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The increasing demand for home delivery is resulting in a subsequent increase of vehicles on residential roads. Taking commercial vans out of the equation there is an increase in cars delivering goods as local people take on ‘final mile’ home delivery – often using their personal cars to do so.
Whether a company sells goods and offers delivery as part of this service, or they solely engage in delivering the products of other companies, they will be able to undertake the task with more ease and more cost effectively by using software designed for vehicle route planning. A company may use bicycles, articulated lorries or anything in-between, but can still benefit from software that can help put them a step ahead of the competition.
Being able to plan the best delivery routes over a road network and then navigate that network taking into account real world traffic information ensures that a company is working at an optimal level.
The convergence of this data is attained through the integration of route planning software, vehicle tracking and traffic data feeds.
Part of the process of planning how and when deliveries will be made means knowing where vehicles are at any point in time. Vehicle tracking technology can be used alongside the optimisation software to create an efficient business that avoids wasted costs that can arise from vehicles driving around aimlessly.
This technology can be used to benefit those coordinating activities from an office ensuring the efficient execution of the delivery plan. It is increasingly common place to link this software to mobile technology, such as handheld devices, and in-cab technology which will allow drivers to receive jobs when on the road, locate their colleagues as and when necessary and make diversions if required. Job despatching utilise this technology keeping all employees updated with job details.
Traffic, road work, road closures and other obstructions can be a delivery driver’s worst nightmare, which – in turn – negatively affects the operational plan prevents it from meeting its objective: To deliver goods on time, to budget and to the customer’s satisfaction. Avoiding road works and traffic is an all-important step in ensuring that it is possible to arrive at the required destination in accordance with the plan that had been put in place.
The correct software package can help you to avoid issues that can prevent you from carrying out your business as you would like to. Coupling the use of vehicle tracking technology with real-time traffic information will keep you abreast of the areas to avoid in order to by-pass trouble spots.
Ensuring the efficient execution of the delivery plan is one thing but planning it to attain optimal cost is another. Too many companies invest in vehicle tracking and dispatch software believing they will make significant cost savings. The savings to be made here concern the mitigation of customer satisfaction problems arising from late delivery and the minimising the cost impact of additional labour hours and mileage. But it is in the plan where by far the greatest cost savings are made: By planning one less vehicle that day, three less hours and 50 less miles will make a huge impact on the bottom line. Least cost routing software containing suitable routing algorithms is a sounder investment than vehicle tracking.