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How Route Planning Software Improves Your Delivery
Check out this post if you want to learn advanced strategies, tips, and tactics you can use with route planning software to improve delivery operations.
This new post will show 19 proven ways route planning software can improve your delivery operations. You will get a better understanding of the software, as well as how it helps you:
- Grow and scale operations
- Upgrade your delivery offer
- Boost profitability
- Improve customer experience
- Drive better efficiency
- And more.
Plus, there is a bonus at the end.
(But more on that later)
Right now, if you want to take your delivery operations to a completely different level, this article is for you.
Let’s get started with how route planning software lets you:
19 Ways Route Planning Software Improves Your Delivery
- Proactively manage operations
- Generate more business
- Plan deliveries around orders
- Keep your customers happy
- Complete deliveries on time
- Raise delivery and shipping accuracy
- Plan deliveries around each vehicle in your fleet
- Locate your drivers instantly
- Rely on a strategy to manage operations
- Make any team member a logistics pro
- Get started straight away
- Remain organized
- Increase your bottom line
- Makes data available to drivers
- Grow and scale your delivery operations
- Handle pick-ups and returns
- Implement same-day delivery
- Gain an edge over your competitors
- Increase route density
1. Proactively manage operations
When the fleet leaves your depot locations, it seems hard to stay on top of plans. And there are a lot of unknowns you can’t factor in, like vehicle breakdowns or traffic congestion.
Clearly, you can’t predict these situations. But you can anticipate incidents.
It’s far better to plan for them before they happen than react to them, or, worse - do nothing.
Route planning software helps you take a proactive approach to manage delivery operations.
The software allows you to monitor your drivers and their progress with GPS tracking to confirm ETAs (expected times of arrival) live.
By gaining up-to-the-minute visibility over arrival times, you get real-time updates from the field.
In turn, you can build an agile delivery operation with more robust plans that anticipate late deliveries.
So when something unexpected occurs, you can act on it at a moment’s notice and tell customers about it. Ensuring customer satisfaction remains intact as you move forward.
2. Generate more business
Consumer expectations are changing. Modern customers want more convenience, speed, and control with each delivery.
In fact, when it comes to how fast customers want their orders to arrive, 88% are willing to pay for faster delivery. That’s a big opportunity to generate more business.
If you want to provide faster, on-demand delivery, the key is to automate your operations using the software.
With an end-to-end cloud-based solution, you can change and support the entire ecosystem. Ultimately, this makes it easier to increase the rate at which you fulfil orders, even when demand exceeds your capacity.
3. Plan deliveries around orders
After an order is delivered, nothing is stopping you from reassigning resources to the next pending order. And the one after that. Or the order that arrives in the meanwhile.
Without a tool that automates delivery scheduling, it’s difficult to plan operations on-the-go or at the click of a button.
But if you equip your operations with a routing solution, you can reduce the pressure on your staff, as well as remove any customer concerns.
4. Keep your customers happy
Bad experiences drive customers away. According to a report that surveyed 15,000 consumers, 59% will never do business with a company again after two or three negative experiences.
It’s imperative to keep your customers happy. And the only way to do that is to create a culture that values customers, provides quality service, and deliveries on a top performance.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to delivery management software and customer experience.
5. Complete deliveries on time
When you receive an order, you commit to delivering it on time. And if you let customers choose the time of arrival, the pressure is even greater on you to be punctual.
Efficient routes can get you there. But you can’t do it manually.
So, are you manually planning routes? If you are, you risk not making good on promises to customers.
Instead, you need to automate the process to account for different variables that affect timeliness, such as:
- Day of the week (are the deliveries scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday?)
- Time of day (are the deliveries scheduled for morning or afternoon?)
- Time of year (are the deliveries scheduled during a holiday or shopping rush?)
- Traffic congestion
- Road works, closures or shutdowns
- Vehicle speed
6. Raise delivery and shipping accuracy
Accuracy is a major concern in delivery.
Sharing order confirmation and tracking links allow customers to verify the information before shipping removes some of those concerns.
But it doesn’t end there. Your staff has to be in the loop, as well. And you need to provide them with on-demand access to that information.
Teams can access, check, and verify the information at every stage of the delivery lifecycle. This ensures complete transparency over the entire operation and maintains pinpoint precision in its execution.
7. Plan deliveries around each vehicle in your fleet
Whether you use an internal vs. external fleet, you plan routes around multiple vehicles. Probably, not all vehicles are the same. At least one vehicle doesn’t have the same capacity or gets the same mileage per gallon as the others.
Unless you account for all constraints and available resources of your fleet, you’re not efficiently planning routes. And it’s hurting your bottom line.
That’s why it’s necessary to include the characteristics of every vehicle in the planning process.
It ensures all vehicles are running efficiently and at maximum capacity. And you don’t lose any money to idleness.
8. Locate your drivers instantly
It’s easy to lose track of drivers once they set off for the day. Without delivery management software, all you can do is rely on dispatchers to keep tabs on them.
That’s why you need a route planning tool.
A dashboard that combines GPS tracking and route planning can easily collect location information and status updates on your vehicles in real-time.
Not to mention it allows you to:
- Register arrival and departure times
- Verify vehicle location around the clock
- View estimated times of arrival
- Compare planned vs. actual time of arrival
- Collect electronic proof of delivery
9. Rely on a strategy to manage operations
How do you review the operational performance? How do you optimize the efficiency of your fleet?
