Your drivers spend a lot of time on the road. Whether you’re managing a large transport fleet or a small number of service vehicles, route optimisation has an important impact on your operational efficiency. Failure to manage this effectively means drivers may be spending too much time getting from A to B, reducing the number of jobs you’re able to schedule. Traffic congestion, speed restrictions, weather events and complex scheduling can all increase driving times.
Optimising the routes your drivers take will save time and minimise unnecessary costs. At the same time, you’ll be able to increase face-time with customers and generate more revenue. Here are three ways that integrating route optimisation will help drive greater efficiency across your fleet.
Increase business and reduce costs
Improve the way your drivers travel to and from jobs, so that they’re spending less time on the road. Adjust routes to avoid obstacles like traffic congestion or school zones, and incorporate business rules, speed restrictions and more to calculate the optimal route for each driver. By spending less time on the road, your drivers will be able to spend more time with customers. Minimising driving time also has other benefits – PTV Group estimates route optimisation reduces unnecessary fleet costs by up to 12 per cent because less time on the road means lower fuel bills and less vehicle maintenance. Optimising routes may also identify an opportunity to reduce the size of your fleet. If you currently operate 50 trucks, but can complete the same amount of work with 45 vehicles, you’ll save hundreds of thousands of dollars in vehicle costs alone.
Schedule jobs more effectively
By integrating with your scheduling systems, route optimisation will help you allocate jobs more effectively, saving significant time and effort. Manual scheduling is complex and time consuming but with route optimisation technology you can calculate a schedule in seconds, taking into account repeated jobs, traffic obstacles and other factors. You’ll be able to plan the number of delivery runs you need to make, as well as the length, duration and sequence of orders. The time you’ve saved will allow you to focus on increasing efficiency in other areas. For example, you might start picking and loading time earlier, helping to reduce your reliance on expensive overtime. You could also extend ordering windows and cut-off times to provide better customer service.
Manage customer and compliance requirements
Scheduling becomes particularly complex when you need to take into account business rules, specific customer requirements and compliance regulations. You might have customers that insist you don’t deliver during service hours, giving you a limited window to arrive on site. Other customers might require a very specific time slot. You need to balance this with regulations like vehicle capacity, road and location access, driver fatigue management and co-loading restrictions. Route optimisation automatically incorporates these requirements when calculating the best course for your drivers, making it easy for you to allocate jobs more efficiently. This helps your drivers provide a positive customer experience by arriving on time, while also adhering to company policies.
Integrating route optimisation with your GPS fleet management will drive efficiency across your entire fleet, saving time on manual scheduling and reducing unnecessary hours on the road. This will have a significant impact on your profit margins as fuel bills and vehicle maintenance costs fall. It will also help you manage complex business rules and requirements, so you’re providing better service for your customers and a safe working environment for your drivers.
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