Online shopping and last-mile delivery have been growing in prominence over the last couple of years. However, it is since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic that products and services have become highly accessible to the general public. Therefore, to meet rising demands, businesses have to transport products at a much higher rate and that’s where route planning software come into play.
So, do you currently own a manufacturing unit that can fulfill the increased demands but struggles to fulfill market demand? The best reason for this could be flaws in your supply chain. The good news here is that there are several ways you can use route planning and other fleet management tools to fix your supply chain!
If you are a business owner with a significant fleet, you should know what route planning is. You should also know how it works so that you can have a comprehensive understanding of the subject, and that is exactly what you will learn in this article!
What is Route Planning?
The term is pretty clear, right? Route planning simply means planning the best possible routes for the vehicles in your fleet. Route planning suggests routes that lead your vehicles from the start to the endpoint while covering the required midpoints in the most efficient manner.
Route planning uses geospatial information to pinpoint the correct route your drivers should be following to conduct their task(s).
People tend to use route optimization and route planning interchangeably. While the cause for confusion is clear, it is highly incorrect to do so. Why? Because together they get businesses the best out of your fleet with trip management software, while route planning itself is a standalone feature.
Route planning helps fleets and their businesses get all possible value from the start to the endpoint while adhering to a strict ETA. Unlike route optimization, route planning doesn’t look into the technical and statistical stuff, such as fuel consumption, needed for strategizing.
Information Needed for Route Planning
Whether you resort to manual route planning or use a trip management software system, you will need the following information:
- Vehicle Location: You should always be aware of where your vehicles are in real-time and should know what the start, mid, and end points for your vehicles are.
- Vehicle Capacity: If your fleet is running with multiple vehicles, you need to mark all the midpoints and then divide routes according to the running and load capacity each vehicle has.
- Time Allowances: When you plan routes, you need to adhere to strict ETAs. Therefore, with every stop your vehicle has to take, you need to time the stay effectively. Idling and stoppage summaries are also a huge part of route planning.
- Driving Time: While planning routes, you need to ensure that you account for the maximum driving hours your drivers can take in a day. You need to not overburden your drivers in order to get complete efficiency.
Route Planning and Route Optimization for Better Trip Management
Route planning Software is a necessary tool to allow your fleet to work with a stronger supply chain model. However, in the longer run, route optimization will be the better tool to make comprehensive growth in your fleet.
If you want to improve your supply chain and get more benefits out of your field, route planning is the way to go. However, it is only the best fleet management software that will offer you potent route planning systems to help you get the most out of your operations.