Planning efficient routes
When we speak about planning routes, what frequently comes to mind first is geolocation apps like Google Maps but, when you have 20+ destinations in your day’s schedule, you need to implement a real transport strategy.
A route planning system helps schedule and carry out routes nimbly and quickly, use resources efficiently, and lower the attrition of vehicles and the number of maintenance work. It also offers other great benefits:
- Improves the management of fuel costs: instead of wasting it in routes with traffic, it is used better in alternate routes.
- Saves time by having tasks completed faster: deliveries are made following a logical pattern, avoiding travelling twice over the same road.
- Contributes to the preservation of the environment.
The main parameters on which route planning is based are cost, total distance, and total time. We choose the priority parameter guiding the strategy as per the company’s commercial and operational goals.
Having a great number of addressees makes route planning more complex, especially if the processes are manual. This is not only inefficient and time consuming, it also puts fulfillment rates at a risk. The quickness brought about by technology does not only increase productivity, it also creates positive experiences that maintain the loyalty of clients.
These are some technological tools that make route planning and execution more efficient:
- Artificial intelligence: it makes possible to forecast the demand and the costs more accurately, according to factors like rates and fuel cost.
- Machine learning: using proactive programming based on predictive algorithms we can foresee the expected demand, which translates into more flexibility and value.
- The Internet of Things and Remote Systems: let us track shipments in real time, they make the communication between drivers easier, and help us make sure the chosen routes are updated and the most profitable.
By embracing these new supply chain systems, companies can turn their route planning into value-added proposals and into a driver of growth.
Tips for improving route planning
- Updating client data. Having the right information (names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails) will save us time, money, and effort.
- Taking each shipment’s specifications into account. Following the instructions set by clients, for example, reception hours and procedures we need to carry out before delivery.
- Prioritizing urgent shipments. Delivering those parcels marked as urgent should be our priority, alongside those we should’ve delivered earlier.
- Mapping every location. After delivering urgent shipments, we must map the rest of the route according to the locations of addressees and group them by proximity.
- Optimizing loading and unloading procedures. We must always consider the nature of the products we are moving. Sometimes, grouping them by manufacturing sequence works out because it lowers the need for containers and warehouses; but sometimes it is better to assemble and deliver them at the same time.
- Considering external factors. We suggest to always take into account aspects our companies cannot control that may delay our deliveries; for example, the weather, road conditions, and traffic.
Because managing and planning routes is complex, more companies every day choose to hire logistics companies like Solistica, which has the most advanced route planning and management systems.
We ensure the quality of every service at our Intel Center. Our operation centers in Latin America have areas to track units, productivity indicators, customer service module, maintenance, road and traffic analysis, and emergency centers. Our technology can detect deviations in the routes through exception alerts, and coordinate with government agencies.
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