September 14 2020

‘IN THE LOOP’ - How distributors can improve planning using Digital Delivery Systems

Route planning can end up being a very taxing process on your team, your resources and your time.
Traditional paper-based and simple systems may seem an easy option, but without extra digital checks ensuring mistakes aren’t made, they can end up causing more problems; routes can be planned wrong, manual mistakes can easily be made and customers can be left dissatisfied with service, or have their orders left unfilled or wrong.
A Digital Systems can act as a safeguard against hard-to-detect mistakes, because it knows exactly which items are in each order, incorporate specifics ETA’s and customer requirements, and it ensures these are adhered to when your team are planning routes.
In this article, we explore a few of the ways digital systems save time in the short-term, and hassle in the long-term.

Specifics ETA’s and Customer Requirements

To make sure orders with specific requirements are met, our system lets you input the specific ETA’s and customer preferences for an order, and makes sure these are stuck to. Delivery windows are enforced and when you are planning and optimising routes, the system works around these windows, ensuring the delivery sequence for a route takes into account precise timing to keep customers happy.

Route Optimizations

The System lets you optimise routes based on a number of different factors:
Choose the max/min number of routes used on any given day
Define the max distance travelled and driving time
Ensure all routes finish at the same time each day
Minimise the completion time across all routes
Each of these rules ensures routes and drivers work to your rules and requirements. This results in a smoother operation and promises efficiency without additional effort when planning.

Locking routes

Once a route has been planned and is ready, you can lock it on the planning screen, meaning no changes can be made (even automated ones by the system). This ensures each day runs as you want it to and no unexpected changes are made.

Drag-and-Drop Functionality

To ease planning, we have implemented a ‘drag-and-drop’ feature, meaning you can simply drag orders to any route, giving you the ability to change the order/ number of orders in a route etc.
This makes planning incredibly easy and simple.

Discounts/Promotions

You can enforce the maximum discount any driver is permitted to apply to any given order, meaning you can keep control of finances and be safe in knowing that customers receive the service you have agreed with them.

Automatic inventory/stock updates

Whether it’s in a van or warehouse, our system automatically updates stock levels in real-time (including van sales / up-sold items). This is crucial to achieving accurate stock management, resulting in more accurate order planning - No order is created and processed without the correct stocks being taking into account, to avoid missed/unfulfilled orders due to insufficient stocks.
To see more about route planning using our delivery management system, click here.
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