With many businesses moving into adjacent markets or ramping up their delivery services, route optimization as a function is really comes into its own. Many businesses that have traditionally managed it by “eye-balling” the jobs on a map are finding that this is no longer adequate as setting the delivery route for hundreds of deliveries each day is complicated. Really complicated and time consuming.
Setting the ideal delivery route for hundreds of deliveries is more than finding the shortest route between all deliveries. It should include other factors such as the number intersections, time constraints, truck capacity and other things. Looking at the maths, if you have just one truck and it needs to make 10 deliveries, the number of route possibilities is over 3 million (take a look at the Travelling Salesman Problem for more information).
So this is where it becomes a no-brainer – route optimization software runs in minutes and runs through thousands of permutations to find the best option for you. And in the process it means your dispatcher saves hours of time and your drivers aren’t wasting time and petrol with inefficient routes.
But what other factors should you consider when choosing route optimization software? Here are a few.
- Responsiveness: How responsive is the software to changes? Say your customer calls in at 10am to cancel their delivery that was scheduled for 10:15 – how will you let the driver know? And reroute their day? Or how well does the software manage customer delivery windows?
- Safety: Can you ensure that your driver completes pre-start checks on the truck every day?
- Resourcing: Advanced warning based on previous route optimizations that you’ll need to have more drivers on a specific day. Or trucks of a different capacity.
- Order packing: Aligning the route with the packing order of the truck so that the item that is delivered first is packed last.
- Unbundling: Can you select to have just route optimization software or would you get greater efficiencies if it included job scheduling and dispatch functionality?
Our customers tell us regularly about what they have achieved with vWork’s route optimization. One high volume food delivery company sets daily routes using vWork in 60 minutes instead of 6 hours when doing it manually!
If you’d like to take control of your route optimization, please get in touch and we’ll set up a bespoke 15 minute demo showing deliveries in your neighborhood.