Route Management 101: Are You Optimizing Your Fleet’s Performance?

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The rise of e-commerce and expectations of same-day shipping have pushed shipping costs to new heights.

According to a CSCMP’s State of Logistics Report published in Forbes, the cost of logistics rose to a record-breaking $1.64 trillion annually in 2019. US based logistics costs rose 11.4%, or in other words they are now equal to 8% of gross domestic product (GDP). 

So what can you do to cut out some of that cost? With route management, you can improve the efficiency of your fleet and maximize the number of deliveries, all while reducing mileage and driver costs. We’ll cover exactly what route management is and how you can use a route management solution to increase profitability and transform your business’ outbound logistics.

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What Is Route Management?

Route management is the strategic planning of routes for the delivery of services, products, or materials. Route management can help improve the efficiency of any business that has drivers, fleets, or couriers. Even manual route management is beneficial for companies, but when you use a software solution like OptimoRoute, those benefits are pushed into hyperdrive.

Route Management Benefits

Instantly plan complex routes with multiple stops

Route optimization software will help you instantly (and optimally) plan and schedule routes with multiple stops while considering variables such as unique delivery time windows, vehicle capacities, driver working hours, and more.

Companies across the globe are taking advantage of route optimization software. For instance, Telgian, a fire safety inspection company was able to reduce their time spent on planning and scheduling by 82% and reduce the workload on their management and dispatch staff by 62%, despite taking on 70% more work orders using OptimoRoute. 

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Save time and money and increase scalability and revenue

Route planners also help route managers save time when planning and the efficient routes help drivers save both time and gas when driving to appointments.

Before the stay at home orders arrived in New York Local Roots NYC, a community supported agriculture grocer, was focused on having customers pick up weekly orders in cafes and various stores.

With the cafes and other brick-and-mortar shops now closed, they had to figure out a new solution, and fast.

With Optimoroute, they were able to fully roll out the new online delivery service in just 48 hours. 

With our robust automated planning tools, the same staff that had been challenged to plan 50 orders a week, were able to plan up to 400+ daily orders and manage a delivery fleet of 13 drivers.

With improvements in efficiency, cost savings in multiple areas, and better scalability, route management will help you increase the revenue of your business.

Common Route Management Challenges

Effective route management is a complex process with a lot of moving parts, and presents many significant challenges even to experienced companies and operations managers.

Not to mention, in a more delivery-reliant world (post-COVID-19), more and more businesses are struggling to navigate these challenges without any experience to rely on.

Lack of logistical experience 

Businesses normally accustomed to deliveries to a limited number of customers faced a unique challenge due to the Covid-19 lockdown. They had to increase and optimize home deliveries to keep the business going. 

Too many variables

If your business or dispatch manager is manually planning routes, there is way too much information to consider and account for. Mistakes are likely to happen, and mistakes mean money lost and time wasted. 

With a route management and optimization software you can automatically plan thousands of deliveries a day, accounting for delivery time windows, driver service areas, driver shifts, vehicle capacities, and more, without hassle.

Not enough time or staff members

Many managers and dispatchers fall behind on route management as the business starts to scale. Keeping track of ongoing operations in real time is easy thanks to OptimoRoute’s Live ETA. Your route planners and customer service team will have a detailed and real-time insight into exactly what is happening out on the roads – and will be able to respond quickly if things aren’t quite going according to plan. The real-time information recorded by our mobile app will continuously update estimated times of arrival to each location, allowing you to keep customers in the loop, manage their expectations, and ultimately ensure customer satisfaction.

Difficult to keep costs down and profit margins up

According to a 2019 study by ATRI, the  American Transportation Research Institute, on average 56.5% of all trucking costs in the US come from driver wages and fuel.

Reducing those two expenses is the main challenge of route management. Route optimization software automatically reduces those costs with more efficient routing.

You Don’t Have to Be an Operations Manager for Route Management to Be Useful

Route management isn’t some convoluted enterprise-only business management concept with no practical use for smaller companies. It applies to dispatchers, owner-operators, and founders of companies that offer delivery as a core part of their business offering.

As an owner-operator or founder, the last thing you want to do is spend all your valuable time mapping and dispatching your staff.

But trying to maximize the productivity of a small service fleet is a huge challenge. That’s where route optimization software comes in.

Take for example Randy Gallagher of Gallagher Pools. He was able to cut his time spent on planning and mapping in half using OptimoRoute. By creating more efficient routes his business reduced mileage by 8,000 miles per month and freed up on average, six hours a week for all technicians, giving them healthier workloads.

Because of the smart settings like service areas, vehicle/technician capacities, and more, he can even outsource the planning to less experienced staff, freeing up time to focus on higher-impact activities.

And this also a great example for startups.

As a startup founder, you want to be able to move fast, not get bogged down in the day-to-day operations.

OptimoRoute will allow you to delegate the tasks of managing and dispatching your delivery fleet, distribute work better and reduce overtime,  cut mileage significantly, and reduce failed deliveries, all in one fell swoop.

How Route Optimization Software Can Help

Let’s take a closer look at why route optimization software can have such a substantial impact on a delivery or field service company. For businesses already operating, routing software can provide significant savings to your bottom line. And, if you’re a prospective business owner shopping around for some ideas for starting a mobile business, you can make optimized routes a central part of your business plan.

The features below can be life-changing for dispatchers, owner-operators, and managers:

1. Automated planning

Map the most efficient routes in seconds.

2. Live tracking and ETA updates

Live ETAs reduce failed deliveries.

3. Route optimization

Reduce mileage, improve delivery capacity and profit margins with better routes.

4. Weekly planning 

Minimize overtime with optimized weekly plans.

5. Real-time route modification 

Dynamically re-map routes to adapt to last-minute changes.

6. Actionable analytics for better fleet management

Real data on driver performance.

7. Mobile app keeps drivers in the loop

Stay connected with our driver app for iPhone and Android.

What Is the Best Route Planning Software?

We firmly believe OptimoRoute is the best route planning software on the market.

Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.

At OptimoRoute, our entire team of engineers, customer service agents, and more strive every day to make sure we provide our clients with the best route-planning and optimization solutions we possibly can.

With unique features like real-time route modification, weekly planning, and live ETAs, we go beyond the basic route mapping features many competitors settle for.

But don’t take our word for it, just head to Google and look through the reviews from real customers.

Ready to Implement Route Management in Your Company?

Ready to implement route management and optimization software in your company and reap the rewards?

OptimoRoute can help you streamline your fleet operations, deliveries, logistics, and field services.

Our basic plan starts at just $17.10 per month per vehicle and can be freely adapted as you scale your fleet up or down to meet fluctuating demands.

To learn how OptimoRoute can help your business, book a personalized demo today.

Try OptimoRoute for Free

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