4 Key Reasons Why You Need Route Optimization
As the year comes to a close, We can all agree that the events of this year have exposed some pretty gaping holes in logistics operations worldwide.
In fact, there are some pretty pressing questions that are at the top of every business owner’s mind:
- How do I tackle this sharp rise in fuel costs and driver shortage?
- How do I tackle the increase in missed or delayed deliveries?
- How do I bridge the supply and demand gap that the pandemic has created?
- Thankfully, the answer to all of these questions lies with one ineluctable technology: Route Optimization.
So, what is route optimization?
Route optimization is the process of finding the shortest path to cover multiple locations, while taking into account multiple factors such as route traffic, weather and road conditions, batch deliveries, etc. This effectively solves logistical problems such as long driving hours, complicated routes, and excessive fuel consumption.
Route optimization therefore, operationally speaking, slashes the time it takes to plan routes, increases the efficiency of your drivers, and keeps your customers happy. All of this adds up to reduced costs and better profits – something that is a god send in this economy.
The Benefits of Route Optimization
Indeed, route optimization is going to make your fleet more fuel and time efficient, and reduce the time spent by your field employees on each individual delivery, ensuring timely delivery of packages and happy customers. But does that really convince you that you need route optimization for your business?
Here are four specific reasons why route optimization is essential to your business:
Enhanced Customer Experience
Customer Experience is an element of business that cannot be understated, more so now than ever. Customers look for more than just receiving their product after payment – they judge your business and your service based on the experience that they have buying from you. This mindset has taken deeper roots since the onset of the pandemic, and everything, including customer interaction (and therefore experience), became digital. The simplest route to achieving great customer experiences is to deliver on your promises, or as is in this particular case, deliver earlier than promised.
And that’s what we are trying to achieve through route optimization: protect the company’s reputation, all while maximising profits and minimizing costs. A robust route optimization software that lets you plan, organize, manage, and execute proper routes for your logistics fleet will let you achieve truly amazing customer experiences. Factors such as weather updates, road conditions, traffic congestion, multiple stops, and specific delivery time windows can all be handled without a second thought, letting you focus more on the core of any good business: quality customer experience.
Assured Driver Safety
While talking about profits and minimizing costs, we also have to talk about another important element: driver safety. Knowing where your driver is at all times is only going half the way. Optimizing driver journeys directly affects driver stress and reduces stress-induced incidents.
According to several studies, more than 75% of truck drivers in the USA have been engaged in at least one count of reckless driving, in the year 2013 alone.
Reducing your drivers’ stress by pre-planning optimal routes for delivery ensures your drivers don’t have to deal with unnecessary stress, especially with regards to the route they take.
Keeping a tab on those stress levels through advanced in-vehicle monitoring systems, driver behaviors can be assessed for real-time correction measures, or even post-event dissection and analysis. Harsh braking, speeding, and reckless driving can all be tracked to understand if any given incident was only incidental, or if it was contextual and thereby stress-induced.
Increased Driver Productivity
More deliveries = more profit
More deliveries in a day is going to mean more profits by the end of the day. But increasing the number of deliveries for any given driver is only going to increase working hours and work-related stress. How do you solve this conundrum? Route optimization is the answer.
Through proper route planning and optimization, you can have batch deliveries and lesser round trips. Route optimization also takes into account travel distance and travel time, letting you optimize routes to boost driver morale through shorter service times. All of this leads to more deliveries in a day, achieved safely and sustainably.
Improved Fuel Efficiency, Reduced Costs
Once we’ve covered the human factors, it’s time to talk about the not so human, but equally important factor: money. Or, more specifically, money spent on fuel, food, and maintenance, not accounting for miscellaneous expenses. Fuel is one of the biggest costs for any logistics outfit – it eats into budgets. Maintenance is both a planned and unplanned overhead, albeit an unavoidable one. Therefore, maintenance costs can even cut into profits.
By accounting for specific delivery time windows and backtracking, route planning optimizes on the number of trips a driver has to take (or the amount of time behind the wheel), thus reducing fuel consumption, wear and tear costs, etc.
Route optimization is key to delivery operations. Although every business/business model is different, it pays to have a route planner installed in the system. This will create a significant impact on delivery operations, impacting the bottom line, even in a period where the markets are sluggish.
Investing in something as smart as this, at this time especially, speaks volumes about your brand, and puts your company in a good light in front of not just your customers, but also your competitors’ customers. What you should be careful about though, is the choice. There are so many route optimization options (including tools like Google Maps), but they will not serve your purpose. If you want to invest in enterprise-level software that can support the scale and span of your business, now and for the future, you need to go bMobile Route Optimization Software.
Get in touch with our experts to understand how bMobile Route can help you optimize your delivery operations.
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