Why Is Route Planning Important?

Why is Route Planning Important
Featured image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStockphoto.com

Having witnessed spiraling fuel costs, driver wages, vehicle maintenance costs, and insurance premiums – do we still need to ask why is route planning important?



It’s not just about route planning, but more about accurate route planning.

Accurate route planning is important because it…

  1. Reduces driving time, which eventually reduces  fuel consumption and costs;
  2. Reduces driver frustration, as planned routes decrease time on the road;
  3. Improves customer satisfaction due to timely deliveries;
  4. Deceases vehicle wear and tear due to reduced miles driven; and
  5. Maximizes the utilization of vehicles and drivers.

Over the past decade or so, the high cost of running the logistics business has prompted owners to become more efficient in the way they plan routes.

The old-school route planning method using pen and paper does not address real-time events that impact delivery schedules every single day. And free route planner apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps can not plan multi-stop routes for multiple drivers.

Also, they lack many key features you need to run a seamless field operation.

Here are four articles you must read before opting for Google Maps route planner.

In addition to reducing costs and improving resource utilization, operations managers need to ensure an efficient delivery experience to the customers at the lowest cost possible. This is another business goal made possible through efficient route planning.

Let’s understand the costly risks of inaccurate route planning and how Route4Me’s advanced route planner can help.

Adverse Effects of Wrong Route Planning

Legal Issues

Your drivers need a short and simple route to reach your customers on time…

…which isn’t always possible if your route planning includes several diversions and one-ways.

Such routes will often result in the drivers having to speed up to reach the customer location faster. This will lead to reckless driving and may lead to a close encounter with the police for violating road laws.

Increased Fuel Usage

Your drivers will end up circling around the same location if the routes given to them are not optimized. This will lead to excessive fuel usage.

Moreover, the fuel usage will be much higher if you have a lot of depots and a lot of vehicles.

They will consume 59% more gas if your drivers speed up to reach customers on time.

Your drivers may be able to gain a couple of hours. However, a 59% extra gas usage will cost you.

Customer Complaints

Poor route planning can cost your business a lot if your drivers need to deliver at a precise time.

Let us consider this example.

A food delivery company must deliver fresh products within a specific time every day.

So, the company needs to ensure that there is room in the grocer or restaurant for:

  1. Unloading of their cargo.
  2. Meeting food preparation & stocking deadlines.

If they show up too early, another delivery van might be in the way.

So, they will be burnt in either way, if the planned route is not correct.

Soon enough, their customers will look elsewhere for on-time delivery.

Increased Payroll Expenses

You may have a shortage of drivers if the routes are not well-optimized.

This means that your existing drivers need to work longer… leading to hefty overtime fees.

Also, you may need to hire more drivers to cover every single customer location on time.

Then there are the training expenses to get your drivers up to full capacity.

It may take up to six months for them to perform like your top drivers. That means you need to pay more for recruitment, training, salary, and overtime.

Will that be good for your business?

Dealing with Bad Work Habits

We’ve covered how wrong route planning can affect your business.

But, do you know your employees’ behavior can also damage your business?

For example, you may have drivers who believe that they can do their best work during the last hours.

This makes them lazy. They may waste time doing personal tasks that you cannot track.

You will never know what they are doing on the road if you do not have a tracking system in place.

If you don’t know, you can’t change their habits.

This will create pressure on your other drivers as they will need to pick up the slack, leading to conflict.

We have mentioned how inaccurate planning can lead to your drivers missing deadlines. Being a manager or a business owner, you know the negative side of it. But, your drivers do not.

They will develop their routine. So, your drivers may still not show up on time even if you change their route the next time.

They may think a new route will not make any difference.

All this creates a negative impression of complacency and carelessness for your customers. Needless to say, it will damage your business.

This is why it is important you have a route planner with a built-in tracking system.

This will help you identify the cause of every late pick up or delivery… and you won’t be held hostage by your drivers.

How Route Optimization Software Can Help

Reduce Costs

Pesky expenses such as fuel costs, driver wages, and vehicle insurance and maintenance can be directly or indirectly related to the miles driven, and can quickly creep up on you if you are not careful.

Unplanned routes lead to more miles driven, more fuel consumption, and increased driving time, not to mention higher vehicle maintenance costs due to backtracking and lack of efficiency.

By planning your routes with route optimization software, you can drastically cut fuel, driver wages, and vehicle maintenance costs down – a big respite for any business trying to work on its bottom line.

Learn how a route planner can help you reduce fuel costs and here are 6 vehicle maintenance tips you should be following.

Increase Driver Satisfaction and Safety

Imagine what your drivers go through when you give them inaccurate routes full of unfamiliar roads, lousy traffic, or closures.

Situations like these lead to stressed and fatigued drivers – and those drivers are more likely to engage in road accidents and collisions, according to data published on the Insurance Information Institute website.

A route planner will provide your drivers fastest route to work with accurate turn-by-turn directions from one place to another, helping them stay calm and focused on the road.

