Explore how you can use delivery management software in construction: for delivering construction materials and managing the logistics on projects.
Scaling Delivery with Map Routing Software
Learn about map routing software and how you can use it to raise and maintain the efficiency of your delivery at scale even as you grow your business.
In this post, we are going to talk about scaling delivery with map routing software.
Specifically, we’ll show you:
- What is map routing software
- Why do you need it
- The benefits of using it
- And how it helps you scale delivery operations
Plus, we’ll show you how to choose the best map routing software.
(But more on that later)
Right now, if you want to learn about a tool that can raise the efficiency of your delivery and maintain it as you grow your business, you’ll love what’s in store for you.
Let’s get started.
What is map routing software?
Map routing software, or route optimization software, is a digital tool that lets you plan an efficient sequence of stops drivers can follow on a virtual map. The software automates the work of manual route planning and calculates the best routes based on various constraints for the whole fleet.
Simply put, the best route optimization software will replace hours of work, while giving you the most effective and efficient solution for dispatching and managing your delivery or field-service operations.
Why do you need map routing software?
Unlike route optimization using Google Maps, map routing software doesn’t only rely on distance to calculate the best route. Instead, it goes into more detail.
Besides distance, the software creates the most efficient routes based on important factors, such as pick-up and drop-off locations, times of arrival, and order priority.
At the same time, the software lets you incorporate other internal factors into route planning.
These can include the number and types of vehicles in your fleet, through driver work hours and breaks, to various customer-specific requests.
The software can integrate with third-party systems via API integration to include external factors, as well.
For example, it can use these apps to analyze traffic patterns and plan routes that avoid traffic congestion.
These won’t be the shortest routes but will enable your drivers to reach their destinations much faster, and at a much lower cost to your organization.
Besides this, map routing software allows you to manage the delivery once your drivers set off on their routes.
The software uses a combination of GPS and geocoding to track vehicle, driver, or order locations in real-time.
And that’s what enables you to monitor performance and manage routes and stops on the go. But also to provide order tracking links, for example, and improve customer service.
The benefits of map routing software
To better understand the importance of map routing software and why you need it, let’s elaborate.
In this part of the article, we’ll give you a few other reasons to use this type of software.
Including, how it enables you to:
- Streamline planning and dispatch
- Meet customers expectations
- Offer on-demand delivery
- Drive efficiency at scale
- Create fair conditions for growth
Streamlining planning and dispatch
Map routing software automates delivery planning.
As such, it removes the need for manual route planning. Which is by far its most important feature.
But the software is also dynamic, and simultaneously optimizes the routes as you plan them.
So the time it takes to plan all of your routes and deliveries takes minutes, rather than days. (Regardless of how many orders you have to fulfill or the number of vehicles and drivers in your fleet)
At the same time, the software removes the need to dispatch orders and routes driver by driver.
Instead, you can dispatch drivers via the Driver App.
Once your route planners have completed making the day’s routes, the information is automatically updated to the app.
Smart dispatch then notifies the driver, and they can access their tasks via their mobile device.
This means drivers and dispatchers don’t need to communicate with each other unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Which means more time to focus on essential tasks and greater productivity.
Meeting Customer Expectation
It doesn’t matter what you deliver, transport, or distribute…
When it comes to delivering goods and services, customer expectations have transformed.
According to a 2020 survey, consumers value five things in their experience above all else:
- Easy payment
- Friendly service
And the state of delivery in times of the coronavirus hasn’t changed these expectations.
Which means you want to avoid having an experience that doesn’t include them.
Or a delivery service that includes some of them.
Instead, you need to build a delivery around these expectations with every delivery - from checkout to drop-off, and even return.
To do that you need map routing software.
The software allows you to create a delivery around all five values customers expect to receive from a delivery service.
Using optimal delivery routes, for example, cuts times to drop-off by 50% according to delivery statistics.
Delivery operations are much more efficient with map routing software.
