For any logistics or transportation-oriented business, finding the perfect route planner or route planning strategy is vital. Your organization centers around optimizing your fleet and your employees to ensure excellent customer service. The best outcome is punctual deliveries and pick-ups, optimum conditions for your employees and your vehicles, and, of course, low costs to your company.

How can route planning software help you with all of this and more?

This article will show you eight ways in which brilliant route planning software solutions like Track-POD are making fleet optimization for businesses so much easier.

What Is Route Planning?

Route planning refers to the process of organizing a list of orders into a delivery chronology that is time-sensitive, cost-conscious, and promotes productivity and effectiveness. Other phrases used to describe this process include ‘journey planning’, ‘delivery mapping’, ‘route mapping’, ‘journey mapping’, and ‘route sequencing’.

Essentially, a route planner arranges order deliveries in the best possible manner. While this might seem like a simple enough task, it is not as straightforward as just picking the shortest route. There is much more to consider.

The Difference Between Route Planning & Route Optimization

While some people may also include ‘route optimization’ in the list of route planning synonyms above, these two phrases are not exactly interchangeable. Although planning is efficient in introducing a strategic approach to your business’ deliveries, just utilizing a planner may not be enough. At times, route planning software can miss the complex nuances of day-to-day driving and the unexpected occurrences that might impact your driver.

Route optimization, thus, can be seen as a step-up that takes simple route planning up a notch. Route optimization enables businesses to have more control over the routes and their fleet, allowing organizations to include different factors in their decision-making about the best routes. Some of the factors include.

  • Vehicle load capacity.

  • Vehicle weight.

  • The distance to the order destination.

  • The distance from the driver’s home to the warehouse.

  • Driver work quotas.

  • Employee rosters or shifts.

  • Driver availability.

  • Vehicle type availability.

  • Individual driver information.

  • Order sizes.

  • The number of stops.

  • Order priority levels.

  • Driving time.

All of these are factors that affect the performance of your fleet. Thus, route optimization gives your company the control it needs to consider all the relevant factors affecting travel optimization to create ideal routes each time.

However, you cannot get to the point when you’re optimizing your routes without planning them first. Both route planning and route optimization are extremely helpful for your business optimization. Let’s take a look at the benefits that route planning has for your business.

Why Every Business Needs Route Planning

There are various direct and indirect benefits to using route planning. Some you may notice immediately, like faster deliveries and satisfied customer reviews. Others become more noticeable after a longer period of time, like the overall reduction in fuel spending due to shorter and better routes. Here are some of the top benefits of using a route planner.

  • Decreased fuel spending.

  • More cost-effective routes.

  • Reduced vehicle maintenance spending.

  • Better driver performance.

  • Maximized time.

  • Higher productivity and employee satisfaction.

  • Higher completed deliveries per day.

  • Lower mileage.

  • Decreased driving time.

  • Informed and strategic decision-making.

  • Increased sustainability.

  • Overall efficiency.

These are just a few advantages that your business stands to gain from using a route planner. But how exactly can route planning software boost your business’ optimization?

8 Ways A Route Planner Boosts Your Business’ Optimization

Business optimization is all about finding and utilizing techniques that ensure that your organization is more sustainable, cost-effective, and more efficient overall. Software assists with business optimization in the following ways:

1. Reduces costs

Operating a sustainable transportation system is not easy and transportation costs truly add up. As a transportation manager, you have to consider various costs in your budget including fuel, vehicle maintenance, driver fees, and much more. Just the cost of fuel for multiple fleet vehicles can add a serious dent to your expenditure.

Route planning software can reduce the time drivers spend on the road. Shortened distance and mileage result in lower fuel spending, shorter working hours for drivers (so, lower labor fees), and reduced wear and tear on the vehicle (thus, lower maintenance costs). The investment you make in your software, therefore, leads to substantial savings for your business.

This is money that you can use more efficiently to improve your business elsewhere – or you can just enjoy larger profit margins!

2. Helps your business go paperless

Sustainability and eco-friendly operations are important for transportation companies to consider. Utilizing a digital route planner that allows you to communicate and share documentation, and sign forms electronically enables your business’ move towards sustainable entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, your organization stands to cut the costs related to printing, and reduce the time delays resulting from sending documentation and forms back and forth. With a cloud-based documents database, Track-POD route planning software ensures all documentation remains accessible to employees and drivers as needed. It also makes it easy to share information with consumers.

You may also want to consider the benefit that becoming sustainable and developing eco-friendly habits have on your brand’s reputation and image.

3. Increases individual driver productivity and revenue

As much as all businesses have a vested interest in reducing operating costs, there is also value in finding ways to increase the money coming into your organization. Not only do planned routes mean shorter trips and lower costs per trip, but they also mean drivers are able to do more within their days. With shorter routes and a smart route planner, drivers can fulfill deliveries with multiple stops within the same working hours. As you can imagine, this leads to maximum productivity!

