How your route planning software could be far more effective
When your business depends on your fleet executing multiple stops, route planning software is essential. However, too many companies rely on too many solutions at once – making supply chain management feel like ‘going round the houses’ rather than a smooth journey. Furthermore, ‘just’ optimising the routes may not even yield the result you think.
Why use route planning software?
The expectations from, and most common motivations for the introduction of route planning software/algorithms are usually those of reducing mileage and/or time on the road. This of course makes perfect sense. What is rarely taken into account, however, is that optimising the individual routes is not necessarily the lowest hanging fruit in the total chain of events, nor is it necessarily the best approach for reducing mileage and time altogether. Typically, route calculations are based upon a fixed set of choices. Example: the best route for today’s 25 stops on route AA11, and thereafter the best route for 28 stops on route BB22 etc. There is nothing wrong with this – on that particular day – but over time, if not re-shuffled regularly on the basis of a solid set of analyses, these 25 and 28 choices respectively will not constitute a good division of all 25+28+X+Y+Z stops. The high risk is that you end up making the best possible route but on a set of stops/addresses that were badly chosen in the first place.
The division into whatever areas you work with most probably made good sense when they were first made, but typically, due to the resources it takes to make the updating calculations, these areas are not updated as frequently and as intelligently as they ought to be.
How many different solutions should you use for route planning?
In order to optimise over time, we recommend introducing a holistic view of your entire distribution process – and that requires a comprehensive solution. More often than not, companies end up having a patchwork of partial solutions welded together with multiple bespoke applications paired with a generous effort from IT. The consequence of this is that route planning ends up being detached from the rest of the process.
You will often find:
- One software solution for PoD
- One software solution for Track & Trace
- Route planning optimisation software or online service
- Geocoding solutions
- Reporting and business intelligence solutions
- Canbus/Tachograph data solutions
- GPS reporting
Taken on their own, they all make perfectly good sense, and seem to support productivity, customer service and continual business improvement. However, if you are running multiple systems side by side, whether through external providers or bespoke in-house software, the efficiencies that you gain can quickly be undermined – not only by the obviously excessive resources needed to manage and integrate the systems and data on a daily basis, but also the complete picture of where your costs are derived from is easily lost.
We don’t need to explain the consequences of losing sight of your costs.
A one-stop shop
Our route planning software, AlgoPlanner, offers the all-in-one solution for planning multiple routes for multiple vehicles. Utilising advanced algorithms, mathematics and plenty of computing power, we know from experience that AlgoPlanner saves you between 5 and 20% on your entire business resources. Because you have everything in one, you will therefore know more about your own data.
How can AlgoPlanner help by offering a one-stop shop?
AlgoPlanner enables you to do everything in one comprehensive, customisable package.
Business intelligence and KPIs: To stay on top of your operations, you need to understand and report on a range of key metrics. AlgoPlanner continuously performs calculations, so that at the touch of a button you can see operational trends and details such as the real performance and cost of drivers, and your customers per zone, and per day, enabling you to make smarter decisions.
Routing: Our flexible routing based on analyses of your own historical data gives greater flexibility and helps you to make truly optimal routes without disrupting the other routines in sales and warehousing etc. By regularly updating the basis for your route areas, the total distribution process becomes far more efficient and flexible yet at the same time remains manageable.
Time windows: Using advanced algorithms, AlgoPlanner handles your time window constraints automatically. Over time you can also learn more precisely what time restrictions actually cost you.
Cost analyses: AlgoPlanner will provide you with valuable statistics on which clients impose the highest costs – in terms of delivery and waiting times – on your operation.
Customisation: AlgoPlanner is completely customisable and configurable to your needs. You can set up your own standards very easily, and we’ll support you to design the app on your handheld device the way you want it.
Visibility and focus on your CO2 emission: One of the most popular views in AlgoPlanner enables you to see the cost and CO2 emission per stop, per customer per day, week and month.
We develop tools and software to support and improve the transportation industry. We believe clever calculations and ample computer power are the solution to better and more efficient workflows and great resource savings for you, your staff and your organisation.
Get in touch with us to discuss how AlgoPlanner’s integrated solutions can streamline your route planning software and help you save between 5 and 20% on your route planning resources.