One of the misperceptions about the data from delivery route software is that this information is relevant to dispatch and loading-dock managers – but no one else.
What a mistake.
In reality, for businesses that deliver goods directly to customers, truck routing data provides a constant flow of intelligence that makes the business smarter. The data answers questions that aid decision-making at just about every level in just about every department – from customer service to the corner office.
That’s one of the reasons businesses need to think holistically when deciding whether to invest in a more robust route planning and execution solution. Sure, the software itself results in faster, more efficient routes that lead to 10%–30% cost reductions for equipment, fuel and drivers. But significant additional value comes from using the data from routing software as a decision support tool.
Let’s look at how key departments leverage data from the company’s delivery operations to answer questions and make decisions. We’ve included actual questions we’ve heard from people in our own customers’ organizations.
For “Where’s My Truck” type questions, customer service representatives (CSRs) have perhaps the most to gain from real-time information on delivery status. Tools like Paragon’s route execution module can tell them exactly where the truck is and when it will arrive, without needing to contact the driver. The data also enables proactive communication. Deliveries can be monitored and the CSR can be notified if a delivery is going to arrive late. Or the alert can go direct to the customer – whatever suits your business best. By putting mobile workforce tools in drivers’ hands, problems can be dealt with in real time. For instance, if a product is discovered as damaged at delivery, the driver can share photos with customer service to trigger an immediate response – whether that is prompt re-delivery or an on-the-spot discount if the customer is agreeable. This beats waiting for the driver to finish his shift, submit paperwork, and only then get a response from customer service. Accelerating this process can significantly boost customer satisfaction and margins.
Questions CSRs have asked:
Delivery route software delivers very granular data on transport costs – in total, and by individual customer. For distributors with large fleets, transport costs account for a huge chunk of the budget, so it helps to have tools that allow a close watch.
Questions CFOs have asked:
Given the chronic driver shortage, it pays for human resource managers to do whatever they can to make sure drivers are happy and that they stay.
Questions HR directors have asked:
Delivery data helps inform sales interactions with both existing and potential customers. Granular “cost-to-serve” data from delivery route software can be reviewed for existing customers OR to determine whether it is cost effective to add a new customer – particularly if the business is located in a more remote delivery area.
Questions sales managers have asked:
Marketing promotions can be great for sales – if the warehouse and truck dispatch teams can handle the volume uptick. Smart routing software can help determine how many more drivers and vehicles would be needed, and if it’s possible to support the promotion.
Questions marketing directors have asked:
Truck delivery data can populate a simple dashboard that gives CEOs a weekly, at-a-glance look at delivery and cost performance. The same data can inform strategic decisions that can have six-figure and seven-figure cost implications.
Questions that CEOs have asked:
Businesses invest millions in financial, marketing and HR software, but hesitate to spend a fraction of that on software to manage customer delivery operations.
They fail to recognize the power of delivery routing software to:
It’s time to start leveraging the data generated by fleet operations and start recognizing the data from fleet operations as a powerful, albeit unexpected, source of business intelligence.
Your trucks are smarter than you think.
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