As I am writing this, there has been a steady stream of updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus and its spread throughout the world. There have been quite a few disruptions already with travel and exhibitions cancelled, and people being quarantined around the world.

But what effect does this have on a medium size business that either makes product deliveries or has service technicians making visits on a daily basis? And what can be done in the longer term to reduce the costs incurred by last minute routing and scheduling changes?

An organization that does dynamic scheduling, where a new route plan is created every day, is in a much better position to adapt to changes whether the changes be caused by weather or public health issues. If a customer stops receiving products for some reason, or if the quantity of product changes by a significant amount, or a new customer needs attention, the schedule can be changed very quickly.

On the other hand, when the schedules are created in advance and these same schedules are executed on a regular (usually daily or weekly) basis, schedule changes may require manual attention, adding or removing stops, or reassigning stops when there are too many, or too few, stops to be run.

Historically, organizations that have used master schedules or preplanned routes have been reluctant to invest in applications that do dynamic routing since there may not be a need to change the routes on an anything more infrequent basis.

Preplanned routes are very important in many market segments. Many businesses do make the same stops in the same order on a regular basis and there is really no reason to change these routes every day.

But the unexpected does happen.

Strategic Movements offers plans based not only on the traditional cost per truck per month, but also on a very low cost per truck per month plus a fee for every time a plan is changed. The net result is the ability to make changes to the planned routes only as needed at a cost that reflects the usage of the AI scheduling tools.

So if you don’t need route planning, scheduling and dispatching every day, but need a powerful AI based planning application only as required, visit us at Strategic Movements and see what we can do for you.

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