Resources › FAQ • Mar 22nd 2022

What is Route Optimization Software?

Wise Systems

Wise Systems

What is route opimization software?

Route optimization software plans the sequence of stops a delivery driver follows to improve driver efficiency and customer service. The software makes more efficient routes for an entire fleet based on the business’s constraints and goals, assisting dispatchers by automating the work of manual planning.

Before route optimization software existed, dispatchers had to create routes with pen, paper, maps, whiteboards, spreadsheets, and their accumulated business knowledge — surprisingly, this remains the status quo at many operations.

While this hand-crank method may work, it is a laborious, complicated, and inefficient way to build routes. Now, much of the route planning work can be automated and performed with higher accuracy by algorithms. For dispatchers and drivers, route optimization software rapidly creates efficient routes, helps manage daily operations, and offers new strategies for running a fleet.

Route optimization software for delivery drivers

Static vs Dynamic Routing For Last-Mile Delivery.

Wise Systems’ route optimization software supports three primary routing strategies

Static Routing: Routes are planned quarterly or monthly.

Dynamic Routing: New routes are developed daily to increase the efficiency of last mile deliveries.

Static + Dynamic Hybrid: Routes adapt during the delivery day based on new orders that flow into the system and changes drivers face on the ground.

Route optimization software tackles the Traveling Salesman Problem — an academic term that describes the complexity of creating delivery routes with certain constraints. As the number of drivers & stops changes the possible number of potential routes grows exponentially. Finding the most optimal routes becomes impossible without the help of a computer that is able to use machine-learning to consistently predict the best routes day-to-day.

The problem grows more complex as you add more stops and introduce constraints like driver availability, truck capacity, customer time windows, traffic, service times, and weather.

Static Routing for Last-Mile Delivery.

Most traditional delivery fleets use, or have used, static routes. Whether built manually or with legacy routing software, these routes have a fixed sequence of stops, minimal variation, and are built around forecasts once a year. The static approach is frequently used by companies with consistent customers and predictable demand, but this strategy is rarely the most efficient. Dispatchers spend large amounts of time manually building then adjusting routes based on variations between the annual static plan and daily volume, making fleet performance and customer service improvements difficult to achieve.

Route optimization software and apps from Wise Systems

Dynamic Routing for Last-Mile Delivery.

Dynamic routing software was developed for fleets to manage routes and optimize last mile delivery. Traditional routing methods for fleets include creating static routes on a quarterly or yearly basis that do not change. However, dynamic routing software recommends new routes daily based on the delivery location and the driver availability. Dynamic routing helps to ensure on-time delivery and improve customer satisfaction. Wise Systems’ dynamic route planning software considers many different factors while planning routes, including new orders, driver availability, time windows, load constraints, traffic weather, and more. Every day our software develops a new route sequence for fleet drivers based on these factors.

 

Example of route optimization software in action

Benefits of Dynamic Route Planning Software.

Increase On-Time Deliveries

Wise Systems’ routing software will consider many factors before building routes. The software will pick out the most optimal routes and update with alternative routes if there is traffic or other issues. Because of this, drivers’ routes will have fewer delays and more on-time deliveries.

Estimated Time of Delivery

With dynamic route planning software, fleets are able to provide customers with more accurate delivery information. Since drivers’ routes are planned thoroughly, the software can provide customers with more precise and reliable information about ETAs. This software also allows for more communication between drivers and customers, with updates on any delays.

Reduce Last-Mile Costs

Because our dynamic routing software will schedule and choose optimal routes for drivers, dispatchers and fleet managers will be able to spend less time building and planning the routes themselves. In a dynamic routing environment, dispatchers’ planning workloads decrease dramatically, while fleet efficiency metrics, including utilization and on-time delivery, see significant improvement. With dynamic routing software choosing the quickest and most efficient routes, the costs of fuel and vehicle maintenance will be lowered.

Improve Efficiency & Fleet Utilization

Dynamic route optimization yields efficiencies in utilization that human dispatchers could not attain due to the complexity of the routing problems. . In a dynamic routing environment, dispatchers’ planning workloads decrease dramatically, while fleet efficiency metrics, including utilization and on-time delivery, see significant improvement.

