Paragon Software Systems has enhanced its routing and scheduling software with the introduction of resource management functionality to help fleet managers better manage utilization of all available drivers. The new functionality allows fleet operators to track drivers’ vacations, shift patterns and hours worked, automatically factoring all of this in to transport plans. With the driver shortage problem continuing to challenge transportation operations across the US, enhanced resource management is vital for fleets of all sizes.
Driver availability is just one of hundreds of parameters that a planner has to juggle when creating transport plans. Planners are under pressure to take account of individual driver preferences such as shift times, break times and overnight assignments, all the while aiming for maximum efficiency across the transport operation. Further, the introduction of mandatory ELDs means that failure to keep within the Hours of Service (HoS) limitations for working and driving hours is now highly visible.
The new resource management functionality from Paragon will allow fleet managers to:
- Manage vacation entitlement and approval to avoid too many drivers taking vacation at the same time
- Automatically generate advanced shift schedules to provide forward visibility and control
- Comply with HoS limits at an individual driver level
- Track individual driver hours accumulated to avoid overtime
Using the Paragon solution, planners can ensure delivery routes are efficient and make the best use of drivers and vehicles while factoring in drivers’ preferences. Furthermore the planning process itself becomes more efficient. Planners are able to automatically allocate available drivers to a plan, removing the need for the transport office to spend time allocating drivers to routes. Total visibility of all drivers’ availability, captured in a single system that feeds in to the planning process, brings a reduction in planning time and eliminates the risk of human error – a huge improvement over using paper-based records or multiple systems.
Building on the required skills functionality which is available as standard in Paragon’s routing and scheduling software, fleet managers are also able to create their own list of driver skills such as qualified gas fitter or carpenter and the appropriate tools required for each job. Paragon’s route optimization software will then ensure that calls are only allocated to appropriately skilled drivers and that skilled resource is allocated appropriately.
“Our new resource management functionality allows fleet managers and planners do more with less, plain and simple. At Paragon, we invest about a third of our turnover in research and development every year helping customers develop a continuous improvement process that solves real-world, everyday transport problems,” said William Salter, CEO of Paragon. “With resource management functionality, you can rest easy that you are getting maximum efficiency out of your assets, including drivers.”