Furthermore, it’s proven that drivers navigate roads better and display good driving habits when they know exactly where they’re going. Thus, providing drivers with clear navigation from your route planner reduces their likelihood to get lost or get into car accidents. These are both factors that can diminish the punctuality of your delivery.

increase driver productivity

4. Maximizes resources

There is so much that goes into running a successful business that all smart business leaders and entrepreneurs should prioritize identifying and implementing techniques that eliminate waste. With technology and diverse software solutions, this is more tangible now more than ever.

Route planners ensure that all delivery orders are scheduled and fulfilled; that none are forgotten. With automated features, tasks like allocating work to drivers and identifying the best routes no longer require employee attention, freeing up your workers’ time and focus for other tasks. You no longer have to juggle a hundred different things like delivery times, driver availability, the number of delivery stops, and more. Your Track-POD software can do that for you.

5. Opens your business up to easy scaling options

The wonderful thing about having extra hands available to do more work is that this opens your business up for additional tasks. Instead of having your workers focused on administrative aspects of transportation, you have your route planner and/or route optimization software take care of it. Not only that, but with the automation and organizational possibilities of the software, you can begin planning how to grow your business in the long term.

6. Promotes flexibility

It’s impossible to avoid last-minute route changes. Life happens! And so does traffic, bad weather, absent drivers, road works, cancellations, late orders, and so much more! With your planning software, you can rest assured that routes will be updated in real-time to redirect drivers on the best course.

Although you’ve planned routes in advance, you need to always remain open to the possibility that your plans may change in an instant. A good route planning software package will help you navigate those changes.

7. Improves communication and connectivity

An efficient route planner should not only permit you to make instant updates and changes but to maintain constant communication with your drivers when they’re on the road. It should provide immediate updates regarding the delivery like ETAs and real-time locations.

This promotes better communication not just between the manager and the driver, but also with the customer or individual expecting their delivery. Customers receive notifications about the order pending the delivery day, as well as proof of delivery and other post-delivery documents.

Connectivity and communication are important aspects of good organization, particularly for transport and route managers. As they cannot monitor circumstances personally when drivers are on the road, a route planner with communication capabilities is vital.

8. Boosts customer service and customer satisfaction

All of the above enhance the operations of your business, allowing your system to function more smoothly. All of this empowers you to provide the best service to your consumers. This is definitely something worth your focus, as 66% of consumers prefer home delivery over other delivery options. Furthermore, 13% of buyers would not shop with a brand again if their delivery failed to arrive on time.

With the above route planner effects on business optimization, your company will have speedier and more flexible response times to order, quicker deliveries, more accurate ETAs, and better communication – all growing the satisfaction of your customers.

Features To Consider When Looking For The Perfect Route Planner For Your Business Optimization

Navigation

This feature provides accurate direction to your drivers, guiding them along the planned route. With the navigation feature, there is also the added bonus of updated navigation directions for when emergencies occur on the road.

GPS Tracking

Vehicle tracking features allow you to monitor whether your drivers abide by the planned route directions. Furthermore, tracking covers the recording of distance, fuel expenditure, and vehicle mileage. You can also share live-tracking data with the customer so that they can monitor the delivery and anticipate its arrival.

Auto-change Synchronization

With this feature, there is no need to sync mobile devices with the actions on your website. Fast and automatic integration capabilities enable boosts in driver productivity without ridiculous spending on pricey hardware.

Dynamic Geocoding or Geofencing

This automatically checks and tracks geofences, removing the need for delivery employees to check-in and check-out of their locations. This saves time and boosts productivity. It also simplifies trips for drivers, particularly those that have numerous stops in one route.

Automation Capabilities

Automation features including automated route planning, instant driver allocation, and immediate route updates come with the Track-POD software.

API integration

Track-POD’s API integration allows you to integrate other software solutions to your route planner. As a result, you can manage your fleet along with other connected departments like the finance department or inventory management.

What Kinds Of Organizations Gain From Using A Route Planner 

If your organization is in any of the industries below, you should consider using a route planning software.

  • Ecommerce.

  • Wholesale.

  • Food delivery.

  • E-hailing or taxi booking companies.

  • Couriers or post services.

  • Fuel or gas delivery.

  • Workforce management companies.

  • Manufacturing and construction.

  • Logistics.

  • Field sales.

  • Retail.

  • On-site or on-demand services providers like installation or maintenance companies.

  • At-home healthcare practitioners that travel to patients’ homes.

Track-POD’s solution is designed to cater to a variety of companies from different industries. The solution is adaptable to the needs and resources of your business and works hand-in-hand with your other business solutions to improve your operations.

route planner benefits for organizations

Bottom Line

Route planners have so much to offer your business. They help you minimize transportation costs, increase your productivity and revenue per driver, optimize your resource allocation, expand your scaling possibilities, promote flexibility, and improve your business’s customer service provision. As a smart and successful business leader, what more could you want?

Consider utilizing Track-POD’s route planning solutions for effective business optimization. Working together with other fantastic features in the Track-POD catalog, your route planner and route optimization software could be the thing that takes your business on the right road to where you want to be: on top!