If you’re using delivery route optimization software, you already have an immense advantage over your competitors who don’t. Route optimization software offers a variety of benefits, from streamlining your dispatch process to helping you maximize the use of your vehicles. However, if you’re not using your route optimization software to its full potential, you could be missing out on some of these key benefits. While route optimization software only has one primary use, there are many ways to leverage it for various advantages. Here we will discuss how you should be leveraging your delivery route optimization software and what benefits you can enjoy as a result.
What is Route Optimization Software?
Three types of routing methods are involved in route optimization. Each method has benefits for different fleets.
- Static Routing: Planners only change routes on an annual or semi-annual basis. This method is best for fleets with consistent delivery locations who deliver at similar times.
- Dynamic Routing: Planners use daily traffic patterns and historical data to change their routes at the beginning of the day. This is best for fleets whose routes need to update every day, but does not update throughout the day.
- Real-Time Dynamic Routing: The route changes whenever new orders come in. This is method uses real-time data combined with historical data and machine learning.
Real-time dynamic routing is the best route planning method, and it is what most modern fleets use for their route optimization software. This software includes three features that offer the best route optimization experience for fleets.
In real-time dynamic routing, your software will update whenever a new order comes in, a customer cancels an order, or a new stop is changed or added. Changing course in the middle of a trip is a critical feature of real-time dynamic routing. There are many reasons a route can change; the system can consider traffic data, construction hazards, weather events, or anything else that may cause delays. Your software will automatically update to get your driver to the next location as efficiently as possible. Without real-time updates, your drivers may end up stuck in traffic jams or visiting customers who no longer need them.
Historical data is instrumental in route planning software. This data can be derived from drivers’ past experiences and helps the software develop a more accurate idea of how long a route should take. For example, it can estimate traffic at a particular time of day, or plan for rush hour or school zones. It can also store data such as customers’ preferential time slots and availability to plan routes around customers’ schedules. Using historical data to your advantage helps you build a foundation to create the best routes going forward.
This is not a feature in all route optimization software, but it is useful to have. Drivers cannot update their managers every step of the way. Not only does it waste time, but it’s highly unsafe and can result in an accident. Managers need to view routes to see at any time where their drivers are. Not to mention, it can also improve customer service. The best route optimization software alerts customers when their drivers are nearby. This way, customers don’t have to spend their days waiting for your drivers.
Fleet Management Software Integration
You’ll need your route optimization software to integrate with your fleet management software to get all of its benefits. Otherwise, when orders come in, the software may not be able to update automatically. Fleet management software also allows you to gather customer information and use it for route optimization. There is a lot of crossover between the two, so it is vital to have both.
5 Tips for Leveraging Delivery Route Optimization Software
No. 1: Cut Delivery Times
The most straightforward use of route optimization software is to cut delivery times. Simply using route optimization software will accomplish this for you. The software finds the quickest way to your destination, avoiding traffic, congestion, and even construction delays. With route optimization software, your drivers won’t waste time sitting in traffic or rerouting due to sudden problems on the road.
Route optimization software also updates in real-time, meaning that it updates when jobs are added, canceled, or changed. This is useful in a couple of ways. For example, if a job is canceled, your driver won’t show up at the customer’s location anyway, wasting time they could have spent on another job.
Also, drivers will very rarely get lost with route optimization software at their fingertips. With step-by-step directions, it becomes harder to make a mistake. You don’t want your drivers wandering around the city, lost. It puts a massive dent in your productivity and could be dangerous. Avoid the problem entirely with route optimization software.
Cutting delivery times makes your fleet more efficient, improves customer service, and allows your business to complete more jobs faster. With shorter delivery times, you can expand and grow your business by using your vehicles more efficiently and taking on more jobs. It’s an immense advantage over competitors that don’t use route optimization software.
No. 2: . Streamline Dispatching
Dispatching can be one of the most challenging parts of a fleet manager’s job when many vehicles are involved. Fleet management software goes a long way towards making this process easier, but route optimization is the icing on the cake for dispatching with ease. Route optimization software does everything automatically.
