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Route Optimization: Changing the Delivery Landscape

By Guest User 13th April 2017

It’s a heavy day for a delivery agent, when multiple brown delivery packages pile up on his side and multiple locations appear on his screen; he wonders how he would accomplish all the tasks for the day moving hurriedly around the city with efficiency.

With the speedy rise of on-demand economy, deliveries have become an integral part of the business activity of organizations. Consumer has been demanding quick services and businesses could do anything to respond to these changing demands. In such a fast-paced environment, careful delivery route planning becomes fundamental, helping the fleet hop from one destination to the other using the optimized routes, making timely deliveries no longer a far-fetched goal.

By making best use of the advanced technology available, route optimization enhances the powers in the hands of the fleet managers and drivers, who could easily gain total visibility into the route progress, and reap a plethora of benefits, the topmost being listed below –

1)   Save Time and Fuel – By implementing the designated shortest routes to reach the desired destinations, we do away with unnecessary driving and therefore, unnecessary fuel consumption. The distance travelled by the fleet on ground is automatically minimized, along with the time required to complete the tasks. Imagine a 5-day target getting achieved in just three days, and that too with less fuel input – that’s the advantage! UPS has successfully managed to reduce its delivery travel distance by approx. 45.8 million miles over the last few years by using a route optimization algorithm that completely eliminated left turns for their drivers. Cost-efficient and time-efficient!

2)   Better Utilization of Resources – The colour-coded routes displayed visually on the mobile screens of the delivery fleet are more than mere dotted lines. Rather, they are magical tools in their hands, following which they are able to accomplish their tasks in time, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity.  Yes, route optimization leads to better utilization of vehicles and drivers, who could now take on more tasks with same resources. Also, there is an increased driver accountability and satisfaction as a result of the same, since task fulfilment instils a feeling of job satisfaction, which is unmatched.

3)   Serve more customers – The number of customers a business can serve each day depends upon how efficiently the fleet is functioning and how many orders per day are being targeted and achieved, so that more could be accommodated. With careful route planning, the time saved is utilized to acquire more and more customers, taking the amount of deliveries up. Therefore, as advanced routing technologies get embedded in the businesses, customer acquisition becomes one of the key focus areas.

4)   Increased Revenues – As the existing customers hail the benefits of route optimization in the form of timely deliveries, the database of new customers also keeps stacking up. Moreover, as excessive driving time goes down, the costs involved also take a ride down. All this points towards increased revenues and happy times for the businesses.

Despite the myriad benefits of the advanced feature, we quite often come across the question that why would a business require route optimization, when Google Maps already has its hands deep into it. Yes, Google maps has been rightly assisting users to travel from one destination to other. However, as the number of destinations increase and planning an efficient route becomes most critical, route optimization emerges as the best solution and a winning therapy for businesses. The feature is having a positive impact on the growth and prosperity of all – businesses, drivers and customers – with the multiple benefits that it sprinkles!

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