Optimizing Your Routes
June 23, 2015
Author | Kyle Hensley, Sales Executive
Load and route optimization software systems were created to make companies more efficient by assisting with delivery routes and schedules. This is an investment worth exploring for long or short haul companies. With increasing customer demands for service, speed, and competitive price, the load and route software offers an efficient way to find the best delivery routes and schedules.
This product can also assist business success with finding fuel savings, improved load efficiency, and even more stops per day. Manual route planning does not offer the solutions that can help change the route planning and optimization process at a more precise level of sophistication.
The key is knowing how to choose the right vendor and also knowing which variables influence your business the most while on the road. For every job many variables are needed to complete the shipment. Some of the variables to consider are listed below:
- Delivery time
- Inbound and outbound shipments
- Dock restrictions
- Traffic congestion
- Customer locations & delivery quantities
- Driver shift times
- Truck size and height restrictions
- Unloading/re-loading duration
- Traffic speeds, temporary road construction & road detours
- One-way streets and other street limitations
- Travel times and distances, meal & HOS breaks
- Road types urban or rural
After you identify the variables most pertinent to your everyday hauls, it is then time to find the right vendor to purchase the software from. The key is how to get to the right vendor and picking the best system for your business.
Know your specific business niche. Some software products are more geared for short haul, some long haul and some a combination of both. A company should keep in mind their long term goals when you make the software investment. Where do you see the company evolving into? Will you be making multiple stops, multi-leg, or long haul?
Each vendor’s program will have its advantages and disadvantages and you want to ensure the program will fit your business’ one, three, and five year plans. Asking friends and competitors what they have used, or are currently using, can provide valuable insight on the effectiveness and ease of use for a vendor you are considering. Some programs have certain limitations and do not offer the flexibility your business may need that other programs offer.
With the proper training and software that fits your business needs, you have the ability to find the best and most cost-efficient delivery routes and schedules while making the most of your customers’ demands.