There are many ways to get information about trends and possible opportunities in almost all fields. This morning, I was reading the October, 2020 issue of Trains magazine and found an article on intermodal opportunities. While Strategic Movements does not handle intermodal shipments, the article cited some interesting statistics on motor freight in general.
Anyone that works in an organization with service technicians or delivery workers that drive to customer locations knows that there is always some planning that needs to be done each day to get the work done. In the simplest case, a load planner prints out work tickets from a business application and gives them to the worker who will be doing the driving.
Ron takes a look at the daily route planning in this eleven minute podcast.
Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customer (B2C) models require that someone decides how each service order or delivery ticket is assigned to the proper worker or vehicle for last mile delivery. There are three primary methods used for making those decisions: manual routes, static routes, and dynamic routes.
Not everyone buys their groceries at major chains like Kroger or Walmart. Throughout the country, many people shop at either independent grocers or stores that are part of small chains. And these stores are serviced by regional food wholesalers.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, many homeowners are seeing those small piles of wood shavings that indicate that either termites or ants are around. And this discovery inevitably leads to a call to a pest control provider. Good pest control is not just a one-time call to have someone come out to eliminate the pests, but an ongoing service that has recurring technician visits to review how well the abatement is working.
Building a new home requires supplies from many vendors and the work from many construction trades. And putting it all together requires scheduling, not only by the builder but by the suppliers and contractors as well.
Over the years, I have had two opportunities for working with vehicle delivery problems. Very different businesses, but the same problem needed to be addressed.
Now that the primary heating season is over for most of the United States, it may be time to think not about how to make oil and propane deliveries, but how to do them more efficiently the time around. Much of the delivery of home heating fuel is dynamic; that is, orders are placed when fuel is needed and the supplier has to then plan a route and schedule the delivery.
Arriving at the agreed upon time at a customer location is more than just important. In many cases, it can be critical as well. Arrive too early and the driver will have to wait for the customer to open or for a dock to become available. Arrive too late and customer may already be closed or unable to accept the delivery.