long period of time, you’ll know immediately, and you’ll be in a position where you can contact the driver right away and figure out what’s going on (and get that vehicle moving again ASAP).
Left Turns – Route4Me’s route scheduling software has a feature that lets you plan routes without any left turns – just go to the Turn Restrictions tab and toggle the “Allow” option to “Avoid” under “Permit Left Turns”. You can choose to avoid right turns and U-turns as well.
Traffic – Route4Me’s fleet route planning software plans 100% accurate and well-optimized routes by factoring in the latest traffic conditions and many other constraints. The software is regularly updated with new and historic traffic data.
Weather – The Predictive Weather Route Optimization™ feature automatically considers the weather for your specific area while planning routes.
When a user plans a new route, our software looks at the geographic region and the route date, and then it factors in the anticipated weather conditions for that area and date. Depending on severity, Route4Me may make suggestions for adjusting the service time and travel speed.
Sunrise/Sunset – Our routing software offers a Semantic Route Planning™ feature that will help you plan safer routes by factoring in sunrise/sunset constraints.
Read the following article to learn more about our Predictive Weather Route Optimization™ and Semantic Route Planning™ features:
Late Delivery – As mentioned above, Route4Me’s vehicle route planning software offers 100% accurate routes, so you don’t have to worry about late deliveries.
With GPS tracking, you can make deliveries on time even when something goes wrong. Let’s say one of your drivers breaks down in the middle of a route. You’ll be able to see which one of your other drivers is closest to the customer, which means that you’ll have a chance at rerouting your other driver quick enough to make the delivery on time.
GPS tracking also makes it easy to see when your employees are making personal visits on company time, taking extra long lunch breaks, or abusing paid work hours in any other way.
Aggressive Driving – Route4Me’s GPS tracking feature allows you see when a driver is speeding up in real time. In this case, you can immediately contact the driver and tell them to slow down. Doing so will cut down on fuel expenses, and it’ll help you avoid expensive, insurance-inflating accidents.
How do you plan your routes? Do you have any questions about automated route planning or GPS tracking? Let us know in the comment section below.