There are many organizations that are still planning their routes manually every day. Some use some simple web-based tools to visualize each route and some have no automated tools at all.
There are more than just a few vendors offering route planning solutions. Some are just simple tools to automate parts of the route planning process, some are parts of a complete transportation management system, but most fall somewhere in the middle, with features that they found useful to their customers.
Before starting the search, here are a few questions that you need to answer. These all are considerations for which route planning software will be the best fit for your needs.
- How many customer locations do you visit on a regular basis?
- How large of a geographic area do you serve?
- Do you start and end all routes at a single location? Multiple locations?
- Do the drivers or technicians take the vehicle home at night?
- How many drivers or technicians are used on a regular basis?
- Are all your routes completed in one day, or are there overnight stays?
- Do you have a master schedule and visit the same customers on a regular basis, or do you visit a different mix of customers each day?
- Are specific customers assigned to specific drivers or technicians?
- Do you have vehicles with different capacities or technicians with different skills?
- Do the vehicles need to be refilled during the day? Will a driver use more than one vehicle in any day?
- Do you deliver products using both your own drivers and other transportation providers, such as local delivery companies or LTL carriers?
- Do you plan routes for a single date, or do you plan for a longer period, like a week at a time?
- How do you plan when you are short a driver or technician due to vacation or illness?
- What application do you use to enter orders for products and services? Does it have the capability to export daily orders for processing on the route planning application?
- Do you use a GPS service to track your vehicles? How do you send the daily routes to that application?
Strategic Movements meets the needs for many organizations.
- Single route starting location, or multiple starting locations.
- Routes starting and ending at a company location or at a home.
- Manual assignment process.
- Static routes for master schedules.
- Fully dynamic routing.
- Alternate delivery methods, using the most cost-effective mix of methods.
- Interfaces with ERP and other business applications.
- Interfaces with GPS systems for tracking.
Also, consider the platform provided by a vendor. Is it cloud based (infrastructure as a service) or it is premise-based?
What is the cost structure? Do you have to play for a one-time license plus implementation, followed by a maintenance fee? Or are the costs based on the number of routes or users?
Strategic Movements provides all the infrastructure and software that you need. By accessing route planning software over the Internet, your only infrastructure costs are for computers with a web browser and an Internet connection. And when your organization grows, you never have to worry about issues like server capacity.
Finally, the route planning services are covered in one bill. Nothing upfront, no annual maintenance.
So, if you want a simple cost-effective solution that is easy to implement and has simple to understand pricing, check us out at www.strategicmovements.com.
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