This means drivers can cover more locations while spending less time on the road, and they will make on-time deliveries every time.

Optimized routes will not only increase drivers’ productivity but also their satisfaction levels.

Learn how route optimization software improves driver productivity.


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!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

Better Resource Planning

Do you have multiple drivers covering 30, 70, or 100 customer location destinations in one day?

If yes, staying on top of customer demands is crucial to your success. To do so efficiently, you must employ a reliable map route planner.

An advanced multi-stop route planner with dynamic routing technology, like Route4Me, will do the hard work for you.

All you need to do is input the addresses and wait 30 seconds to receive an efficient route that considers a multitude of critical factors, including (but not limited to) driving time, distance traveled, left turns, fuel consumption, customer locations, specific delivery windows, real-time weather updates and road conditions.

Another unique feature a map route planner comes with is Geofencing.

Geofences are virtual boundaries that you can create around specific locations. Every time a vehicle enters or exits a geofence, you will get alerts, allowing you to track the location of vehicles.

You can also use this feature to improve driver productivity and vehicle utilization and to estimate productivity by monitoring drivers’ on-road activities.

Learn what is geofencing and how it can eliminate paperwork and automate your delivery logs.

Improve Customer Experience

Improved customer experience another biggest advantage of route planning.

Your customers could make last-minute delivery requests, but they will expect a flawless delivery experience from you.

Lousy delivery experiences – whether to weather problems or technical snags– are the main reasons why customers will stop doing business with you.

An advanced route optimizer will allow you to re-optimize an entire route within seconds, and the modified route will automatically get reflected on your driver’s mobile app in real-time.

Using a delivery route planner, you can accommodate all last-minute delivery requests and provide a fantastic experience to customers.

Learn how fleet management software can help you provide outstanding customer service.

How Route4Me Route Planner Can Help

By now, you understood that it is not enough just to plan your route.

You also need a route planner that can plan routes with 100% accuracy. Furthermore, it should have an integrated driver monitoring system.

The good news is that you do not need to look further because Route4Me addresses everything you need.

So, let us take a look at how Route4Me’s multi-stop route planner can benefit your business.

Plan Accurate Routes Within A Minute

Route4Me can plan and provide you with an optimized route in under a minute. And they will be 100% accurate.

This will include routes you need to avoid, such as one-way roads or congested areas. In this way, you will reach all your customers on time.

It will reduce your fuel usage by up to 39% and ensure you don’t face legal troubles from traffic violations.

Route4Me delivery route planner app will even tell you if you have too many drivers handling your routes. So, you save money on fewer drivers without them showing up late to their destinations.

The best part is that you get dynamic routing that you can change at any time.

Need to add a surprise pick-up during the middle of the day?

Simply add the address into the route planner and Route4Me takes care of the rest.

Learn how Route4Me can help you plan a route with multiple stops in 30 seconds.

Track Drivers in Real-Time

You can track where your drivers are in real-time and what they are doing on the road.

You can visualize all the information through pie graphs and compressed spreadsheets. You can even see them on the map itself in real-time.

Want to know if your drivers are going off course? Route4Me will tell you.

You will have complete control over your driving operations.

Learn how GPS tracking can help you see what your drivers are really doing.

Let the Customers Know Expected Time of Arrival (ETA)

By tracking either the vehicle or the driver, you can let the customer know their ETA.

You can even track if a driver is falling behind on the planned schedule.

If a driver may miss an important pickup window, you can reroute another driver.

Customers will be happier if they ask for an ETA and you can give them accurate information.

Happy Customer = More business For You

Easy Synchronization

You can save significant time with the Route4Me synchronization feature.

There could be times when you need to make last-minute changes to a route. The route change process is pretty easy with Route4Me…

…just make the necessary changes within your web browser. It will automatically synchronize with your driver’s smartphone.

Helps You Identify New Sales Territory

Route4Me route planner app can help you see all your customers on an interactive map. Visualize where you are doing most of your business and in which areas you can expand into.

The best part is that your field sales staff can plan routes from the map itself for maximizing their precious time.

Learn why every sales manager needs sales territory mapping software (and how Route4Me can help).

But, that’s not all;

  • It provides automated route planning and optimization service. So, you only need to do minimal supervision and zero micromanagement.
  • It helps you plan your day in advance before the drivers hit the road.
  • It keeps your drivers happy as you provide them with an optimized route and not leaving them in traffic every day.
  • You can add constraints like time windows and vehicle capacities at any time.
  • It helps you arrange stops in the perfect sequence.
  • There is no need to buy any expensive hardware or install software.
  • Sharing and changing routes are effortless.
  • You can plan your routes on mobile and web browsers.
  • You can verify that the customers received what they expected.
  • It presents analyzed data in a simplified format… so you can make sense of it.

Conclusion about the Importance of Route Planning

The right route optimizer will help you achieve your business goals of maximum resource utilization while saving driving time and cutting fuel costs.

This means your drivers will be on the roads less, and still cover more customer locations. It’s a win-win for everyone!


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!

Start Free 7 Day Trial


About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.