The dispatch planning process has become quite complicated, with a varied mix of daily customer orders and multiple options for vehicles and routes. This complexity has made delivery companies search for good route optimization software for their small and mid-sized fleets.
Route planners and logistics managers attach a lot of significance to route optimization. A tool like a route optimization software plans routes in minutes and saves time, thereby allowing you to focus on strategy.
An obvious question that arises is whether a route optimization software benefits small and mid-sized fleets. Well! Of course, it does. The challenges in last-mile logistics are the same for any company, just that the scale of operations varies. Before that understand ‘What is route optimization?’.
How do I select a Route Optimization software?
Small and mid-sized fleets have their own operational and budget constraints. This guide will help them choose the right route optimization software for small and mid-sized fleet that will serve their unique needs.
A competent route optimization software has the following features:
Quickly adapts to multiple vehicles and routes
The right route optimization software should allow route planners and fleet managers to optimize routes for multiple vehicles.
An excellent routing software lets you visualize multiple optimized routes on the same map simultaneously with different colors. With an eagle-eye view of all the routes, route planners can easily reassign some stops to a different vehicle to enhance efficiency.
Quickly Processes Optimal routes
A good route optimization software can optimize routes in seconds. This helps small and mid-sized fleets to accommodate more deliveries in a day. Also, it reduces the time involved in planning the delivery schedule.
Fits multiple stops in a day
A free route optimization software supports only a few stops. It won’t work out when your business operations demand more than a few stops in a day.
Paid versions support multi stop route planning in a day.
Smart Geocoding Ability
Incorrectly mapped addresses lead to misrouting. Wrong directions, beyond causing delivery delays, are also a major reason for driver stress. A route optimization software with a world class geocoding engine can convert vague addresses into accurate geographical coordinates.
Therefore, always ensure that the route optimization software that you purchase has a smart geocoding ability.
Customer experience matters a lot for small and mid-sized fleets. A real-time tracking system helps them share dispatch details of orders with customers. Information like ETA (Expected Time of Arrival), contact details of customer care, and riders lead to enhanced customer experience.
Real-time tracking enables the dashboard admin to take corrective measures in case of a possible ETA and SLA (Service Line Agreement) breach. Moreover, it increases the transparency of all on-ground resources.
Predictive alerts of on-ground resources
On-ground breaches can turn disastrous for your business if not monitored. On-ground alerts offer insights on undesignated halts, long break times, deviation from the planned route, and so on.
These smart alerts can help small and mid-sized fleets avoid potential delays , thereby improving the customer experience. It also reduces fraud by ensuring that riders mark order completion only in the right geofenced location.
Fleet managers should analyze route compliance and rider behavior. These insights can help them in comparing planned and executed delivery routes.
Route optimization software integrated with analytics helps small and mid-sized fleets reduce fraud, SLA time, and transaction time, resulting in less distance traveled.
A good route optimization software has an autosave function which ensures that fleet drivers don’t lose any saved information or optimized routes if the internet connection is down.
Presence of Mobile integration and Print capabilities
There are still drivers who want printouts of routes to determine stops for the day. Most drivers have started relying on tablets & smartphones to export stops and obtain driving directions. A good route optimization software should offer mobile integration and print options to fleet drivers.
Integrating route optimization software with turn-by-turn navigation applications that speaks directions to drivers, prevents them from taking their eyes off the road.
A dispatch overview is essential to visualize your plan in a post-planning session. It provides business-related metrics that are visible at a vehicle and plan level.
A great route optimization software should have a dispatch overview feature that provides plan through three different metrics- geography, time, and vehicle. It enables small and mid-sized fleets to customize their plan and ensure better SLA adherence.
Proper Maintenance and Upgrades
Beyond the ease of use, fleet managers expect proper maintenance and upgrade services for a route optimization software. Software vendors should offer prompt support and upgrades and also ensure smooth onboarding.
Affordability plays a significant role when small and mid-sized fleets buy a route planning software.
Small and mid-sized fleet companies should buy a route planning and optimization software that caters to their requirements. Paying only for functions that they use improves the profitability of their business.
Selecting a route optimization software with the features mentioned above will help small & mid-sized companies to reduce last-mile delivery costs and keep their customers happy.
Locus’ Route planning software enables fleet managers to plan optimal routes for multiple vehicles quickly. It helps fleet drivers reduce the miles driven and fuel spent, while also lowering the overtime labor costs for the company.