It’s impossible to set benchmarks, calculate key metrics in delivery logistics, or analyze performance without route optimization.
10. Make any team member a logistics pro
Route planning tools are extremely user-friendly.
Its design uses advanced UI to make the software familiar to most users.
So, anyone on your team can use it to plan and schedule deliveries.
The sleek platform also reduces the learning curve. Instead of days or weeks, a user is qualified and ready to plan deliveries within hours.
And all it takes is a push of a button to optimize all the routes in minutes.
11. Get started straight away
Unlike legacy solutions, most modern routing software is adopting a cloud-first approach to delivery logistics. Software as a solution (SaaS) companies that build them rely on cloud technology to keep the price low and integration speed high.
Most such solutions use open APIs to integrate it with your system. But most companies offer developer documentation and tech support that makes the process as painless as possible.
12. Remain organized
Depending on the size and shape of your organization, it can also be quite overwhelming to organize delivery.
Managing day-to-day operations isn’t just about fulfilling orders. You also have to take into account different depot locations, inventory, supply chain networks, and staff shifts.
Not to mention, you need to keep track of periodic events like regular vehicle maintenance, vacation days, and holidays. A lot of details can slip through your fingers.
Using solutions that operate on the cloud helps you make quick changes ahead of schedule.
So, you’re always organized and prepared to see the day through.
13. Increase your bottom line
Route planning software has a near-instant return on investment (ROI). By raising efficiency and reducing operational expenditure, it maximizes how you use and spend your resources.
14. Makes data available to drivers
Most routing solutions have two components. A delivery management dashboard for operations managers and dispatchers to plan and schedule deliveries. And a delivery app for your drivers.
The delivery app provides drivers with data about the customer, delivery, schedule, and routes. It also contains features like electronic proof of delivery, which speeds up drop-offs and makes it easier to collect customer feedback.
The app also lets drivers communicate with customers directly. A driver can simply tap the phone, draft a message, and let the customer know soon he will arrive at the address.
At the same time, the app reduces the driver’s need to talk over the phone while driving.
Dispatchers can use the dashboard to add new information about the delivery, schedule, or customer which automatically updates on the app.
And this impacts the job safety of your drivers, as calling or texting while driving is a major cause of car accidents.
15. Grow and scale your delivery operations
What does growth mean to you? Maybe, it’s getting more customers. Expanding to new markets. Or hiring more employees.
Whatever the case, route planning software drives efficiency by automating your operations at scale.
This leaves you with more room to focus on delivering quality results, generating more revenue, expanding your reach, or nurturing better customer relationships.
But this is just one tactic.
Here are 12 delivery tactics to grow your operations you can try out.
16. Handle pick-ups and returns
Managing a delivery is an active process. Sometimes, things can happen that are beyond your control.
An order may arrive at the wrong location. The customer may not be at home. The order may have been mislabeled or damaged along the way.
Many different things can cause return deliveries. But not every operation is equipped to handle them.
Thanks to GPS tracking, route optimization software gives you complete visibility over the last mile.
This makes it easy to handle reverse logistics.
All you have to do is find the nearest driver to the drop-off, and add a pick-up to his schedule.
If the item is damaged or broken, you can add the replacement item to a vehicle and assign an additional delivery to a driver at your depot site.
17. Implement same-day delivery
Same-day delivery combines two things: convenience and speed. In fact, these are among the top factors consumers value in delivery.
And the good news is customers don’t mind paying for it. The bad news is it’s a complicated process.
Luckily, delivery management software with routing capabilities gives you at least two options.
You can either pre-plan same-day deliveries and schedule them to drivers who have a later shift. Or, you can plan it on the go, and assign priority deliveries to the best available drivers.
But there is so much more to it.
Here’s a more detailed guide to same-day delivery and delivery management software.
18. Gain an edge over your competitors
On-demand delivery and eCommerce have revolutionized delivery.
These days, it’s difficult for small businesses not to see major players as competitors. You may think that because of their size, Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Alibaba, and other giants have the upper hand. They don’t.
Technically, there is a way you can learn how to compete with Amazon delivery and the rest of them. The solution is to use technology.
With route planning software, you can stand out with your offer. You can provide customers with free delivery, next-day, or even same-day delivery.
Together with better customer service, you can build a delivery that co-exists with big-name brands and even thrives despite them.
19. Increase route density
How many deliveries do you schedule per route? If the number is too low, you seriously risk reducing your profit margins.
Route density is the key factor in dramatically improving the cost-effectiveness of your delivery operations. Simply put, the higher your route density, the less it costs to fulfil an order.
Using route planners to optimize routes, lets you increase the number of assignments each driver has on his delivery run. And with more drop-offs, the lower it costs to reach each one.
Now it’s your turn
Tell us, are you manually planning routes?
It’s a simple question. But It’s also extremely simple to get trapped in such a dangerous routine.
And thinking this is how it’s always been done, doesn’t help either. It gets you nowhere with your business nor your customers.
Think about it for a second. Using a pen and paper to plan routes is time-consuming. It’s inefficient. And it’s making you lose money.
So, maybe it’s time to stop and improve your delivery with route optimization software?
We have everything you need to start improving your delivery.