A lot has changed since transport managers had to handle tasks manually. Transport management has moved from pen-paper lists and documentation to technological and digital fleet management. With the operating features made available by software solutions and virtual platforms, route management software capacitates transport and route managers to increase productivity.

With route management software, managers can improve route planning, customer care, efficiency levels, and productivity. If you’re a fleet manager looking to get the best out of your team and system, route management software is the way to go. This article will show you how this software can promote your productivity and leadership as a manager, helping you face challenges head-on.

The Role Of A Route Manager In A Business

A route manager, route supervisor, fleet, or transport manager, is somebody who oversees an organization’s transport infrastructure. Route managers are most common in companies that deal with transportation and vehicles, like delivery, manufacturing, logistics, freight and shipping, and retail businesses, amongst other examples.

Route managers facilitate the smooth-running of the transport system, ensuring driver and package safety, as well as the maintenance and functionality of all vehicles in the fleet. They play a huge role in the success of deliveries.

Route manager tasks include:

  • Organizing timetables and rosters

  • Assigning work to drivers

  • Allocating suitable vehicles for respective trips

  • Ensuring transportation paperwork is correctly completed and up-to-date

  • Making sure transport systems are efficient and capable

  • Inspecting vehicles and scheduling maintenance and vehicle care

  • Ascertaining that route operations comply with industry regulations and laws

  • Managing employee relations and complaints

  • Dealing with customer service and complaints

  • Handling driver and customer safety and security

  • Optimizing travel routes

Essentially a route manager coordinates anything involved in the transport cycle from pre-dispatch to post-delivery.

What Challenges Do Route Managers Face?

Not Enough Drivers 

The International Road Transport Union (IRU)  identifies driver shortages as a major issue affecting transport companies across the world, particularly in Eurasia. The annual IRU driver shortage survey recorded the following expected driver shortages for 2021:

  • Europe: 17%

  • Mexico: 18%

  • Turkey: 20%

  • Russia: 24%

  • China: 3%

Driver shortages pose a challenge to route managers who need to ensure they meet delivery and transportation demands. The demand for drivers can also lead to organizations hiring any available drivers, affecting the quality of drivers. This has a direct impact on productivity, driver safety, vehicle safety, and other priority areas for route managers.

Thus, managers need to develop and care for drivers they have and display effective leadership to retain employees.

High Fuel Costs

Fluctuations in fuel prices harm transportation companies. The price of fuel is an important factor for route managers to keep in mind to maintain low routing costs and high profits and returns. Thus, adapting to changes in global fuel and oil prices is a challenge that route managers ought to account for in their transport strategy.

fuel costs route management software

Environmental Regulations

Closely linked to fuel consumption- as well as other factors like the use of paper- are developments in environmental consciousness and eco-regulations for the transport industry. Route managers ought to promote sustainable transport practices, doing their best to ensure the company’s minimal carbon emissions and footprint.

To do this managers need to comply with international and national sustainability regulations. This can prove an obstacle and hurdle, particularly for large-scale companies that utilize big trucks and vehicles.

Winning Over Employees

Management is not just about establishing efficient and productive systems. It’s also about making sure your workers buy into those systems for improved productivity. This can be an immense challenge as your drivers and employees may meet change with a negative attitude. Furthermore, different levels of familiarity and comfort with technology and software can pose further resistance from employees.

Thus, as a route manager, you have to approach system changes cautiously, and educate your staff on the benefits of route management software for their productivity.

The Evolution Of Vehicle Types

Increasingly, sustainable transport conversations point to the development and adoption of new vehicle types. Electronic vehicles, for example, present themselves as viable alternatives to fuel-consuming vehicles. Thus, transportation companies ought to consider the potential returns that investing in electronic cars can reap.

The use of autonomous vehicles is also on the rise, positioned as a possibly safer option for business. However, there remain some concerns around how safe self-driving vehicles are, as well as the risks involved in not having a driver to report on issues that may arise.

Thus, route managers face the important task of researching and proposing choices that may usher their company into a sustainable future.

Security

Finally, with this dominant move into technological and digital transportation avenues, there arises the need to secure your business in cyberspace. Cybersecurity remains a blind spot for many transportation organizations, threatening their data safety and general operations. Route managers need to view cybersecurity as an extension of other operational security aspects like vehicle security.

What Is Route Management Software?

Route management software solutions - like Track-POD’s systems - bring together different elements of an organization’s transportation structure. With the software, you can gather, keep, and process data, and monitor various employee and/or driver activities, road safety, vehicle care, accidents and incidents, fuel consumption, and more. You can also generate reports based on the data collected.

Route management software can also improve structures like communication channels, compliance, employee management, data analysis, and productivity.

10 Ways That Route Management Software Makes Route Managers More Productive

1. Automates Scheduling & Job Allocation

A route management software can simplify order allocation for dispatch and delivery. With Track-POD’s mobile phone application, the software automatically allocates orders to drivers, notifying them about new jobs instantly on the app. With instant notifications and updates right on their smartphones, drivers can organize their time effectively and fulfill jobs competently.

