Recently, I saw an announcement for webinar dealing with the complexity of routing and scheduling. The announcement noted that transportation planners and schedulers have far too many variables to consider as they do their daily work.

There is no substitute for an experienced professional that deals with the day to day issues that they encounter throughout the day. No system can plan for equipment failure, weather, traffic accidents or other congestion. But good route planning is the best way to start the day.

There are two reasons to use an automated route planning tool.

Fewer overall miles. It is easy to show that any product in this marketplace should save 10% or more at least 90% of the time. But automated tools really show their value when 40 or more stops have to be routed. Manual routing and scheduling requires stops to be grouped and almost all planners that I have met start by grouping stops by town name or ZIP code, even though two stops in the same ZIP code may be far apart and two stops in different ZIP code may be very close. Automated tools don’t care about addresses, just the time and distance from one stop to another.

Reduced planning time. I usually estimate that the planning time can be cut in half with an automated tool, but the reality a good tool should be able to place 40 stops onto routes in a few minutes. The reduced planning time is important. This time is taken away from something the planner does not do as well as a computer does, and is given to the solving the complex problems noted above.

Maybe someday we will have self driving vehicles and software to handle all the variables encountered when dispatching and tracking vehicles. But, in the meantime, we need to depend on humans to do this work. Finding a way to reduce the busy work is a way to make these professionals more productive.

Visit us at Strategic Movements and see how Strategic Movements can reduce the cost of last mile route planning and the overall transportation costs, as well.

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