As drivers spend less time on the road and have to cross shorter distances to reach drop-off locations, the less fuel your vehicles consume. Which makes the cost per delivery lower.
This means you can offer faster delivery options, like next-day and same-day delivery.
But also more efficient and convenient options, like click & collect or free delivery.
It also means automation at the customers’ door.
You can use the digital proof of delivery to confirm payments and successful deliveries faster and without any paperwork.
And the less time drivers focus on navigating streets and finding customers, the less likely they’ll get frustrated on the job. Which leads to a friendlier interaction with the customer.
Offering on-demand delivery
Not having a delivery is a thing of the past. So is only offering standard delivery.
If you want to get more people ordering the products and services you sell, you want to focus on on-demand delivery.
First of all, on-demand delivery is more popular than any other type of delivery on the planet.
Instead of offering one solution to customers, you give them several options so that they can choose which delivery service works best for them.
This can include same-day and next-day delivery, free delivery, click & collect, and curbside pickup among others.
But all of them require map routing software to work.
Without technology, it’s hard to generate the necessary resource efficiency that can support various delivery options.
But most importantly, map routing software helps you to build an agile delivery operation.
And that’s what enables you to plan, manage, and dispatch drivers dynamically and on the go.
A key requirement for many modern alternatives to standard or fixed delivery.
Driving efficiency at scale
The other great thing about route planning software is that it works regardless of the size and complexity of your operations, or your order volumes.
You can just as easily map routes for three drivers, as you can for thirty drivers, thirty fleets, or thirty delivery areas.
That’s because map routing software is a SaaS solution. It uses cloud computing technology which is just as dynamic as the platform.
This means you can easily adjust the scale of your operations depending on your delivery volumes.
It also means that efficient structures, processes, and staff performance don’t disappear when you grow.
Instead, you drive efficiency at scale. And as a result, you generate greater effectiveness and more output even as you expand operations and use tactics to grow your delivery.
Creating fair conditions for growth
Route optimization achieves two crucial things for your delivery. It automates your activities. And it optimizes them for greater efficiency.
Reducing the time it takes to plan, manage, and dispatch deliveries make your staff more productive.
The software lowers the workload and removes a lot of the pressure from completing essential tasks by hand.
And as you drive greater efficiency through continuous optimization, it becomes much easier and faster to plan, but also fulfill orders.
This creates fertile ground to generate more business while maintaining operational efficiency.
So investing in route management software is necessary for the growth of your business.
How to scale delivery with map routing software?
With map routing software you can save time, reduce costs, improve efficiency, facilitate positive customer relationships, and gain greater visibility.
But that’s not all.
Here, you’ll see how it can help you scale your delivery by:
- Automating last-mile delivery logistics
- Optimizing route planning and scheduling
- Raising the capacity of the delivery fleet
- Reducing operational costs of fulfillment
- Improving customer experience
Let’s dive in.
Automating last-mile delivery logistics
Automation is the cornerstone of modern last-mile delivery logistics. As such, it relies heavily on the technology that you use.
On the surface, you may think that map route optimization software enables you to automate route planning by removing the need to do it manually. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
Most routing software focuses simply on that one aspect of the delivery lifecycle. But modern route optimization systems have come a long way, and have become end-to-end solutions.
What does that mean? And how does it help you scale operations?
Simply put, this type of solution enables you to manage many other processes, while also allowing you to integrate with systems that control other operations via APIs.
On the one hand, the software itself takes a much broader approach to delivery logistics. It enables you to manage drivers and vehicles, plan better delivery schedules, track KPIs, besides mapping routes with multiple stops.
And as for API integration, it allows you to connect all your apps to one platform and manage not just your routes, but also orders, supplies, inventory, and more.
But map routing software also takes a cloud-first approach to delivery logistics. And that means you can easily add, remove, or adjust the various capabilities of the software depending on your workload.
So, for example, when your order volumes increase, you can easily add new drivers or delivery areas to the platform. Or inform your provider that you need to adjust the list of features to which you subscribe to so you can meet the challenges of last-mile delivery.
