A Quick Guide to Routing and Scheduling

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Routing and scheduling is critically essential for independent contractors and businesses with dedicated delivery operations.

The reason is simple. Transportation is expensive. And the rising inflation and high fuel prices make the profit margin thinner than ever. Scheduling and route planning help improve productivity, efficiency, and revenue.

However, you need to understand route planning and scheduling concepts in detail to leverage their benefits and use the right logistics systems to ensure you plan routes and schedule deliveries correctly. And that’s all we are going to cover in this blog post.

What is Routing And Scheduling (and Their Differences)?

Routing is the process of finding the most efficient and cost-effective route to deliver goods from one point to another.

Scheduling, on the other hand, is concerned with organizing when a shipment should occur and coordinating pickups, deliveries, or transfers.

Although both processes have a few similarities, you must know some crucial differences between routing and scheduling.

Route planning determines how goods will move from where they are made or stored to customers by considering such factors as available resources, service levels, and transit times. This could include an entire route for several shipments or just one delivery.

Route scheduling focuses on making sure shipments occur according to plan based on any limits presented, factoring in if the material is promised by a specific delivery date or consumed due to an inflexible production schedule.

It focuses on defining specific parameters such as workforce availability, working hours requirements, and other regulations that need to be considered before committing resources to a particular route.

Benefits of Scheduling and Route Planning in the Supply Chain Industry

Here are some benefits routing and scheduling offer, resulting in smoother operations.

Ensures On-Time Delivery

Automated routing ensures that customers are provided with timely services and goods, as vehicles can be routed more efficiently according to traffic patterns, weather conditions, delivery timeslots, or customer availability.

Improves Customer Retention

Timely deliveries can help companies build trust with their customers, which leads to repeat business in the long run.

the concept of customer retention strategies

Saves Money

Shift scheduling can reduce costs related to overtime pay, allowing employees more time off when needed and enough staff when required.

Additionally, calculated scheduling and proper route optimization can help businesses save on fuel costs by avoiding unnecessary journeys that add up over time.

Creates Accountability

Route optimization and scheduling methods can create accountability so that delivery drivers know exactly which tasks need to be completed in what order and at what time.

This makes it easier for fleet managers to monitor progress and manage employees by assigning jobs based on skills and performance levels.

With routing and scheduling solutions providing real-time updates on job locations, businesses can also provide improved visibility to customers.

Increases Revenue

Efficient route planning can help delivery drivers get from one place to another quickly, minimizing downtime.

They can use their service time more effectively and, in turn, be able to serve more customers or clients. This helps both the drivers and companies make more money.

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Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Make Routing and Scheduling Efficient?

Whether you want to plan well-optimized routes, schedule routes in advance, track drivers, or reduce transportation costs… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

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How to Optimize Vehicle Routing and Scheduling

The route optimization and scheduling process is complicated. You must plan cost-effective routes considering traffic, weather, construction, and other obstacles.

The manual route planning process is time-consuming. Depending on the number of stops your drivers need to make, it can take hours.

Also, when planning routes by yourself, you risk making mistakes. You might send one of your service professionals into a heavily congested area or accidentally schedule a visit when the customer is unavailable.

And what if a customer asks for a different drop-off location at the last minute?

Changing one stop will affect how you approach your other service visits. When you plan a route manually, you cannot switch out a stop and plan a new cost-effective route from scratch. You’ll need to disappoint the customer by denying their service requests.

That’s why you need route optimization software. With such a software solution, you can plan delivery routes in less than a minute.

How to Plan a Road Trip with Multiple Stops

Optimize Scheduling and Route Planning with Route Optimization Software

Scheduling with a truck GPS app like Route4Trucks is easy.

You just need to plug in the addresses drivers need to visit, set the parameters (number of vehicles, time windows, etc.), and then you’re good to go.

Route4Me route planner allows you to plan unlimited delivery routes for unlimited stops.

Below are some significant features and benefits of logistics management software.

  • If a customer makes a last-minute request, you can easily accommodate it, as it will only take 60 seconds to change and re-optimize your route.
  • Route4Me’s routing software offers a commercial GPS tracker that helps you track vehicles and field personnel in real-time. That way, you can always confirm that they’re sticking to their routes and staying on the delivery schedule.

benefits-of-gps-tracking

  • Route4Me’s route planning software offers a customer portal that allows you to share tracking data with your customers. It displays your field employee’s real-time location on a map. That will give your customers some peace of mind.

  • Route4Me’s scheduling software also comes with a customer alerting and notification feature that helps you notify customers whenever their order is out for delivery, near the location, or has been delivered.

  • You can schedule deliveries for repeat orders and visit customers using a repeating schedule with delivery logistics software.
  • With last-mile delivery logistics software, you can balance workload based on route duration or the number of stops.
  • Route4Me’s logistics software also offers reporting and analytics features to help track performance and fuel expenses.
  • The best route planners help you plan and schedule the most efficient routes weeks or months in advance.

Image depicting schedule optimization

But that’s not all delivery management software offers. Here are eight benefits of delivery scheduling software.

Final Thoughts about Routing and Scheduling

To sum it up, delivery routing and scheduling are two critical processes that allow businesses to save money while maintaining high levels of quality and efficiency in their operations.

Generally, route planning involves delivering goods or services from one place to another. At the same time, scheduling focuses on finding the best delivery times.

When combined with quality route optimization software, route scheduling and planning offer great benefits such as reduced transportation costs, improved customer satisfaction, and higher employee productivity.

Leveraging these benefits will make your field service, courier, or food delivery operation seamless and help you stay ahead of your competitors.

So, don’t wait any further. Sign up for Route4Me’s Free 14-day Trial now and see how it can work in your business’s favor.

Route4Me

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Make Routing and Scheduling Efficient?

Whether you want to plan well-optimized routes, schedule routes in advance, track drivers, or reduce transportation costs… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

USE ROUTE4ME FOR 14 DAYS FOR FREE

About author: Parker Woodward

Parker Woodward has spent more than a thousand hours working directly with customers to understand their challenges and help them successfully implement Route4Me. Leveraging this experience he is a passionate writer and advocate of sharing knowledge and learned lessons that will benefit others. He is a Certified Routing Expert and his work with clients has translated into significant operational efficiency gains for the clients he works with. In addition to implementation he has managed multiple projects and product development cycles for new features and solutions to resolve client challenges; some of which include telematics, advanced optimizations, API integrations, and more.

Route4Me

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.