For the manager, this is one less task in a long list of things to do! The software reduces admin time and workload, centralizes timetables, and maximizes returns on resources.

2. Optimizes Routes

One vital aspect of route management is smart and insightful route planning. Route optimization involves organizing and planning routes and trips in a manner that minimizes costs, optimizes resources, and saves time! The route planning software also improves driver and vehicle safety as the manager can opt for routes that are proven to be safer.

Route management software features like route optimization or journey planning assist managers with mapping out suitable pathways for deliveries. Using tailored algorithms, the software optimizes trips by taking into account maximum vehicle capacity, reducing the number of trips drivers have to take, consolidating orders into chronological multi-stops in similar areas, and avoiding dense traffic routes. The software consolidates all these tasks, completing them all in just one click for your convenience.

3. Provides Vehicle & Driver Tracking

The job of a route manager journeys beyond the walls of an office, onto the roads. Despite this, however, managers do not have the power to control how drivers behave on the road. Vehicle and driver tracking are the closest options you have to manage drivers once they leave your facilities.

GPS tracking allows you to monitor various elements including driving speed, whether drivers abide by road rules, brake patterns, distance driven, and more. Tracking allows managers to review trips and encourage improvement on routing and navigation, as well as in the drivers’ driving habits that can impact costs and returns.

driver tracking route management software

4. Helps With Vehicle Management & Maintenance

Route management software allows you to keep up with the toll of trips on the vehicles in your fleet. For example, the tracking system tells you the distance covered by a vehicle, allowing you to accurately schedule maintenance checks and vehicle servicing.

Another key benefit comes with the route planning aspect of your route management software. You can ensure your vehicles don’t travel on ‘bad’ roads or into ‘dangerous’ areas. Furthermore, by tailoring your drivers’ trips to the orders available, you can also choose suitable vehicles for the trip, too!

Thus, your vehicle management benefits, too!

5. Streamlines Data & Documentation

Paperwork and data are an inescapable part of management, and that is very true for route managers! You have to juggle a mountain of documents from spending and finance invoices, to proof of delivery, trip data, analytics, and much more.

Route management software can help you manage your delivery documents in one place. It allows drivers to upload proof of delivery through the delivery app. It also enables electronic document signing and instant document sharing with your customers.

With a cloud-based system, the software automatically saves all documentation in a central space for easy accessibility so you never have to rifle through a gigantic filing cabinet ever again.

Remember! Going paperless is a huge win for eco-sustainability, too!

6. Integrates Other Departments

API integration capabilities further improve your documentation processes by allowing you to connect your transport management software solution with software solutions from other departments.

For example, your organization may have a dedicated accounting or ERP software platform. By integrating this platform into your route management system, you can easily manage your transport costs. You can also generate instant delivery invoices to share with your accounting or financing department.

7. Assists With Reporting Procedures

Another administrative feature your route management software offers is report consolidation and reporting analytics. With analytics connected to the software, you can organize and filter data into easy-construct reports and export them into your desired format.

This saves you time trying to find and order data from different sources as it is already available in your cloud database, with easy filter and search options.

8. Improves Mobility, Connectivity & Communication

This cloud-based system improves connectivity and accessibility for your organization. By creating better access, you can speed up simple tasks like document-sharing, boosting general efficiency amongst your employees, and eliminating productivity bottlenecks.

Improved connectivity also promotes mobility and flexibility, business qualities that have become important in the past year as remote or distant work has taken over. With the mobile app and cloud computing combo, you can manage your fleet from anywhere, allowing you to use your time smartly and deal with emergencies or urgent issues at any time.

9. Enables Long-term Planning & Risk Management

The collection of data, documentation, and analytics, and the access your route management software gives you to trip information enable you to reflect and upgrade your risk management and planning. You can observe proven high-risk conditions like high-traffic times, road conditions, high-crime areas, driver habits, etc, to help you make informed routing decisions.

Furthermore, with incident and accident data recorded, your organization is better protected for legal proceedings and insurance claims. This information can also guide you on the best moves to make for the future of your transport department (ie: investing in contactless delivery methods going forward).

10. Boosts Your Management & Leadership Overall

Route management software can give you control over your workforce, boost team productivity, and eliminate bottlenecks caused by poor or delayed communication. All of these improvements will lead to better customer service provision and higher customer satisfaction.

By giving you full data and information visibility, the software allows you to make informed decisions that enhance your leadership and service. Utilizing route management software also frees up your time so you can focus on pressing matters and address issues immediately. You get an overview of your staff’s activity, and your priorities, allowing you to assign work accordingly, minimizing delays.

Overall, it is a tool that sets you up for better management and greater leadership possibilities, a needed advantage for the modern route manager and transport system.

leadership route management software

The Bottom Line

Information is power and what is clear is that running a well-functioning and capable fleet requires data and information access and control. A route manager monitors the data available to them and does their best to use it for the improvement of their organization’s transport cycle.

Route management software not only expands route managers’ data access and control but also assists with the easy flow of systems. Track-POD’s solutions can completely transform your management and leadership- definitely for the better!