How to Plan Your Delivery Routes Effectively

255

Did you know that many small and medium-sized delivery businesses still use Google Maps and Excel (or similar office tools) to plan their routes? This means that every evening after all the orders have been placed, someone stays behind and manually plans the best route for each vehicle in order to respect delivery deadlines and optimize the route. 

Depending on the planner’s experience and work volume, this activity can take from one hour to several. Moreover, the human mind is easily influenced by fatigue, quality of sleep, and other factors. As a direct result, the planning won’t be as efficient as it could be, and it’s easy to miss delivery points that don’t stand out. This may lead to loss of customers and a drop in productivity. 

Luckily, all these problems can be solved with a few adjustments and maybe some small acquisitions in tools and devices that can improve life in the office of a delivery business. 

Use A Route Organizing Software 

Given that route organizing software has been around for about 30 years, delivery business administrators have no excuse for not using a route organizer! This type of software is affordable, reduces the time dedicated to planning to mere minutes, and will not forget any data introduced in its database. 

Moreover, this type of software is helpful in slashing distribution costs by lowering fuel use, driver time, and costs with the vehicle (maintenance and repairs). In addition, the offer is extremely diverse so any type of delivery company can find the right tool for their needs. 

Share Customer Details with your Drivers

Of course, you shouldn’t share anything marked confidential or sensitive, but things like customer’s preferences or the easiest way of access should be shared with the driver. Since they are the ones that have to deal with the customers (often in a face-to-face situation), it is best to share details like where the customer would like the package to be placed in case they’re not at home.

Moreover, these details can be shared using the route optimization software, by offering drivers access to the Notes section for each account assigned on their route.  

Real-Time Monitoring

If you pair route optimization with a real-time tracking system, it becomes easier to get data from the field and solve difficult situations as they arrive. For instance, a tracking system can work together with the route optimization software and change routes on the go in case of busy traffic areas or jams caused by accidents or construction. 

While this will require installing tracking devices on your vehicles and other acquisitions, it will also help avoid accidents and will allow the manager to keep track of each vehicle and how it’s being used by the driver. 

Wrap Up

Due to online shopping and food orders, the world of deliveries is filled with all sorts of opportunities for clever entrepreneurs. Let’s take food delivery apps – all you need is a well-designed app, a few bikes to move easily around the city, and a system to coordinate everything. The rest is up to the manager, who will have to find the right people and manage the entire process, but with the right tools, anything is possible.