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 realized.
However great an initial plan might be, when it comes to actual execution, routes often instead get allocated based on the transport manager’s preference, or pressure from the driver that shouts the loudest. Planned distances may be exceeded by drivers who simply have their own preferred routes between A and B, or because of a favored meal-break stop. And overly long deliveries at specific sites may go unnoticed.
Route optimization software will allow your planners to create a robust daily planning process that streamlines route planning, cuts transport costs and improves customer service levels.
But there is more to automated planning than just an accurate route plan. In order to maximize the benefits delivered, you need to aim for truly “live” planning.
First, planners need to incorporate as many factors as possible. Many transport operations still don’t plan to the level of detail they could, and therefore don’t produce the most accurate and achievable transport plans. This leads to post-routing, manual changes that undermine the usefulness of the planning software, as well as the investment in the planning team, whether local, regional or national. To avoid this unnecessary manual intervention, transport planners should be taking into account the individual driver and resource constraints — such as shift availability, flexibility of start times and maximum duration — together with historical work information. By utilizing the resource management functionality, which 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.
Integrating your vehicle tracking system with route optimization software using Paragon Route Execution allows you to track planned routes versus actual in real time. The threat of late arrivals can be flagged as soon as they arise, and customers can be proactively alerted to potentially late deliveries.
This real-time data can be shared across your organization in multiple formats. Live Management allows colleagues across your operation to analyze KPIs such as percentage of deliveries completed on time, number of drops per driver, or miles per gallon of fuel, via easy-to-access html dashboards. Here is an example of what that looks like:
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, standardize the delivery experience across all customers and be confident that each delivery has been completed.
Combining route optimization software with vehicle tracking and proof of delivery software ensures that your planning team, transport office and drivers are all working together towards a common goal of better visibility, reduced costs and increased customer service.
Whether you are responsible for deliveries of frozen foods, electrical goods or pharmaceuticals, Paragon can help you streamline your live daily planning and route optimization 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 transport planning operations.
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