The growing trend of online shopping and rising expectations of customers has made businesses ditch their traditional logistics practices and rely on technology-driven platforms.
The growing trend of online shopping and rising expectations of customers has made businesses ditch their traditional logistics practices and rely on technology-driven platforms. The transition is also required to deliver an outstanding online shopping and delivery experience to the continuously growing customer base. And when we talk about advancing logistics operations, automating route planning processes is something that is of utmost importance. That’s because traditional route optimization strategies might cause problems like-
- High fuel cost
- High driving time
- Idling of engines
- Low productivity
- Delay in order deliveries
- Poor customer experience
- Inability to deliver multiple orders with a single vehicle
- Lack of real-time tracking
Digitizing the route planning in 2021 has become the need of the hour not just to overcome the aforementioned challenges but to deliver shipments using minimum resources and at minimum cost. Apart from this, customers’ delivery demands are also changing; brands like Amazon, eBay, and more are setting new benchmarks with same-day, few hours, and next-day deliveries. Delivering products in such a short time is not possible with manual route planning.
Before we move to how businesses can automate the route planning process in 2021, let’s understand what route planning is. In simple terms, route planning and optimization is the process of finding such delivery routes by following which riders can deliver the maximum number of orders in the minimum time and at the least cost possible.
Why is automating route planning important in 2021?
To outdo the competitors and achieve customer satisfaction, businesses are adopting advanced solutions and offering exceptional services to their customers. Digitization of route planning processes with route planning software or logistics management software can help in accomplishing both these goals. Besides, it can minimize the operational cost, dependency on human professionals, and a considerable amount of time while improving delivery productivity. In addition, it renders a plethora of other benefits including-
With the increasing use of technology and smartphones, online shopping is not only limited to urban areas, people from rural areas are also shifting to the online platforms to meet their day-to-day requirements. And since the number of customers is growing, from everywhere, it is important to find efficient routes that can ensure efficient multi-stop delivery without increasing the shipping cost. Automated route planning process can help in achieving the same by considering the delivery location as one of the major constraints in route planning.
Having complete visibility on the consignments help in avoiding problems like delayed deliveries. route optimization software comes up with this feature to help both the vendor and the end-customer to track the order in real-time.
More deliveries per day
Intelligent route planning can help riders to avoid problems like road restrictions, idling of engines, and traffic congestions, which facilitates smoother deliveries. With this, riders can do more deliveries in a day, which will improve their productivity and business efficiency.
Following smooth routes for the delivery leads to on-time delivery of consignments and improved customer experience. Moreover, it also helps in reducing the rate of returns that is caused due to delay in the delivery of the order.
How does digitized route planning work?
After you integrate dedicated route planning software or logistics management software, with automated route planning and optimization feature, in your existing ERP or SAP system, the software checks the new order, finds the right vehicle, and plan the most efficient delivery route considering parameters such as:
- Restrictions in specific areas
- Delivery time slot selected by customer
- Delivery location
- Customer membership
- Traffic congestions
Drivers can follow the route to ensure timely delivery of the shipments. Besides, most of the route planning software and advanced LMS software, such as the one provided by Shipsy, come up with the dynamic route planning feature. The feature comes into action when a customer changes the delivery time or address or cancels the order at the last moment. In such a case, the software displays a new route instantly so that all other shipments can be delivered within the given time.
With the increase in the routing complexity, it is imperative for the businesses to opt for logistics software with the route planning and optimization feature. Get such software to cut down the overall shipping cost and enhance customers’ delivery experience.