The Road to Route Planning
Customers in the digital era expect deliveries to be reliable, fast, and transparent; they want to be able to track a delivery, even when it takes only a few hours to reach them. Route planning can help meet this demand.
Many businesses employ route-planning systems to gain a competitive advantage. These digital tools consider products, personnel, vehicles, regulations, and possible routes to help amp delivery agility. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, this digital tech can accommodate short-notice changes in transportation,driver, or route availability.
Here are five reasons why route planning is essential to a healthy supply chain:
1. Reduce daily planning efforts. A route planning system can adapt to daily or weekly order quantity variations. The software automatically plans for efficient, multi-stop schedules to improve asset utilization. At the same time, it incorporates information about customer delivery requirements,truck capacity, driver availability, and other limitations.
2. Enhance transportation scheduling. With a route planning system calculating the most efficient routes, businesses can lower mileage,reducing fuel usage and carbon emissions. Because route planning links to live vehicle tracking, businesses can better identify unexpected detours and communicate proactively to enhance service and improve customer satisfaction.
3. Provide continuous optimization. Route planning algorithms continually review incoming data (new orders, available resources, vehicle breakdowns) to maximize efficiency. The best route planning software also uses historical data to constantly improve.
4. Centralize scheduling. With route planning software centralizing logistics operations, businesses can gain insight into scheduling on a regional or national scale. This can help avoid trucks driving with empty cargo space, drive consolidation of supplier pickups, and identify other opportunities to streamline processes and reduce costs.
5. Add business intelligence. By tracking key performance indicators and business metrics, the software makes it easier for route managers to identify trends, anticipate cost concerns, and locate savings opportunities.