No Need To Get Lost with Route Planning Software
It’s essential to find ways to reduce fuel costs. Whether driving for yourself or working for a logistics company, as a ride-share driver, or for a delivery service, finding the balance between congested routes and those that are too far out of the way can save on monthly bills. Fortunately, there are a lot of route planning software solutions to these needs. The trick is in finding the software package and company that’s right for your needs.
For freelance ride-share and delivery service drivers, some essential features to look for in route optimization software include whether you can make route changes on the fly, whether you can set fixed delivery times and calculate backwards from point of pickup and point of delivery, and whether the software uses congestion relative to the time of day in their metrics as this provides more accurate route calculations. The software should also be able to calculate and deliver new routes quickly, so watch out for comments on reviews that talk about speed.
Companies looking for solutions for a fleet of drivers have many more considerations. Some key features you’ll look for in routing planning software are the ability to track drivers’ locations live as well as inform you if they stray from any coverage area they’ve been assigned to, mobile app and desktop communication options between drivers, offices, and customers to ensure transparency and allow clients and drivers to communicate important information at crucial delivery time, and the inclusion of electronic logging device compliance if your business requires the use of ELD.
Some more advanced features to look for would be analytics to assess fuel usage per trip and per route, load and unload times, gas mileage, per-driver and per-vehicle performance analysis.
All of this is wholly dependent on the needs and number of drivers a company might have and who might be using the route planning software. It would be good to try out the technology yourself and bring relevant departments such as dispatch, logistics, and drivers themselves to weigh in on whether a particular software will make their jobs easier. At the end of the day, efficiency is all that matters, not absolute compliance, so choosing a route optimization software that’s too complex for your needs might end up hindering your business more than it helps.
Additionally, route planning software may also come with fleet management software that allows administrators to verify driver safety, provide document upload and tracking services, aid in dispatch and receiving, and help keep track of regular maintenance scheduling. However, not all fleet management software will automatically come with route optimization features, so make sure to double-check.
Finally, the costs for route planning software vary in price relative to the complexity of the programming and the number of drivers and administrative users who will need to access the system. If you foresee your business growing or fluctuating depending on the season, then finding a company that provides variable plans that can be adjusted regularly might be the best solution.