Delivery route optimisation can overcome challenges that typically involve manual processes and calculations, which leave room for inaccuracies, wasted resources, and slow operations. Businesses need to prepare with the right technology that can meet growing customer expectations, maintain delivery fleets, control costs, and organise the most effective delivery routes to optimise staff and resources.
Companies can significantly improve delivery processes and logistics planning with route optimisation tools to assess the resources available, personnel, fuel, and software needed to make deliveries in real time, making better-informed decisions.
Logistics businesses are under increasing pressure to deliver more products in less time, but manual processing and determining delivery routes can be a huge hindrance. Route optimisation tools can automate some of these processes and streamline delivery routes, time and resources, making drivers and staff more time-efficient.
With increased efficiencies also comes increased profits and customer satisfaction, with more deliveries made during the working day.
A part of growing customer expectations is that businesses are starting to consider their impact on the environment and are implementing more sustainable methods of operating. For logistics businesses, which are responsible for 11 per cent of global emissions, with eight per cent derived solely from freight traffic, this could mean reducing their carbon footprint despite the rising demand of deliveries from e-commerce. For example, using GPS technology, route optimisation tools can group deliveries based on their destinations, create runsheets that optimise the driver’s time and travel distance, and predetermine the best delivery routes.
Drivers face a growing pressure to meet delivery schedules but a lack of resources leaves employees feeling frustrated, exhausted, and demoralised.
Route optimisation assesses resources and tools that are available to create detailed delivery plans, which allow for potential timing clashes of equipment, personnel, or software. The process of loading, unloading, and making the delivery journey is streamlined so that drivers and staff have the assistance needed during these times and reduce unnecessary waiting times.
Route optimisation schedules jobs to maximise the capacity of the driver’s time by grouping deliveries dependent on destinations. Mapping out the delivery routes ensures the driver is on the road for the shortest amount of time possible but potentially increases the number of deliveries made.
2020 is predicted to be a turning point for the importance of customer service, as it becomes the key brand differentiator for businesses, overtaking both price and product. Improving customer service and ensuring the customer’s experience is a positive one is now an integral part of a company’s strategies for success, particularly as customer expectations rise.
When it comes to deliveries and the increasing demand for products straight away, companies need to work smarter to increase the number of deliveries per day. With route optimisation, this is automatic as the tool is programmed to optimise company assets and time. Deliveries that are made fast and on time generate satisfied customers, with positive customer experiences playing a role in 96 per cent of customers choosing to stay loyal to companies.
By incorporating route optimisation into business logistics, companies can reap the benefits of improved customer and employee experiences, while simultaneously optimising company resources and increasing profits. Automated systems like these are becoming essential to companies’ ability to maintain their competitiveness in the market.
Matt Coad, executive general manager – solutions, Upstream Solutions