As soon as you enter a job into the software, it adds that job to your driver’s list and integrates it seamlessly into their route in the most efficient way possible. Not to mention, you never have to worry whether or not you are getting the most out of your vehicles. Fleet management software and route optimization software work together to ensure your vehicles are working efficiently to serve your business better.
It also improves communication between all parties: managers, drivers, and customers. You won’t need to call your driver when there’s a change to their route; it will automatically update on their phone. And drivers won’t need to contact customers to let them know when they’re on their way. Route optimization software has a feature that does this automatically. It’s highly unsafe for drivers to be on their phones when they’re on the road, and this can make communication with them difficult if you don’t have fleet management software to make things easier.
The dispatching process is one essential part of a fleet manager’s job, and anything that makes it easier and more accurate should be welcome in any fleet. Route optimization software can improve the dispatching process for any fleet.
No. 3: Improve Customer Service
Good customer service should be a top priority for any fleet business. Without a strong customer base, your business is not likely to succeed. Fleet management software offers many features that improve your company’s customer service, and route optimization software is one of the most advantageous.
First of all, route optimization software ensures that all of your deliveries are on time. Customers have higher demands than ever, and they expect their goods to be delivered on time and to receive communication along the way. If they don’t receive their goods on time, they’re extremely likely to turn to a competitor. With route optimization software, you’re able to avoid many of the delays that cause your deliveries to be delayed, such as traffic and road closures.
Secondly, you need to be in communication with the customer. They want to receive updates on when their goods will arrive, so they’re not left wondering and waiting all day. As mentioned previously, route optimization software will send your customer an update when your drivers are on their way, without the driver remembering to do it themselves. Customers will be delighted with this feature and will be ready when you arrive, making your delivery or service call run smoothly.
No. 4: Save on Costs
Every fleet business is always looking for ways to save money. If you look carefully, you can always find ways to save money for your business. Route optimization software is one of the ways you can do so. There are a couple of places where route optimization software can save your business money.
The most significant savings is in your fuel costs. Did you know that fuel costs can make up to 60% of a fleet’s budget, even in times of price stability? With rising fuel costs, this number can be even higher. One of the key goals of route optimization software is to cut back on the fuel your fleet uses. It does this by reducing the time your vehicles spend taking unnecessary paths and idling in traffic. Any solution that can cut down on your fuel costs is certainly one to consider. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save with your route optimization software.
Another place that route optimization software can save you money is on your insurance premiums. This software is considered a safety feature by many insurance companies, and they will therefore offer discounts to fleets who are willing to implement it. If you have route optimization software now and you haven’t reached out to your insurance provider about potentially obtaining a discount, now is the time to do so. Insurance rates may increase over the next couple of years, and it’s the perfect time to consider lowering your premium.
No. 5: Obtain and Retain Drivers
The driver shortage has been a topic of conversation in the fleet industry for the last couple of years, and it doesn’t seem like the situation will vastly improve soon. That’s why fleets need to make themselves appealing to drivers looking for work. Route optimization software is one way that drivers can accomplish this. It has a couple of advantages that drivers want.
First, route optimization software streamlines operations and makes their jobs far easier. Drivers don’t want to work somewhere that is chaotic and disorganized. It makes their jobs stressful and frustrating. With route optimization software, communication is easier, and they don’t have to worry about issues with their route slowing them down and making their day take longer. They’ll be much happier in their jobs, and therefore much more likely to join your company and stay.
Secondly, it keeps drivers safer. When they know where they’re going and don’t have to worry about answering the phone or trying to update customers while driving, they can focus on what they’re supposed to: the road. It creates a far safer working environment for your drivers, and that is their top concern when they’re looking for somewhere to work. If they feel unsafe in their workplace, they’re not likely to join your team or stay for very long.
Get the Best Route Optimization Software on the Market!
Azuga is the place to go for all things fleet management. Our fleet management software can improve your fleet’s operations immensely, and our route optimization software is only one of our many amazing features. You can enjoy all of the benefits mentioned in this article and more by simply implementing our easy-to-use software. Try it before you buy it with our online fleet demo and see for yourself.