What is Zoned-Based Routing?
Zone-based routing is a familiar concept for many industry veterans in last-mile operations. With zone-based routing, dispatchers establish geographic areas, each covered by a given driver who is dedicated to servicing stops in that region. Zone-based routing often goes hand-in-hand with static routing, where each day of the week a driver visits the established stop sequence for that day. And, for the most part, most Mondays are the same, most Tuesdays are the same, and so on.
For these organizations, moving immediately to dynamic routing can be a shock to the system. Instead of having drivers operate within their zones and cover a set set of stops each day of the week, drivers are given new stops in new sequences — and often in new areas — every single day. This shift is often disruptive and requires a bit more finesse. What we’ve found is that, while many organizations want to make the move to dynamic routing for the long-term benefits to their organization, the key to a successful transition is a gradual transition. And that involves a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ strategy, where routes are automatically created in Scheduler from Wise Systems and are constrained to geographic zones.
Dynamic Routing Advantages
With zone-based routing in Wise Systems, dispatchers can import or define geographic zones, and driver zone preferences, to ensure that dynamic routes match familiar territories, while still respecting business rules (e.g., time windows) and optimizing for efficiency.
So, for example, a company using Wise Systems can set up geographic zones for each warehouse to keep drivers in familiar territory. Or, they can import zones from their legacy software into Wise Systems to quickly transition into AI-driven routing with minimal change management risk. This saves dispatchers time and effort, while still reaping the benefits of a dynamic operation. It also paves the way for a successful, long-term move to fully dynamic operations.
Choosing between a static, dynamic, or hybrid routing strategy can be complex.
The key is to understand:
- Current and future routing strategies
- How each strategy can support your business
- The constraints and opportunities associated with implementing operational change
To illustrate the options and considerations, we’ve put together a whitepaper on Choosing the Right Routing Strategy for Your Fleet. Or, if you are ready to learn more about our zone-based routing capabilities, get in touch.