What Is Route Optimization And Which Software Can Help Your Business With It

Route optimization software can help you to improve route assignments and make the most of your resources. Learn more about route optimization software here.

Posted by By Shoaib Ahmed on 2021-11-19

With the onset of the pandemic, there has been a drastic increase in the number of eCommerce transactions made every day. Parts of the world are seeing unprecedented levels of demand for fast delivery at scale, and as such, some traditional 3-5 day deliveries are now looking to expedite their service by employing fleets of drones to pick up and drop off packages on flexible schedules – all with an eye on cutting costs.

But there’s only so much you can do with cost-cutting for ecommerce businesses. The right way to reduce costs for your ecommerce or any kind of field operation is through optimization. Route optimization is certainly one of them.

Route optimization with Fieldproxy

With route optimization, factors like balancing operational expenses with increased volumes, and less time in which to deliver, starts with good delivery planning: understanding the best way to use inventory, fleets, drivers, and technology systems for optimal performance.

As a retailer, your business is as good as the service your customer receives. The goods you sell and deliver, no matter how competitively priced or popular, will do you little good if they aren’t delivered on time and look unprofessional due to an inefficient packaging and/or delivery process.

Here is where route optimization works best. In this article, we’re going to take a look at why route optimization is important, how you can implement a good route optimization software in your business, and which is the best automated route optimization solution in the market.

What Is Route Optimization

When it comes to optimizing freight transportation, optimizing delivery routes requires more from a vehicle’s overall performance than simply being able to deliver merchandise as quickly as possible. In addition to making as many deliveries as quickly as possible over the course of a route, the overall freight efficiency of a route is optimized by maximizing the number of deliveries along it in the shortest amount of time possible.

Efficient delivery route optimization not only results in more daily deliveries getting done due to decreased travel time, it also ultimately decreases shipping costs. This becomes particularly crucial in today’s eCommerce environment where shipping costs are one of the most important factors concerning online shoppers when deciding to buy an item or not.

While generally dispatchers and managers plan the routes drivers will take for scheduled deliveries in order to deliver as many orders as possible, in as short a time as possible, high volumes or adverse weather conditions can affect delivery times. As order volumes increase, the logistics become more complex - thus even more complicated when on-demand (same day/next day) delivery is taken into consideration.

The sleek digital interface of an automated route planner is the digital answer to manually plotting routes, and has since become a regular feature within larger all-inclusive navigation solutions used daily by professional drivers.

What Is The Importance Of Route Optimization

  • Route optimization allows for accurate price estimations between freight stations and for sending packages.
  • It helps to reduce heavy gas fees, while also increasing the frequency of delivery drops.
  • Delivery operations take a major boost with route optimization setup for fleet management
  • More dependable pricing: With effective route tracking and planning, you’re sure to get an increase in savings.

Regardless of all this, route optimization also proves potential risk, and it depends on a lot of factors.

Factors Affecting Route Optimization

There are a lot of variables that come into play when dealing with optimizing routes for field agents. Most of these come under one or more of the following categories:

  • Variation in fleet or inventory
  • Variation in drivers and fleet managers
  • Customer decisions can affect route optimization too
  • The quantity and quality of orders and deliveries

Apart from these, there are also other minor factors affecting route optimization, like scheduling costs, existing delivery rescheduling, inefficient delivery management, and a bunch of other stuff.

So with all this in mind, how do we got about achieving a flexible model for route optimization? Here’s how!

How To Achieve Route Optimization

Route optimization is simply delivering a particular product in the most efficient way possible. While there are certain factors that make it seem like every country, region, and organization needs to have its own technique for optimizing routes for their delivery teams, there certainly are a few common things that you can practice to get to the minimum threshold, beyond which it will only be your acumen that will propel your business forward. Here’s what you need to do, though, if you want to move up your route optimization process swiftly.

Get A Good Route Optimization Solution

An automated route optimization software is ideal for supporting multiple commercial and client needs as it allows a user to run calculations several times a day or even several times an hour. Automated routing software like Fieldproxy work by using AI-algorithms to sort through orders and smartly assign them to agents with the help of their location, and then mapping the orders in terms of priority.