In terms of scaling your delivery that translates into one centralized delivery platform that can handle many various aspects of your operations, while not requiring too much manual work, capital, or new software upgrades.
Optimizing route planning and scheduling
Another important feature of map routing software (which we’ve touched upon a little bit) is the ability to optimize your plans and schedules for maximum efficiency and performance.
On the one hand, instead of simply using the distance between point A and point B to map a route, this software calculates the best route based on many different parameters.
These can include internal factors, like driver and vehicle availability, planning multiple depot sites, and inventory. (To name a few)
But also external factors like traffic congestion, thanks to API integration with third-party systems. (In this case a traffic monitoring system)
All of this translates into routes that may not be the shortest but are the most efficient. And that means you spend less time and resources completing each delivery.
And when it comes to time, it means your schedules are more efficient, as optimal routes give rise to optimal schedules.
With less time on the road, drivers have more time to spend with customers. But they also have more time to fulfill more orders. (Which is essential when you want to scale)
And that brings us to our next point:
Raising the capacity of the delivery fleet
When you have better routes and schedules, you spend less time fulfilling orders. That means you can improve last-mile delivery logistics even when demand exceeds your capacity.
For example, that’s one of the secrets of last-mile delivery logistics behind Black Friday.
Another important feature here is the ability to manage vehicle capacities. It allows you to make the most efficient use of the space inside your vans and trucks as your order volumes grow.
So when it’s time to scale, you don’t immediately rush to expand your carpark or workforce.
Instead, you can first rightsize the fleet and squeeze every inch of available space to handle the rising workload.
And when it becomes necessary to onboard new drivers or invest in additional vehicles, you can decide to do it without losing money on idle staff or equipment.
Reducing operational costs of fulfillment
From how much time and fuel vehicles spend on the road, to how much money it costs to deliver each order, optimizing with map routing software halves operational expenditure.
On the one hand, you can drastically cut fuel, labor, and vehicle maintenance costs by optimizing your delivery routes.
On the other hand, the software helps you to control those costs by allowing you to track key metrics in delivery logistics.
Monitoring KPIs like cost per delivery or average time per delivery can help you find waste in your operations.
If you notice your cost per delivery going up, for example, you can evaluate operational costs to find the problems causing the spike.
Afterward, it’s just a matter of making adjustments and testing them to see whether they’ll bring in the desired results.
Simply put, it’s an added level of visibility that you get with map routing software. Without it, your optimization efforts would be in vain, like driving in the dark with headlights turned off.
Improving customer experience
While the majority of companies turn to route planning software to reduce planning time and costs, they often forget that improved customer experience is also a significant factor in their success. (Especially at scale)
A map routing tool doesn’t cut out the customer from the delivery. In fact, it helps you take measures to improve their experience and meet their expectations.
First, it improves the accuracy of your operations. The software helps you to reduce missed drop-offs by providing drivers with the most accurate addresses, maps, and timetables.
Drivers can also use the Driver Apps on their mobile devices to communicate with customers directly.
This ensures that customers are at home when their orders are en route, as well. But also allows the driver to inform the customer if something unexpected happens and the order will arrive later than expected.
At the same time, using this software makes it convenient for customers to receive orders. And it involves them in the delivery process.
Drivers can use the electronic proof of delivery to streamline the drop-off at the customer’s door. Which makes the entire activity of receiving goods that much easier.
On the other hand, using map routing software helps you to provide tracking links and more precise ETAs to customers.
This ensures a quality customer service experience that your customers can rely on even when you have hundreds of orders to fulfill each day.
And that’s what helps your delivery stand out and become the best choice for consumers.
Read this article to learn more about how delivery management software boosts customer experience.
What is the best map routing software you can choose?
If you’re looking for the best map routing software, there are a few things you need to know.
We’ve outlined all of them in our guide to choosing the best route optimization software.
But if you need more information, we’re here to help.