How Route Optimisation Can Solve Complex Logistical Needs
Logistics refers to the management of resources to achieve a particular task. As simple as it may seem, everyone who’s been in the business industry for a long time knows how much of a significance logistics has in pretty much any business operation. If you’re operating a home service business, for example, you need to manage your technicians and their daily schedules correctly so that they can go from one job to another to meet a pre-defined time schedule.
Similarly, business owners in the delivery sector must supervise their drivers to ensure packages arrive on time. Simply put, every business has specific logistical needs, but certain organizations have logistical needs that are more complex than others.
Smart route optimization technology is fast becoming the new norm to solve logistical challenges. Here you can find out what it is and why companies are increasingly adopting this software to their benefit.
An overview of route optimization
Route optimization is the practice of finding the most cost-efficient, or in simple words, ideal option out of all the possible routes for a service technician or delivery driver to get to a customer or destination.
Until very recently, route optimization has been quite simple, but recent innovations in technology and artificial intelligence have meant that there have been some significant advancements in this area. For example, rather than simply choosing the route according to distance or time required, a route optimization system may consider the following factors as well:
- Number of intersections or turns along the route
- Most efficient or nearest driver for the dispatch
- Traffic volume at the current time of day
- Traffic lights or hold ups along the route
An example of such software is this app developed by Jobber which has been specifically designed for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and other home service technicians. If you are considering implementing route optimization software, here’s what you can expect.
Minimize your logistics expenses
As stated earlier, route optimization allows you or your logistics staff to determine the shortest route out of all the possible options. They may also select the route with the least traffic. Either way, you’ll end up cutting down on transportation expenses as the driver will most likely consume less gas. In fact, experts suggest that route optimization can potentially cut down fuel consumption for home service providers by up to 30%. Apart from the reduced gas expenses, you can also save on maintenance costs for your transport vehicles.
If the vehicle is out in the field for shorter periods of time, damage from daily wear and tear will be minimized. This means maintenance won’t be as frequent as before. The added benefit of this technology is that as it’s using artificial intelligence, you can make savings on staff expenditure as well.
Generate more revenue per day
Other than reducing your expenses, you can also get more profit from your business every day by using route optimization. Suppose your business usually makes 40 to 50 trips that take 30 minutes each on average. If you drastically reduce the time for each trip, you’re essentially increasing the number of trips you can make each day, allowing you to generate more revenue.
However, take note that an increase in workload may backfire if you can’t manage the logistics properly. You will only be able to achieve this with a robust route optimization system in place.
Most service technicians or delivery drivers will know all too well the challenges of driving in a crowded or urban area. Dealing with heavy volumes of traffic can be problematic.
As route optimization systems proactively target routes with the lowest volumes of traffic, technicians and delivery men and women will be empowered with greater productivity and less deviations from their planned schedules as fewer dispatches from other nearby vehicles or service people on their breaks will be required.
Respond to unforeseen obstacles
Route optimization systems have real-time tracking features, which allows the AI or the agent managing the system to determine where the driver is at a certain point in time.
With this feature, it’s possible to respond to unforeseen obstacles or instances, such as blocked routes, left turns, U-turns, or intersections. By analyzing these obstacles, the AI can determine other routes your drivers can take to speed up the journey. At that point, the AI would reroute the entire trip. Not only will it make the journey a lot faster, but it can also make it safer for the driver.
Maximize customer satisfaction
If you’ve experienced a service technician such as a plumber or landscaper to your home before, you know how much better you feel when they arrive at the agreed time. If timeliness can be achieved on a regular basis, with regular customers, you will gain trust and repeat business as a result. Essentially, you are maximizing customer satisfaction and experience.
Investment in smart route optimization technology is increasingly becoming the norm for companies that require complex logistical planning and organization. In order to continue to compete in the market it is essential to keep up with current trends and technology that help meet increasingly higher customer expectations and levels of service. Route optimization is one way to help you do this if your business model relies on visiting locations out in the field and maintaining appointment times and deliveries.
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