But routing engines only work efficiently when they have a lot of operational constraints built into them, and integrated efficiently. How to know which constraints to use? Let’s answer that in two parts. First, let’s talk about the type of constraints automated routing software solutions use, and then talk about which constraints most of the free routing software in the market use in 2021.

Types Of Constraints

If we were to speak in general terms, route optimization composes itself of two types of constraints - hard constraints and soft constraints.

Hard Constraint

Hard constraints are hard yes/no questions. They include questions like Delivery or Order Journey Mapping that prompt you to answer exactly what is happening and why, in order for the system to get a good sense of all the factors that matter when trying to figure out how your customers want to be taken care of versus focusing on taking your delivery agents from point A to point B alone.

Soft Constraints

A soft constraint is like an instruction to the GPS software to recommend a route but not necessarily go out of its way to take you on the recommended route. They usually make your travel experience great by taking you through interesting and scenic roads and locations. These constraints make the delivery agent’s life easier, but give them enough freedom to make a decision on their own.

Custom Constraints

It's important for many businesses to create customized routes to help their drivers stay on track. Most route optimizers don't provide enough information about your routes, but this is because they tend to be catered more to medium-sized businesses rather than the very large corporations that require specific kinds of insights for each driver. This is where custom constraints come in. Simply put, they are an “add-on” to your existing route optimization software, to further enhance your route optimization game and cater to your business specifically.

Upskill Yourself On The Variables Affecting Your Business

Now that you know the importance of route optimization software on your business, you need to understand what can be done to improve the factors affecting your route optimization journey.

Driver Parameters

These are variables that depend on the size and range of your business. How big are you? The number of drivers and fleet managers you’re employing? The distance these drivers travel? The skills they have? The maximum number of hours they can work? All this comes under driver parameters, and is definitely something you need to keep an eye on.

Order Parameters

This parameter should answer questions like the package size; whether it’s hot, cold, or fragile storage, if it requires a specific certification to deliver around, or maybe it requires age verification - questions like these need to be answered by the business owner, viz. you!

Real-time Data Handling By The CRM

Many route optimization CRMs do not update accurate data in real-time, so you might want to steer away from them (get it?). Updating real-time data is crucial for route optimization since it will relay priority of an order, the availability with a vendor, and so on.

Road And Vehicle Parameters

Travel time, estimated delivery dates, distances, and vehicle load capacity - all these variables come under vehicle and road parameters, and it would do you good to identify them early and keep them in your route optimization CRM at all times.

And that is just the start of it. There are a lot more factors that go into making route optimization solutions the best investment for your business, but this should give you an idea into why you need to get acquainted with what a route optimization software is and how to get the best out of it.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what automated route optimization solutions like Fieldproxy can do for your business.

What Is The Benefit Of Route Optimization?


Analyze Traffic Patterns And Predict Routes

Routing software can automatically plan different routes for your delivery trucks based on traffic considerations. While routing applications have traditionally relied on expert guidance, these newer programs allow you to take advantage of current real-time and historical data and industry best practices .

Take Vehicle Type Into Consideration To Recommend Better Routes

When it comes to shipping goods on large trucks, not all roads are made equal. A good route optimization system will take the weight restrictions of the truck itself, as well as the specific weight limitations of residential roads and highways into account before routing based upon things like volume or model of vehicle.

Integrations Made Specifically For Your Business

An ideal route optimizer should be able to integrate with CRM and OMS or SRM systems in order to provide businesses with real-time data that always reflects accurate dispatch information. This enables the user to dynamically change their routes in accordance with changing conditions throughout the day without any lag time.

Which Is The Best Route Optimization Software FOR YOU?

Creating the perfect route at scale is like baking a batch of cookies. A world-class chef would know that if you were to do this for 100 different age groups, you would need to make some changes here and there based on each group's needs and preferences. This is because everyone might like something a little differently and wanting to be catered to thus makes for great business and building relationships. The same applies to route optimization software.

And nothing in the market is as flexible as Fieldproxy’s route optimization software

Get On-Demand Route Optimization Services

A strong route optimization solution should support delivering to customers, whether they’re next door down the road or 500 miles away. Businesses may need to include coming in from eCommerce sites alongside customers who will pick up their order from the store. Fieldproxy achieves this with ease, and does it all for a seven-day free trial too.

