Do I really need a route planning system?

28 Nov 2023
Guide to route planning image

You have vehicles, drivers and happy customers.  You hear a lot about companies using automated route optimization solutions but you are fine with your manual routes and you get the job done. You have a dedicated team of planners who know your business like the back of their hand, they know which drivers to send where when and everyone is happy with the status quo.  Sound familiar?

As a company that delivers route planning solutions you’d expect us to say that you MUST use a route planning solution to get the best out of your delivery fleet and the best result for your business.  But how would you feel if we told you that is not always the case?

Manual route planning

The majority of companies that we speak to day to day are planning routes manually.  There are processes in place and they work, so why change it? It’s very easy for a company like us to say that if you are using manual, by which we mean paper-based, processes, that you are missing out on BIG benefits.  But manual planning is an art, a skill that has been developed over time by people who are very proficient and sit at the heart of the transport operation.

Here at Podfather we appreciate the role of the planning team.  Without a planning team it would be chaos!  But what if you could give your planning team tools to make their lives easier? You could still create your routes manually but as you do you can see how the routes you are building are impacting vehicle utilization, weight and volume metrics and customer time window commitments.  What if you could see the actual cost of that route as you are building it?

A question for you?

What do you do when your transport planner is on holiday or off sick?  How easy is it for someone to step in and pick up the reins.  If you run a dynamic operation where delivery volumes and routes vary day to day it’s a big challenge to tackle if you haven’t really planned a delivery operation before.  In such situations a computerized route planning solution could help by giving stand-in planners the right tools to make sure routes are built correctly. 

Build manual routes with Podfather

Don’t be fooled into thinking that all route planning software providers are going to upset the apple cart and rework all your routes every day.  Let’s be honest that would be insane and result in chaos as drivers are sent into unknown territories with an unfamiliar plan that just doesn’t work for them.

Not all planning systems were created equal.  With Podfather you can plan routes manually, you can upload pre-allocated routes, you can plan fixed routes and you can also plan by region.  You can, optimize your runs as you go but it’s our job to offer the best solution to fit your model, not push you down a route (pardon the pun) that you don’t want to go down.

Is optimized routing putting you off making a case for change?

If you are delaying the decision to change your planning processes because you are worried about the impact on your planning teams and the ensuing chaos that it’s going to bring to your business then we would encourage you to think again.

Optimised planning is not for everyone. Manual planning, in a digital environment, is definitely a good step forward in getting better visibility of what’s really going on across your operation every day.  With a system such as Podfather you can review your routes on the map, view multiple routes if you want to.  A reduction in planning admin frees up staff to tackle other transport office challenges as, let’s be honest, there is always a lot going on that needs to be dealt with.

So if you are delaying making a change, don’t delay any longer.  All we ask is that you give us a call and we have a chat about how your planning works and how we could potentially help your team to get the job done in the best way for them and for you.

Hopefully that’s something to think about.

About Podfather

Podfather specialises in the development, delivery and support of route optimisation and electronic proof of delivery technology.  We are a UK-based team, located in Edinburgh, and we are passionate about what we do.  We work with companies of all shapes and sizes, from industry giants such as Tarmac and Breedon to well-known names such as Rexel and ODDBOX and everything else in between.  It doesn’t matter what you are delivering but if you have a multi drop distribution operation and are looking to make changes then we can help.  Our solution includes the following as standard:

  • Route planning and optimisation
  • Vehicle checks
  • Customer ETA notifications
  • Driver tracking
  • electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD)

Together we can help you improve cashflow, reduce empty running across your fleet, improve delivery performance and get costs under control.  Get in touch with us today!