In the day-to-day running of a business, many operations might require you or your workers to travel. That includes delivering orders to customers in various locations. Without proper predictive planning, this might cost you significant amounts and reduce your overall revenue. For example, longer routes may lead to increased fuel consumption and time wastage.
Fortunately, if data-driven tools are harnessed correctly, business owners can access helpful information and make intelligent business decisions. For instance, through route analysis, you can get relevant insights such as existing traffic congestion and decide on the most convenient route to use. This way, you can save resources, prevent delays, and ultimately transform the customer experience. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, you'd want to capitalise on the many opportunities data-driven tools can bring to your organisation.
That said, here are four ways these tools can assist you in route optimisation:
- They facilitate effective route scheduling
To create a successful route schedule, you’ll need a lot of information to analyse and gain relevant insights, including your current demand and availability of workers. Fortunately, data-driven tools like property maintenance software can help you plan accordingly and ensure successful field operations. Below are different ways these tools can help you optimise your route schedule:
- Ensures assignment of jobs to workers with information-fuelled guidelines. For instance, your transit team can easily access data on the arrival times set for each trip. You can even provide your drivers with their shift schedules earlier to allow them to prepare in advance and maximise service appointments.
- You can analyse each driver's driving patterns and performance and determine the ideal optimal routes.
- Facilitates even distribution of orders among drivers so as not to overburden or underwork specific workers consistently.
- You can track the time spent on the job and modify the time allocated for each delivery.
- Advanced analytics can provide insights on when you'll need to employ more drivers or seasonal staff to accommodate more deliveries.
Along with ensuring route optimisation, some of these data-driven tools like the one developed by Jobber also allow you to send professional quotes to clients. They can be converted into an invoice after a purchase agreement.
- They ensure efficient route monitoring and modification
By utilising data-driven tools, you can map out your routes, monitor the current activities, and make necessary changes to improve efficiency. Here are different ways this can benefit you:
- Ensures proper vehicle allocation: Based on the distance, products to be transported, and road infrastructure, you can identify the type of vehicles that suit specific routes. For instance, you can choose trucks for heavy machinery transported to outlying areas.
- Controls vehicle capacity: Since you're equipped with data regarding the type of commodities to be hauled, the distances and their weights, you can load your trucks based on their carrying capacities. This can prevent unnecessary risks like accidents caused by overloading.
- Allows real-time communication of possible road disruptions: For instance, after predictive analysis, you can update your team about any traffic congestion probably caused by accidents, adverse weather conditions or closures and recommend the best alternative routes.
- Reduces human errors: Your team can access any dynamic changes, reducing errors associated with manual approaches. Moreover, this increases operational excellence among your fleet management team.
- They allow real-time order tracking
Business owners can leverage data-driven tools to track and trace all orders from the picking point until they're successfully delivered to customers. With the increased visibility, you can spot problems that may occur on-route and determine the optimal cause of action to mitigate potential risks. For example, if your transportation team experiences delays, you can notify your buyers early via text or mail. You can even promise to offer free delivery or discounts for the next purchase to build customer loyalty.
Also, high-profile clients may provide strict time windows for their deliveries. In such a case, you can modify your driver's routes to ensure they reach the destinations faster and deliver within the specific time input by the client. It'd even be better if you offered your customers self-serve tracking tools to allow them to monitor their packages up to the destination point. For example, a customer can fill in their order number and find the truck's exact location.
- They enable accurate forecasting
With advanced data analytic tools, businesses can study industry performance metrics and adjust their operations accordingly. For instance, if you anticipate an increase in demand, hiring more vehicles and drivers helps you meet customer needs. In addition, the analysis of historical data can provide you with enhanced insight into vital aspects like the past total miles travelled, amount of gas consumed and the gains made from every trip
Therefore, you can know what to expect in the future and how to adjust your resources accordingly.
In today's world, businesses are embracing the power of technology to improve efficiency, remain competitive, and enhance customer experience. Data-driven tools have particularly become essential for information mining to ensure route optimisation. Essentially, they've guaranteed effective route scheduling, route monitoring, real-time order tracking and accurate forecasts. For that reason, you may want to invest in the appropriate tools to optimise your routes.
- Laura Hennigan, Cassie Bottorff, "10 Benefits Of Fleet Management Systems," Forbes, February 3, 2022, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/benefits-of-fleet-management/
- Kevin Beasley, "Unlocking The Power Of Predictive Analytics With AI," Forbes, August 11, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/08/11/unlocking-the-power-of-predictive-analytics-with-ai/?sh=4e690a666b2a
- Srinivas Lingamuthu, "How Technology is Influencing the Logistics Market," Entrepreneur, October 23, 201, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/341246