Automate Optimization Or Try It Yourself

Routing flexibility is a very important feature. It gives the solution the ability to manually or automatically plan out and optimize routes - which is extremely helpful if managers want to save time and money! Route optimization can be performed on a per-store basis, such as using Fieldproxy in large supermarkets that service many customers daily, or on a smaller scale by looking into retail data like foot traffic for smaller suburban stores.

Fieldproxy is an all in one field service management software to handle your entire field operations. It is a full-featured software product that helps managers of retail, pharma, consumer goods, real estate and construction etc., to collect data in a structured format.

Fieldproxy-download

Managers can create workflows for their employees from the web dashboard and assign tasks for their agents within minutes.

It has a user-friendly mobile app from which the field agents can update the tasks once they complete and managers can get field updates in real-time.

Modules

Fieldproxy has workflows specially designed to ensure that the on-ground field agents are safe and secure. In this time of the pandemic, this special feature acts as a lifesaver by tracing the contact, hygiene compliance and accountability.

"Fieldproxy gives us more visibility of how our business is moving and make us much more efficient each day"

Source: Chantelle, Field service manager

Features of Fieldproxy :

This feature-rich cloud-based application brings all your field tasks under one roof with the most interactive web application and highly capable mobile app. The heavy-duty software provides ample features like:

Attendance management

Field agents can mark their attendance along with their photo and location remotely from anywhere, from the comfort of their mobile app.

Scheduling and Dispatch

Flexible scheduling allows managers to schedule the jobs for their agents weeks ahead to get them to the right place at the right time.

Mobile app

Fieldproxy mobile app is designed to perform the day to day operations effortlessly

Invoicing and Follow-ups

You can use the prebuilt templates to generate an invoice with just a tap. The generated invoice can be easily downloaded and shared with anyone.

Order Booking

The software has a portal, from which you can place orders conveniently without making frequent calls to the suppliers

Inventory Management

Inventory management acts as a platform to monitor and organize all your Inventory from a single pane

Attractive dashboard

Managers can filter the agent metrics according to their needs and can easily view the performance in a dashboard.

Report generation

Tedious reports are automatically generated and the system automatically sends you via Whatsapp or mail.

Geotagging

Locations are geotagged with GPS coordinates for accurate monitoring of on-field agents.

Route optimization

With this feature, managers can navigate their field service agents with efficiently planned routes to beat the traffic.

Integrated CRM

Maintain long term customer relationships with Fieldproxy's friendliest CRM to conduct meetings and to always stay connected with the customers.

Feedback collection

To increase customer retention, the mobile app allows the service agents to collect the service feedback from clients and automatically gets saved in the customer feedback portal.

Technician info sharing with the customer

You can further pamper your customers, as the software automatically sends the service details like time, technician location to the customers beforehand of the service.

Automated email & SMS

Service agents will be automatically reminded of their jobs on the previous day Itself. Besides that, this feature comes in very handy for managing inventory, as the tool automatically reminds you to make a purchase when the product falls below the threshold.

Expense Tracker

This feature helps you to save ample time. Once the agents update all their expenses from their mobile app, it automatically calculates all the expenses and sends you a report.

Hence, you can always be aware of the expenses without any effort.

Closing Thoughts

An employee attendance management and time tracking software that fulfils all your needs is Fieldproxy - a one-stop solution to all your field service and employee tracking needs. With Fieldproxy, you can easily

  • Create unique dashboards and interactive reports
  • Identify areas of improvement
  • Have automated check-ins and check-outs for field professionals
  • Track systems and field teams with greater efficiency
  • Create and manage client requirements
  • Get real-time employee location data
  • Create teams for specific tasks and allocate tasks to each team in real-time


Fieldproxy Field Service Management Software

And that's not all. With Fieldproxy, you can do so much more. Book a demo and improve your field sales teams with just a few clicks today.

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Fieldproxy manages all your field operations, including location tracking, client data management, worker productivity, time and expense tracking, and much more. Fieldproxy is designed to be easy to use.

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