How integrated is your planning team with your transport department? Do they operate in silos, or work together with your drivers to reduce costs and improve customer service?
If your planning team and transport office are still working in isolation, the operational improvements identified by your route planning process are unlikely to be realised.
In spite of a great plan, routes may be allocated based on the transport manager’s preference, or pressure from the driver that shouts loudest. Planned distances may be exceeded by drivers who have preferred routes from A to B, or favoured meal break stops. And overly long deliveries at specific sites may go unnoticed.
Route optimisation software will allow your planners to create a robust daily planning process that streamlines route planning, cuts transport costs and improves customer service levels. The next step is to provide your planning and transport management teams with access to real-time data.
But there is more to automated planning than just an accurate route plan. Many transport operations still don’t plan to the level of detail that they could be doing and therefore don’t produce the most accurate and achievable transport plans. This leads to post-routing manual changes that undermine the use of the planning software and the investment in the planning team, be that local, regional or nationally based. To avoid this unnecessary manual intervention, transport planners should be taking into account the individual driver and motive unit resource constraints, such as shift availability, flexibility of start time and maximum duration together with historical work information. By utilising the resource management functionality, that is part of Paragon Route Execution, the operational planning capability is moved to a higher level that caters for the intricacies of managing the driver community.
The next step is to provide your planning and transport management teams with access to real-time data. By integrating your vehicle tracking system with route optimisation software using Paragon Route Execution you can capture actual data at an individual driver and vehicle level. This data is then available in Paragon so that it can be used by the planning team to again enable them to produce the most accurate and achievable plan. For example, making allowance for vehicles that are expected to return to the depot after multiple days away by taking into account the real-time ETA calculated by Paragon Route Execution.
This real-time data can be shared across your organisation in multiple formats. Live Management allows colleagues across your operation to analyse KPIs such as percentage of deliveries completed on time, or number of drops per driver, via easy to access html dashboards. Here is an example of what that looks like:
Once planning teams and transport offices have the ability to view all of this operational information then maximising the efficiency of your operation becomes even easier. Real-time data collected from your live operation can also be fed back in to your planning process for continuous improvement.
Once you have automated your route planning process and enabled your transport office to monitor the performance of your fleet in real-time, the next step is to think about the tools that your drivers are using.
Streamlining the actual delivery process with a proof of delivery application such as fleXipod can help you eliminate paperwork, standardise the delivery experience across all customers and be confident that each delivery has been completed. Combining route optimisation software with vehicle tracking and proof of delivery software ensures that your planning team, transport office and drivers are all working together towards the common goal of better visibility, reduced costs and increased customer service.
Whether you are responsible for deliveries of frozen food, electrical goods or pharmaceuticals, Paragon can help you streamline your live daily planning and route optimisation process. Get in touch to discuss your requirements further, or have a look at our case studies to find out how other transport operations are using Paragon to improve their route planning operations.
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