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4 Transportation Challenges That Route Optimization Software Can Help You Overcome

With 2017 in full swing, it’s time to ask yourself a couple of questions:

Am I still facing the same transportation challenges I had last year?

Am I facing a brand new set of problems?

If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then you may want to invest in route optimization software.

First, let’s go over some common transportation problems you might be facing. Then, we’ll delve into how route optimization can make your job easier.

4 Challenges that route optimization software can help you solve

1. Increasing customer demands

With how quickly technology is evolving and with how simple it is to order products online, B2C and B2B customers expect far more than they used to, including:

  • Tighter delivery windows
  • Instant communication
  • Immediate reporting on any variance

With so many variables involved with transportation, your office is already dealing with enough challenges.

But with route optimization software, you can:

  • Reduce planning time
  • Increase the accuracy of predicted arrival times
  • Improve customer communication

By integrating route optimization software with your vehicle tracking system, transportation planners can benefit from real-time visibility of the actual progress of their fleet against the plan.

Any variances from the planned route or schedule can be flagged. Then, you can proactively alert your customers through your transportation planning team, or your customer service team.

2. Diversification of home delivery options

If your business involves home deliveries, then you’re probably familiar with certain challenges like:

  • Increasing eCommerce orders
  • Higher demand for rapid order fulfillment
  • Diversification of home delivery options

With the pressure of increased customer expectations, home delivery is no longer a simple delivery method.

Customers demand faster, more affordable shipments, and they even expect to have a choice between:

  • Home delivery
  • Delivery to their place of work
  • Delivery to a secure locker
  • The ability to click and collect their shipment from a designated location

With all these variables, you need a comprehensive order fulfillment system that gives you visibility of exactly where every item is in the delivery process.

This is where route optimization and fulfilment software can help.

Software like Paragon HDX ensures:

  • Continuous optimization as orders are placed allowing you to balance customer demands
  • Cost-effective delivery options are offered to your customers
  • A greatly improved customer service experience
  •  Visibility of your shipments’ progress from dock to the customer’s door

3. Continued driver shortage

One reason for the continued driver shortage is the introduction of the e-Logging mandate that has resulted in many truckers threatening to leave the industry.

With federal regulations enforcing Hours of Service rules and capping the number of miles truckers drive, it also limits the amount of money they earn.

While route optimization software cannot help change the perception of a career in trucking, there are ways that it can help you to improve the experience of your drivers and maximize driver productivity.

How is that?

With route optimization software, you can keep drivers happy by factoring their preferences for meal breaks, overnight stops, or finishing hours into the route planning process.

At the same time, the number of drops each driver completes can be maximized with better planning to ensure each trip is as profitable as possible.

4. Increased requirement for real-time reporting

Across the supply chain, there is a demand for increased levels of real-time reporting to help improve service levels and operational efficiency.

With the continued use of smart devices across the supply chain—whether it’s devices tracking the progress of a pallet across an ocean or the progress of a truck in the Southwest—the progress of goods and/or deliveries can be monitored much more thoroughly.

Being able to move goods sooner after they arrive at a distribution center or report to customers more accurately on expected arrival times ultimately helps improve operational efficiency and increases profitability.

With route optimization software, you can:

  • Receive alerts if and when your trucks divert from your planned route
  • Get updated delivery times, allowing you to proactively alert the customer about any delays
  • Account for road conditions and speak to your drivers to find out what delivery challenges they are facing
  • Report on KPIs, including number of deliveries completed and percentage completed on time

Final Thoughts

Your business might face transportation challenges on a daily basis, but with route optimization software, you can:

  • Make your transportation planning process more efficient
  • Improve the customer service experience
  • Save money by reducing your mileage
  • Reduce transportation costs while increasing the number of drops your drivers complete each day
  • Pay your drivers more and even reduce the need for contract drivers

Ready to learn how?

Contact us today to see how we can help you accomplish all of this and more in 2017!

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