Static + Dynamic Hybrid Routing Software.

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.

AI-Powered Route Optimization Software.

A delivery route planner is software that schedules and sequences stops for fleets delivering goods and services. Also referred to as delivery routing software or route optimization software, a delivery route planner may include more features than the core route sequencing functionality like fleet visibility, on-demand dispatching, driver feedback, real-time optimization, and machine learning enhanced routes.

The more variables, the higher the number of possible route combinations to evaluate. The number of solutions becomes astronomically high quickly, and it becomes impossible for even an experienced dispatcher or route planner to create efficient routes relying solely on their best hunches. This is where Wise Systems’ next-gen route optimization software comes in.

Wise Systems’ autonomous routing and dispatch software enables the perfect last-mile delivery for your fleet. The Wise Systems platform supports all routing strategies, from static, dynamic, or static + dynamic routing, benefiting everyone in the process — delivery recipients, drivers, dispatchers, and managers. Fleets using the Wise Systems platform see significant efficiency improvements including:

  • Reductions in late deliveries;
  • Improvements in fleet utilization;
  • Achieving higher levels of customer service,
  • And savings in fuel and mileage costs.

Benefits of Automated Fleet Management Software.

The benefits don’t stop there. The most recent route planning solutions use machine learning to better understand the components that make up an optimal route and then put this knowledge to use when building future route plans.

Service times, for instance, can be predicted by machine learning and incorporated into future route plans to improve the accuracy of routes. These advancements give fleets continuous improvements in efficiency and customer service, which translates to happier customers and market growth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Routing Software

Why is Route Optimization Important?

Route Optimization provides a large return on investment for fleet dispatchers. Not only do optimized routes decrease fleet miles but they can prevent late arrivals. And with Wise Systems’ platform, we provide updates and notifications for dispatchers, customers, and other parties so that there is clear communication and important parties have real-time ETAs. This can improve client relationships and provide additional value to your customers. Additionally, optimized routes save on gas which is beneficial for both your budget and the environment.

How Does Route Optimization Work?

There are a variety of ways to approach route optimization. Even without the benefit of software and automated route planning, dispatchers & drivers have been attempting to optimize routes for decades. But with next-gen technology dispatchers can discover the most cost-effective routes for their team and use data to constantly improve their routes.

Should My Business Use Static or Dynamic Routing?

Static routing is fairly common among fleet management. And while it doesn’t provide the best optimization it is what many drivers are used to. Regardless of the strategy you use, Wise Systems’ platform can help. Our routing software can help plan static routes in advance or provide real-time dynamic routing allowing your drivers to adapt to day-of obstacles. In fact, we find that combining zone-based routing with dynamic is an ample way to help your team adjust to optimized routing. By setting geographic zones for your drivers, it is easier for drivers to stay in their comfort zone as they adjust with dynamically optimized routes.

How Can Businesses Improve Delivery Success Rate?

Wise Systems’ platform allows dispatchers and drivers to use a zone-based model. Dynamic routes can take getting used to, and the transition can be difficult to handle overnight. By providing your drivers with geographic zones that they individually cover, optimized routes can help improve efficiency without sacrificing familiarity.

What Features Should I Look For In Route Optimization Software?

When it comes to fleet management software you want to make sure it has all of the features you need for your team. Wise Systems’ provides a variety of products that don’t stop at just optimizing routes. Our driver application provides turn-by-turn navigation as well as a variety of helpful tools that can decrease the need for paperwork for your drivers. Additionally, our clients can make use of a unique customer portal that can send automated messages to delivery recipients. This portal can help improve communication and is customizable, allowing our clients to add their branded assets to the portal. Features like this provide extra value and functionality to route optimization software, for more information on our product features please contact our team.

Start Optimizing Your Routes Today.

Request a demo of Wise Systems’ route optimization software to learn how our platform can meet the needs of your entire team, clients, and customers. Click here for more in-depth about Route Planner from Wise Systems.

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