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When identifying route planning software as the solution to increase the efficiency of your current transport operation you will have quantified the common benefits, primarily cost reduction. However, there are a number of more intangible benefits which are harder to quantify but have no less an impact on you overall business.
1) Getting run over by a bus (or all eggs in one basket)
Far too many organisations, especially SMEs, have just one person responsible for route planning. All knowledge of the process, the drivers, the client ‘quirks’ and vehicles could be lost if that person gets run over by a bus. With the installation of route planning software organisations get a standard and replicable planning process whereby the essential knowledge is held, accessed and utilized. It is true to say that even the most advanced software needs an experienced planner to get the very best results but it is also true that the art of route planning is easier to learn and master with the right software.
2) Management data for informed decision making
Least cost route planning and route optimisation software relies on base transport costs to calculate efficient routes, such as, labour cost per hour, vehicle cost, per mile, etc. Such data enables route planning software to calculate management data such as cost per drop, per area, per route etc. This type of data enables senior managers to make informed decisions regarding geographically remote clients, when to assign drops to own fleet or couriers and whether to consolidate orders onto ‘delivery by’ dates.
3) Staying legal
It’s common knowledge that route planning software keeps drivers on the most efficient routes. It can also ensure they travel the safest ones. The right software allows for the identification and avoidance of potentially dangerous areas via detailed map functionality. Other dangers, such as unsafe roads, high-traffic areas and similar areas can also be avoided when the proper routing software is used. Drivers’ hours are also managed in route planning software including when breaks need to be taken. As route planning software relies on knowing the orders to be delivered the software also ensures that the vehicles are not over laden.
4) Future Flexibility
As the landscape of your business changes, it can help to have software that assists you with planning for the future. For example, if the size of your service area changes, software that allows you to reroute drivers in these new circumstances is critical. Equally critical is the ability to scenario plan for ‘what-if’ situations – what if I lose a contract in Scotland how many vehicles less do I need, what if I invest in larger vehicles, etc..
5) Improvements in customer service
The control that route planning software gives a company means that all aspects of the business can be monitored. Knowing who arrived where and at what time, the condition of delivered goods and the efficiency of routes can all help a business to implement strategies to improve their customer service even further. This dedication to efficiency, cost-effectiveness and customer satisfaction can mean the difference between a company that provides average service and one that provides stellar service.