Reducing Expense and Improving Efficiency for Service and Product Delivery

Ron Dombrowski July 8, 2020

Strategic Movements is a cloud-based service for route planning for both service technicians and product delivery. It provides provable benefits to its users by reducing the labor expense of planning routes, by producing more efficient routes, and by offering the capability to measure driver compliance in the execution of planned routes.

Chart showing that as costs are reduced and quality increases, efficiency increases as a result

Let’s look at how Strategic Movements does this.

Planning

The first step in the Strategic Movements process is route planning. No one method of planning routes works for all organizations, so three methods are provided: manual, static, and dynamic.

Manual routing is where a route planner manually assigns work to drivers or vehicles. The route planner can see the routes on a map and, after each assignment, can view the travel path as well as the drive, stop arrival and work times. Using an application to make assignments, the route planning time is reduced by eliminating the need for finding customer locations. No more looking through maps or using mapping websites. It also assists in identifying stops are near each other, regardless of town name or ZIP code, so that they can be placed on the same route.

Static routing is where a master schedule is used as the basis of the daily routes. New work can be added to a route, or scheduled work can be removed from a route each day. The master schedule can also be updated by permanently adding or removing work, resulting in a new static route for use on future dates. Each daily route may also be optimized after adding or removing stops to give the driver the most efficient stop order.

Dynamic routing is where an artificial intelligence process is used to assign service or delivery work to drivers or vehicles. This provides the greatest expense reduction by reducing the route planning time and producing highly efficient routes.

Multiple methods may be used on any given date, with some routes being dynamically optimized and some being under the full control of the route planner.

In all cases, the work data for the route planning is usually entered from an ERP or other business application, using either a direct interface, a file upload, or a robotic processing automation (RPA) tool. This business process automation also reduces the cost of the manual labor for entering stop data more than once.

Same Day Work Add On

In many cases, organizations that provide services may assign additional work to a technician during the day. Usually this is done for emergency work, or for other unplanned work, like meeting with a new customer.

When work data is entered for the current date, that work is automatically displayed on a dispatch board so that the route planner or dispatcher can make a work assignment. To provide an efficient way to make these assignments, a tool is provided to find the route to which the work may be assigned at the lowest possible cost.

Same Day Tracking

When used with a GPS service, Strategic Movements can display the actual locations of each driver or vehicle on a map on a nearly real time basis. The route planner or dispatcher can see when deliveries were made and see the newly projected arrival times for future stops based on the current driver location.

If a product delivery truck is running late, the dispatcher can alert the customer of the projected late arrival. For service technicians, the work can be assigned to a different technician that could complete the work on time for the customer.

Compliance and Performance Reporting

After all the work for the day is done, driver compliance and performance may be reviewed.

For a quick one-day review, a report showing the planned and actual drive, stop arrival, and work times is available. This report may be reviewed by driver’s supervisor and a report for each individual driver may be sent to that driver by email.

To review a longer period, a dashboard showing the driver compliance and performance over a range of dates is available. The dashboard shows all work for the period totaled by worker, showing the number of stops with early, on-time and late drive time, stop arrival and work time. The number of missed stops and the number of out of order stops are also shown.

When an exception is shown for a driver, the supervisor may expand the summary to see the detail for the work done each day. And if further information is needed, the daily summary may be expanded, showing the actual times for each stop. With a few mouse clicks, exceptions can be identified that may need further attention.

Conclusion

There are four places where expenses can be reduced and efficiency improved: planning, same date route additions, same day tracking, and compliance and performance reporting.

Each of these will provide a benefit to an organization using Strategic Movements. So isn’t it time to see how an easy to use application can help reduce your last mile transportation costs?

Please visit our website at www.strategicmovements.com to see how we can improve the efficiency of your last mile delivery work assignment.

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