Do you have a commercial fleet? Do you manage a commercial fleet? If you do, route planning software can help you to save both time and money.
With a route planning system, you’ll no longer have to plan your own transportation schedule, saving you precious time. In addition, these applications and software can help you to reduce mileage, lower fuel consumption, decrease emissions, and increase the number of customers you serve. Route planning software may be offered in conjunction with fleet planning and dispatcher software.
Dispatcher software allows fleet managers to assign routes and jobs to drivers, update employee agendas, and determine driver schedules. This software allows employees to quickly access client contact and location information, while fleet managers can manage work orders, track drivers, and easily invoice clients.
Many software offerings include both fleet tracking, route planning, and dispatcher software. Whether you choose several applications or an all-in-one application, your route planning and dispatch software should include the following features:
- Daily routes and schedules.
- As deliveries or stops may vary on a daily or weekly basis, you’ll want to choose a system that automatically calculates the most efficient route, including multi-stop schedules. Daily calculations can reduce the number of miles driven and reduce fuel and maintenance costs.
- Enhancing fixed schedules and routes.
- Being able to enhance a fixed route is a desirable feature—this way, you’ll be able to balance customers’ delivery requirements, truck capabilities, transportation restrictions, and driver hours.
- Always optimizes deliveries.
- You’ll want a system that is dynamic enough to re-optimize when you add a new stop to a schedule. This flexibility helps fleet managers to maximize efficiency.
- Live vehicle tracking.
- Route planning and dispatch software should allow you to track your drivers in real-time. As a manager, this allows you to identify differences between planned and actual routes, while also monitoring the safety of your drivers and the efficacy of your fleet. This way, customers can also be promptly notified of delays.
- Considers hypothetical situations.
- Fleet tracking software should also include a feature which uses historic data to prepare for changes in vehicle size, driver hours, or delivery locations.
- Multi-period planning.
- This feature allows fleet managers to choose the best delivery sequence according to the customer, ensuring that multiple deliveries or visits to the same customer are spread over an entire planning period, while also considering workload and distance.
- Uses central scheduling.
- A central scheduling tool allows transportation planners and dispatchers to plan both regionally and on a statewide or nationwide scale. This may include inter-depot planning, supplier collections, and disposal of packaging. All of these features can drastically reduce costs, making a vast fleet more efficient.
- Smart reporting.
- Your route planning and dispatch software should include data and metrics regarding key performance indicators and business intelligence reporting. This can help businesses to detect trends in their day-to-day operations, predict future trends and their implications for expenses and profits, and identify areas that could be more efficient.