If we were to follow the trends, the delivery industry will continue to be one of the most profitable business markets in 2022. And, if you really want to find the best slice of an already bountiful market, you may want to choose last-mile delivery.
Last-mile delivery plays a huge role in customer satisfaction, but it has been historically proven the most difficult segment to improve. After all, without the right tools, it’s impossible to make an accurate estimate of your time of delivery when you have to account for the local traffic, unexpected factors, and more such variables.
However, due to advanced technologies, nowadays it’s easier to plan a delivery route and stick to it. The development of route planning software was a huge step forward for delivery business owners and administrators as it helped free their time and speed up the process.
Nowadays, delivery business owners have plenty of options like Route 4 Me delivery route planning software when it comes to choosing a route planner that will enhance their productivity..
What to Look for In a Route Planner
In all fairness, a route planner that doesn’t offer automated route optimization shouldn’t exist – after all, everyone has access to Google Maps and Excel sheets, right?
The route optimization feature takes out the need for manual work (which is often inaccurate and sometimes misleading) and uses the tools at its disposal (GPS, traffic information, drivers’ data, and more) to plot the more efficient delivery route for the day.
Your software must be able to plot the fastest, most fuel-efficient routes based on the stops you need to make in the area and the estimated service time per stop.
Plus, if you plan on expanding the business anytime soon, it’s best to go for a route planner with unlimited stops. In the future, you may want to take on longer routes or more clients, and this often implies more stops down the road.
More often than not, the reality doesn’t fit perfectly with the plotted plan. Maybe one of your drivers gets a flat or a vehicle gets stuck in traffic – unpredictability is part of life.
That’s why it helps to have a route planner that accepts manual inputs from the field. Drivers should be able to introduce new or modified variables (using their terminal) and receive adjusted routes that fit their current scenario.
Routes Save & Reload
There are times when you’ll get to use the same(ish) routes multiple times. When this happens, the software should allow you to save that route for later use (with or without slight changes). This saves time and energy and allows you to gain a better understanding of your delivery system.
Shorter Delivery Intervals
Do I really have to be home all day to wait for a package? You don’t have to work in the delivery industry to know that this is one of the top complaints people have when they order something. And, if you’ve ever ordered something, you know how frustrating this can be.
Luckily, due to smart route planning software, this won’t be the case anymore. These systems can provide drivers and customers (some are set to send automated messages with the time and date of delivery) with shorter time intervals per delivery.
For instance, nowadays it’s more common for customers to receive a message like The delivery of your package will be done today, between 2 pm and 4 pm, at the address XYZ. This feature alone has the potential to increase customer satisfaction and productivity.
Accurate route optimization, the possibility to make manual edits in real-time, and data analysis are some of the most important features of a high-end route planner software. However, it’s just as important to know when to invest in a more advanced system so your business will prosper.
After all, knowing when to slow down and invest in your resources is part of the entrepreneurial mindset. In conclusion, it’s not just about the right route planner – it’s also about how you use it to make things better for your drivers and your customers.