16 November 2018
route planning tools help meet customer service demands?
When it comes to bulk
logistics, customers want their shipments delivered accurately, with less lead
time than ever before, and to kept aware of its progress in real-time. The
immediacy of digital commerce means customers are becoming more demanding all
the time, and less forgiving when things go wrong.
When exceeding your
customers’ demands means providing the highest possible standards of
operational performance and then some, there’s really no room for error.
stands to reason that route planning tools are a great help in managing your
fleet, but how much of an impact can they make in terms of maintaining customer
Here’s why route
planning optimisation is key to your bulk shipping firm’s customer service
Driver-level planning boosts delivery
Whether your fleet
consists of five or 500 vehicles, both extremes come with several drivers, each
of whom bring their own variable working parameters to their shifts. Manually creating
a route plan for each driver that takes daily-changing requirements into
account, such as annual leave, staff sickness and statutory working hours, is
no mean feat. After all, your customers expect their shipment on time,
regardless of any personnel challenges happening behind the scenes.
With its ability to
automate route optimisation, only route planning software is capable of
creating driver manifests at the granular level your bulk shipping business
needs. Not only will these route plans be achievable for your drivers and
efficient in terms of mileage and fuel consumption, you can give your customers
the most accurate delivery ETAs possible.
Responsive route planning beats
that unexpected factors will always have the power to impede their shipments,
but they also expect to be kept informed when they do. While some issues really
are out of your control – such as adverse weather conditions – your customers
won’t appreciate being kept out of the loop if and when their shipment is
Route planning tools
should work as part of a wider logistics optimisation system, complete with
vehicle and driver tracking and in-cab hardware, enabling you to maintain
continuous real-time communication with your drivers while they’re behind the
wheel. This way, you can monitor their progress in the field, spot transportation
problems on the road ahead and send live route updates through to them without
missing a beat.
But, for times when
avoiding problems simply isn’t possible, your ability to see where your
vehicles are allows you to pass any new info on to your customers as it
unfolds, keeping them informed and in good spirits.
Reviewed route plans enable continual
No matter how
efficient your route planning resources, pressure points and recurring issues are
inevitable from time to time. But, without the capacity to review your
processes to identify where these issues lie, you don’t stand much chance of
fixing them and avoiding the knock-on effect to your customers.
With the route
planning tools, data storage and reports included with a logistics optimisation
solution, you can compare planned routes against actual performance for
individual drivers and vehicles, bringing any discrepancy trends between the
two to light.
When the cause of a problem is known, you can adjust your route
planning accordingly to amend it - for example, changing the time of day a drop
is made to allow for more help unloading. It’s an operational win for your
business, and one less issue that could compromise customer satisfaction.
Route planning tools,
and indeed, software solutions that encompass total logistical digitisation,
give you the agility and insight to respond to setbacks that could otherwise damage your service to your customers. Our route planning
module is just one system feature that works to improve the way your
bulk logistics firm delivers, contact us to find out
about the rest.