Route planning and routing strategy optimization methods. Part 2.
Businesses have several tools at their disposal to develop the most efficient ways to deliver products and provide services to customers. The vast amount of data available means that businesses can increase the accuracy of route planning and get the most out of each trip. Through intelligent routing, companies can gain a competitive edge, leading to more growth and opportunities for innovation.
Route optimization considers several factors, and results can be customized based on business objectives. These factors include time windows, truck capacity, and mileage. Businesses can further optimize the services through vehicle tracking and routing that takes location, drop time, and shift length. Planning software can quickly evaluate these factors and more using algorithms, and develop the lowest cost and most efficient routes. The three main resulting routing strategies are optimized for either time, distance, or expense.
Finding the fastest route
When optimized for time, a planning strategy evaluates the quickest way from one point to the next, with the objective of either limiting the time of deliveries and other uses of routes or increasing the number of stops per day. Optimization by time also considers customer time requirements, which can complicate planning. By coordinating driver and customer scheduling, businesses can avoid the need for costly and inefficient redeliveries.
Another approach is to optimize routes based on distance — determining the shortest path between points A and B. The shortest route is not always the fastest, however. Still, grouping a large number of deliveries in high-density routes, such as those involving 60-100 drop-offs in a residential area, businesses can increase efficiency for the entire trip.
Another way to optimize a route is by cost. Deliveries carry several costs — fuel and vehicle costs, as well as wage and labor costs. Looking at expenses of the delivery takes the analysis to a deeper level, fine-tuning the dial to realize goals of lower increasing profit through efficiencies. Sometimes the fastest and shortest route is the least expensive, but considering either of those two factors alone becomes impractical once a business has more than a handful of destinations. At scale, manual route planning simply is not possible, except for simply arranging waypoints by distance, which may not align with customers’ dynamic needs.
The best solution considers all of these factors to help businesses manage complex routing decisions. Track-POD route planning and optimization software helps businesses deliver more. With Track-POD, businesses can optimize their routes by time, distance, and expense. By tracking real-time data, Track-POD optimizes routes and schedules and saves companies the cost and risk of error in manual route planning.
For more information on Track-POD, and to see how it can help improve efficiency, contact us today.