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The most-sophisticated journey planning technology can track the movement of thousands of vehicles in real time. This degree of precision is not always necessary, but any decent route planning software should demonstrate the following attributes:
This is by no means an exhaustive list but such parameters should be flexible and therefore allow constant re-appraisal of the day to day running of logistics operation. If properly applied, such dynamic vehicle routing will reduce costs and improve flexibility as well as communication in transportation.
Planning and Scheduling
As a business logistics and transportation is exceptionally competitive. It can be characterised by severe financial sanction for late delivery times, which can be measured in minutes as opposed to hours. In essence, the more rapidly orders can be delivered and processed, the more competitive the operation is. Dynamic vehicle routing responds to congestion, accidents and breakdowns as well as unexpected orders. The more the system can respond to these variables the more likely it is that customer expectations will be met. Scheduling is further improved if the system itself is user friendly, replete for example, with charts, maps, and displays which are updated in real time.
Routing and compatibility
Dynamic vehicle routing is a highly automated process which is designed to streamline communication between operators and drivers. As a system, it should seek to facilitate the scheduling of deliveries and the tracking of the vehicle that is carrying the goods. From an operator’s perspective, they can instantly pinpoint and trace vehicles and update clients as to the progress of the delivery in real time. In terms of administration, the routing system should be able to store and collate all data pertaining to all journeys. This information can then be presented visually, and any areas for improvement can be clearly ascertained. In addition, the software should be compatible with all other databases, tracking and management systems so that the information it contains is readily accessible to all employees as required.
Most delivery route planning software combines with GPS or equivalent technology. This combination is essential because from all locations, deliveries can be rescheduled, or empty vehicles re-directed from a central communication point. Even the most rudimentary GPS system provides information regarding the location and progress of a delivery vehicle. From here journey times can be calculated, and if necessary, appropriate rescheduling action taken. In addition, drivers can communicate directly with their controllers in real time, who then obtain the most up to date data concerning the delivery.
Overall, in dynamic vehicle operations delivery times are much lower, and less overall mileage is recorded by the fleet itself. Problems on the delivery route can be anticipated, and appropriate action rapidly taken, meaning that service levels are bound to be improved, and customer expectations properly managed.
Find out more about our vehicle route optimisation software at – www.ukisl.com/round_optimisation.asp