Route planning, also known as route optimization covers a wide set of needs and definitions. We often get inquiries for route planning from prospects that were using much less expensive sequencing or mapping tools that have gone out of business or shelved. These prospects are surprised at our subscription model (cost per vehicle per month) and higher cost, until we dive in and share the value. They were used to paying a one-time fee, perhaps a few hundred dollars and were able to go about organizing their orders or stops in a simple sequence.
After explaining WorkWave’s definition of route planning and sharing the ancillary capabilities to subsequently plan, route, dispatch, re-plan, track and manage customer updates throughout the day, we get a range of reactions, from “This is magic and would save me countless hours of planning time and operational savings”, to “Wow, but I only have one vehicle and my routes are very static”. To that end, we thought we would try to share some of the features and value differentiators that emphasize the large chasm between what is available from traditional mapping and sequencing tools, such as the former Microsoft Streets and Trips versus a broader route optimization platform such as WorkWave Route Manager.
To begin with, most sequencing or mapping applications rely on a company knowing which of their customers need its delivery or service and which specific driver is going to execute the delivery or service. The data is imported usually via spreadsheet and then based on the starting location of the resource, the mapping system generates a best travel sequence; often not considering concerns over a resources hours of operations, a customer’s unique needs or SLAs (from white glove service to specific skills) or if time windows are even a consideration. If all you are looking for is sequencing, we can certainly help, but perhaps a simple sequencing solution is the right tool for you. However, once you start introducing even minor complexities – delivery time windows, flexibility for orders to be completed on different days or even the desire to let the system decide which delivery resources among several available might be the most cost effective; then the value and operational efficiencies become magnified.
Powerful route optimization tools also take into consideration load capacities, shift patterns, defined coverage regions and a myriad of other constraints. The expectations and definitions of route planning are constantly evolving thanks to Agile development processes and a SaaS deployment model. Route planning is much more valuable than traditional sequencing. We welcome the opportunity to highlight our solution and demonstrate the value it can bring to your organization. Check out our ROI calculator or contact us to schedule a call to tour our routing solution.