Blog > Last mile delivery
Blog > Last mile delivery
21 March 2023 | 6 min read
If you manage a team of mobile workers, you have probably already been offered a fleet management or route optimization software, or both.
The benefits offered by these two types of software are indeed quite similar, even if the technologies and features used to achieve them are very different.
This guide will help you determine which IT solution is most cost-effective for you, without the need for multiple entries and subscriptions.
IT solutions to better manage your fleet or optimize your routes are part of the large family of transport management software (TMS).
The name of the software leaves no doubt about its main promise: to save travel costs and increase productivity without sacrificing quality of service.
Depending on your business and your objectives, this streamlining effort can be translated in different ways:
To achieve this, these solutions hide under the hood very powerful algorithms, which are able to analyze huge amounts of data to help you make the best decisions in all circumstances.
All these tools also have some common features, such as:
However, these 2 types of software do not provide quite the same services.
These tools help you optimize the use of your fleet of vehicles, whether they are trucks, cars, construction equipment, etc.
However, the functionalities proposed to make this management more efficient are quite variable from one publisher to another:
Depending on the solution chosen, the data is entered directly by the user, or collected thanks to a telematics system placed on board each vehicle.
Among the best-known fleet management tools are AutoSIST, Fleetio, Azuga, Whip Around, etc.
The main objective of this software is to determine the best route for all the trips completed by your mobile workers. Depending on your business and your needs, you can set different constraints:
It is better to deal with a publisher who already has many customers in your field: technical services, deliveries, sales forces, healthcare industry, etc.
In addition to route optimization, you benefit from additional interesting functionalities such as the simplified writing of service reports or the identification of nearby leads.
Discover here our top 8 route optimization software: OptimoRoute, Route4me, Track-POD, Tookan… and of course AntsRoute!
The promises made by the publishers are attractive: “+10 to 30% productivity gains”; “15% reduction in the fuel budget”; “up to 17% annual savings”, etc.
Not false… but not always true either! In order to achieve the promised savings, a few conditions must be met.
To calculate the operating costs or CO2 emissions of a vehicle, route optimization software relies on theoretical figures, whereas fleet management applications compile real data.
In terms of cost efficiency, fleet management solutions have a head start. In practice, however, you need to ensure that the information related to transactions is correctly processed, within a short timeframe and without omissions: bills for purchases, rentals, repairs, fuel, tolls, fines, etc.
It’s the same for mileage data if they are not collected in real time by an on-board telematics system.
There is no minimum volume required to adopt either of these software solutions. However, the savings achieved must clearly offset the human costs of training and file management, as well as the subscription fee.
If all or part of your corporate vehicles are leased, you should know that most leasing companies offer a fleet management extranet tool included in their global offer. The break-even point is thus very quickly reached!
However, if you rent many vehicles from competing companies, it is best to use an independent solution to accurately measure the competitiveness of each provider.
Obviously, the larger your fleet, the more cost-effective these tools will be.
You manage a small team and the skills of your workers are quite similar? The planning module included in your business software or your fleet management solution is sometimes enough.
On the contrary, if you have to deal with multiple criteria (licenses, authorizations, difficult hours, time slots, etc.), you should choose a route optimization software.
Unlike navigation or scheduling solutions, route optimization software doesn’t just plan routes so that “everything fits”. Its objective is to find the best possible route, the one that gets you closer to the optimum you have defined… which is quite different.
Does your team make the same route every week or almost the same? A good Excel spreadsheet or a planning module will do the job.
To achieve significant reductions in travel time and miles with a route optimization solution, you must be able to give the tool a minimum of leeway. This can include the choice of driver, the day or time of the task, the vehicle to be used… and ideally, all these parameters at the same time!
While fleet management tools are valuable for monitoring fleet costs or alerting you to any deviation, most of them are not helpful for optimizing communication with your customers. They are simply not designed for that.
That’s why you must think about what is the most appropriate solution to automate the exchange of key information with your customers:
Several tools are likely to offer services of this type, more or less well-designed: route optimization software, CRM, business software, etc. It remains to compare the functionalities of each of them beforehand…
Are you still hesitating: fleet management software, route optimization software… or maybe even both?
To be sure to make the best decision, you must also and above all study the possible connections between the tools you already use and the one you are considering to adopt. Because this is often the key to profitability!
Today, there are several technological “bridges” that allow different software to automatically exchange and synchronize their data:
In concrete terms, each time you enter a key information in one of your applications, it is automatically communicated to the other software that need it.
This system, which eliminates any problem of omission or double entry, also considerably facilitates the handling and use of the various tools.
To evaluate the savings you can make with our route optimization software, we offer you a free 7-day trial, with no commitment or credit card number. To test AntsRoute now, go to this page.