When it comes to routing and logistics, there’s a common misunderstanding about what the term “route planning” encompasses. This is doubly true when the term “route optimization” comes into the equation. While these two are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, the truth is that they couldn’t be more different.
So what do you need to know when it comes to the difference between route planning and route optimization? We’re here to walk you through the differences and, particularly, how they impact your ability to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations when it comes to delivery.
What Is Route Planning?
In most cases, route planning is synonymous with route mapping or route sequencing. Route planning is the process of simply importing a list of orders and putting the relevant destinations into an order that seems to make sense. On the surface, this might seem great. The problem, though, becomes clear when you look further than that surface level.
Route planning software takes your point of origin and essentially maps out a path that touches each of your multiple stops in whatever order is shortest. What it doesn’t do, however, is account for all of the nuances that allow your business to provide exceptional customer service while also minimizing expenses and reaching your company’s full potential.
What Makes Route Optimization Different?
Route optimization helps you to excel by formulating delivery routes based on more than just distance. With true route optimization, advanced algorithms allow you to take control of your deliveries and ensure that even your most complex needs are met without missing a beat.
For your customers, route optimization means a more satisfying interaction with your company. When your customers have specific needs, route optimization software takes those needs into account for a smoother delivery. Whether it’s a specific delivery window, the need for particular skills or equipment, or white glove service, route optimization ensures that the delivery is scheduled with a driver and vehicle that are right for the task.
From a business standpoint, route optimization puts you in control of the finer details. You can set parameters for just about everything. Vehicle weight limits, drive time, shift patterns, and more are all factored in to instantaneously optimize routes to suit your needs. The result is more efficient routing for your company, ultimately empowering you to fit more deliveries into your day.
Additionally, route optimization provides you with the agility you need to adapt on the fly. With route planning, a sick driver or a last-minute request from a customer can send you back to the drawing board to start over from scratch. With true route optimization, you simply change the parameters and receive your newly optimized routes in seconds; it’s that easy.
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 optimization are constantly evolving thanks to Agile development processes and a SaaS deployment model.
Route optimization 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.
Putting Route Optimization to Work for You
Just like route planning and route optimization are two different animals, no two routing software solutions are created equal. With true route optimization software, you can replace hours of work and staring at maps into instantly generated, optimized routes that save your business time, money, and stress.