Solution – 6 MIN READ
What tools for route optimization?
What tools for route optimization?
Scheduling of orders, route building, tracking, navigation, geolocation and more. Discover how to choose route optimizer to improve the management of deliveries and field service operations.
How to optimize routes?
The term “route optimization” has several meanings. The sales pitch of the following software usually includes the “pick-up, delivery or field service operation route optimization”.
We will explain bellow the difference between the software and how to optimize your routes.
Track vehicles doesn’t mean optimize routes
Knowing the location of vehicles in real-time can certainly be useful to react quickly in the event of unexpected situations and to avoid extra miles. Nevertheless, it’s not enough if the objective is to optimize routes. Do you want both features? Choose an efficient route optimization software or route optimizer integrating GPS tracking of vehicles.
Using GPS navigation alone doesn’t result in optimized route
The navigation aid via GPS equipment can be a part of route optimization. This tool allows to determine the quickest way to go from a location to another. Nevertheless, going from an address to another in the most optimal way does not mean that the route will be optimized as a whole. Therefore, navigation software is a necessary but no sufficient module to optimize routes.
Differentiate route building from ordering
It’s important to differentiate route building from ordering as for many professionals it can be confusing. The ordering software and route building software publishers define the platforms as “appointment scheduling and route optimization software”. Nevertheless, the first one orders the operations within a route, while the second one build routes from a cloud of orders. Route building software can easily manage the ordering of operations. Finally, the route building needs more complex algorithms and thus allows to determine better routes.
Fleet management is an input to the planning and route optimization
Fleet management software helps to monitor operational costs of vehicles. It can be completed with a geolocation system which usually requires equipment in the vehicle to gather data. Fleet management can be part of the route optimization process but it’s not route optimization software. Nevertheless, fleet management software can sustain route optimizer such as AntsRoute.
Smartly schedule appointments
The scheduling of orders can be counterproductive to real route optimization. For example, assigning orders to field workers without taking into consideration already scheduled orders won’t be efficient. Schedulers plan orders and fill out schedules according to availability. The appointments are randomly assigned to technicians. That’s why, this type of scheduling software results in manual building of routes. Therefore, without taking into account more constraints, the software enables to build routes which are far from the optimum.
A “flexible” scheduling is today the appropriate solution. The planning of orders must take into consideration already scheduled orders and shouldn’t be assigned to a fixed time. This approach requires a geographic analysis, complex algorithms and artificial intelligence. The schedules of each field worker will be created during the building of routes. It allows you to determine the best routes easily and save time when building routes.
Having a report tool doesn’t mean optimize routes
It seems obvious. While the operation report management software doesn’t optimize routes, it helps to save time in the capture of reports and the customer relation management. A route optimization mobile application associated with this report management software can sometimes display the list of orders to carry out. This list is static and doesn’t manage unexpected situations on the road. In particular, it doesn’t offer real-time re-ordering according to the technicians who are late or fast. How to optimize your routes?
How to schedule orders and determine the best routes? What route optimizer choose?
To conclude, efficient delivery and field service operation route optimization software must have several modules. It includes scheduling of appointments, route building, tracking and re-ordering of appointments and even navigation during the completion of routes.
There is software using the term route optimization without necessarily offering smart appointment making and route building features. Before acquiring route optimizer ask yourself the following questions: How does this software could help me to schedule the appointements? How are the routes optimized when I have several field workers? Does the software offer real-time tracking? Are there companies using the software and which have similar operational process?
AntsRoute offers all of these features. The route optimizer has appointment scheduling, route building and real-time tracking modules to ensure optimal results. It allows you to optimize routes in different fields. Take a few minutes to discover the features of the AntsRoute route optimizer.