fbpx

5 Core Functionalities in Route Optimization That Every Business Needs to Be Aware Of

request a democontact us

5 Core Functionalities in Route Optimization That Every Business Needs to Be Aware Of

January 7, 2021
Admin

The most basic explanation of Route optimization defines it as choosing a path for your field workforce that reduces costs and increases productivity. Finding the most cost-effective route for a set of stops for your field work force optimizes your delivery process immensely. Nevertheless, it’s not that simple. Finding the shortest distance or fastest time between Point A and Point B won’t cut it. In reality, route optimization minimizes drive time for multiple stops, while considering for a range of complexities like customer time windows, vehicle capacities, driver schedules, etc.

Google Maps, Waze, or MapQuest could probably work as a free route planner for the friendly weekend drive, but they couldn’t help you with the massive route planning and optimization necessary for your delivery operations. This involves multiple orders, multiple delivery personnel, and multiple deliveries.

Stop-order optimization is an important aspect that cannot be done easily by web-mapping services Like Google Maps. Delivery route optimization software is of a separate category, meaning it does more than just give us “the best route” between Point A and Point B.

How does route optimization work?

The most basic explanation of Route optimization defines it as choosing a path for your field workforce that reduces costs and increases productivity. Finding the most cost-effective route for a set of stops for your field work force optimizes your delivery process immensely. Nevertheless, it’s not that simple. Finding the shortest distance or fastest time between Point A and Point B won’t cut it. In reality, route optimization minimizes drive time for multiple stops, while considering for a range of complexities like customer time windows, vehicle capacities, driver schedules, etc.

Google Maps, Waze, or MapQuest could probably work as a free route planner for the friendly weekend drive, but they couldn’t help you with the massive route planning and optimization necessary for your delivery operations. This involves multiple orders, multiple delivery personnel, and multiple deliveries.

Stop-order optimization is an important aspect that cannot be done easily by web-mapping services Like Google Maps. Delivery route optimization software is of a separate category, meaning it does more than just give us “the best route” between Point A and Point B.

Here’s a bit more detail:

Imagine you are a salesman and need to visit over 100 different cities for your sales calls. There are a multitude of parameters you’d have to consider. The “travelling salesman problem” gets exponentially more difficult as the number of cities, clients, and possible routes increase.

At just 57 stops, the possibilities are already more than at a quattuorvigintillion. For this reason, algorithms have to be written in such a way that they churn through the several possible combinations to select the best one. Humans (or our salesman in this case) would probably die of mathematical fatigue before being able to solve this kind of problem.

Now if you think that is difficult, imagine multiple salesmen in your field workforce. A whole team of salesmen would mean the need for so much more computational power. Additionally, you’d need to analyse how to optimally split the sales routes amongst your sales personnel, otherwise known as the “vehicle routing problem” or VRP for short.

 

So, now that we’ve understood the problem and the importance of algorithms in route optimization, let’s talk about how the various components work, and how it all comes together.

How does route optimization work?

Route optimization software works by lowering operational costs and increasing revenue-per-route. It also saves a lot of time and effort, as the algorithms are run to handle the computations seamlessly.

But how do you choose the software that best suits your business’s needs? The answer is simple: look out for these 5 core functionalities when making your choice:

  • Route visualization

Planning the route for your field workforce is a very visual business. It helps to plan the route using a visual interface, where each stop is pinned, allowing you to easily plan driver routes and deliveries. A software that supports changes made on the fly is going to be of great asset to you.

  • Optimization algorithm

A routing algorithm will help you optimize your routes. It is absolutely essential that this feature is part of the software that you choose.  The algorithm sets up the shortest path possible considering all parameters and constraints. This allows to also track accurate ETAs on all deliveries.

A good algorithm can also work in tandem with your business model and needs, helping you to create routes that save 20% to 40% on fuel and drive time.

  • Driver app

Just plotting an efficient route is not going to be enough, as you and your drivers need access to the route plan. Without this, an optimized route is useless. A good route planning software is optimized to offer a driver app for your field workforce. Such driver apps let drivers know where to go, consider special instructions, and collect proof-of-delivery. This greatly eliminates the need for lunch stacks of paper and/or paper maps. 

  • Live tracking 

Once you put an app in the hands of your field workforce, it becomes increasingly easy for other integrations like geo-fencing and GPS tracking. Finding the right application to deliver this is essential. Tracking your field workforce ensures that you have total control over deliveries and schedules, ultimately leading to peace of mind. 

  • Analytics & reporting

Once you have all of this squared away, it’s time to think about analytics. Reports aren’t just for the super bosses anymore. In-depth analytics and insightful reports can help the team rally and optimize processes. Every little thing can be tracked, meaning the team achieves absolute visibility.

The right software

You might wonder if finding all 5 of these functionalities in one convenient package is difficult. It’s not! We’ve got you covered with bMobile Route, and we’d love to invite you to get in touch with our experts to understand how bMobile can help your business’s route optimization needs.

recent blog posts

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Top