Route optimization technology has been a game-changer in the delivery industry. For example, it is reported that UPS saves 10 million gallons of fuel a year using route optimization software that favors right-hand turns. This example demonstrates just how effective the route optimization process can be when it is paired with the right technology.
Implementing route optimization for the first time within your organization can be daunting. You are not alone if you are concerned that route optimization services seem overly complex, price prohibitive, and difficult to integrate into your current workflow. This article demonstrates that it’s very possible to implement a smart route optimization solution at a reasonable price.
What is route optimization?
Route optimization is the process of finding the most efficient route for a series of stops or waypoints. There is much more to route optimization than finding the shortest distance between two points. Smart route optimization will factor in a variety of factors, including:
- Up-to-date traffic data
- Road construction schedules
- Mapping data, including speed limits
- Time windows for collection and delivery
- Starting and ending locations for routes
- Driver schedules
- Driver home locations
Why not use Google Maps or Bing Maps? Can they be used for route optimization?
In short, no. These mapping services are designed to provide simple point A to B directions. While they provide part of the route optimization solution, they don’t have the capabilities of purpose-build route optimization software. To benefit fully and see the most return from route optimization, use a solution that accommodates the factors listed above.
The advantages of route optimization
- Reduce costs: Effective route optimization leads to less time spent on the road. These improvements result in savings on fuel, vehicle maintenance, and personnel costs. Some businesses see a 20% to 40% reduction in fuel costs and drive time.
- Increase capacity: Route optimization helps couriers to maximize their fleets, enabling each driver to complete more orders. Some businesses see a 50% to 70% increase in daily capacity.
- Improve the dispatching process: A smart route optimization system empowers dispatchers to do their job more efficiently. This can save dispatchers hours of planning and allow them to focus on improving other areas of the business.
Benefits by industry
- Healthcare: Make good on time-sensitive appointments and satisfy unique requirements for different patients. Send customers real-time updates to inform them of their order status.
- Logistics: Avoid late fees and long wait times behind other delivery drivers by prioritizing stops with earlier scheduled appointments at busy locations.
- Food delivery: Create routes for recurring food orders and deal with last-minute changes on the fly.
Didn’t see your industry? Reach out to the experts at OnTime to learn how route optimization can benefit your business.
OnTime’s route optimization
OnTime 360’s transportation management software includes a built-in route optimization system. Based on extensive research and development, our patent-pending optimization adapts a powerful algorithm used to predict genetic mutation in the natural world. This leads to optimization that is extremely capable and accurate, with unheard-of performance. Optimize hundreds of stops, with advanced parameters, within a few seconds.
OnTime’s route optimization software is the premier optimization system in the industry. It delivers high-end route optimization at a reasonable price for our customers. A stand out feature is the ability to factor in time windows, an absolute must for any shipment with precise time constraints. There is no other software solution with OnTime’s unique combination of flexibility, features, and cost-effective performance.
How it works
Route optimization and courier scheduling are fully integrated within OnTime. There is no need to import and export route optimization data between another program or website. Direct integration with the OnTime Mobile apps means that optimized routes approved by a dispatcher are transferred directly to the driver with a single click. There’s no need to pay for two different programs—OnTime includes all the functionality you’ll need.
OnTime's advanced route optimization can be added to your daily workflow in four easy steps:
- Launch OnTime Dispatch and navigate to the Dispatching view.
- From within the Drivers List, double-click a user to view all orders/stops assigned to that driver.
- Click the button labeled Optimize Route. When optimization is completed, the list of stops will be reorganized in the most efficient order. The ordering of stops can be manually adjusted by dragging and dropping orders/stops in the list.
- Click the button labeled OK to save and transmit the optimized route to the driver via OnTime Mobile.
OnTime can optimize up to 300 route stops at a time with the most advanced options. Thousands of route stops can be optimized at a time with basic settings. Within seconds, OnTime will return the results factoring in geography, mapping data, time windows, and much more.
There are three primary methods of route optimization:
- Basic – This method is a general, free-of-charge, Point A to Point B optimization system. It doesn’t take mountains, rivers, oceans, or other obstacles into account, but will do a great job of showing the quickest way to run a route in straight lines.
- Vehicle Route – The second route optimization method is more precise than the first. It optimizes all the stops so that they are completed across the shortest possible distance along streets and roads. There’s even more information included, such as how the route should be split between days, projected start time, end time, total distance traveled, and total time taken to finish the route.
- Vehicle Route with Time Windows – This method is similar to the Vehicle Route method, but, in this case, delivery and collection times take precedent during optimization. This highly complex optimization is perfect for routes where time windows must take priority over geographic convenience.
Simple and predictable pay-as-you-go pricing
Forget monthly fees for users and vehicles. With OnTime, you only pay for what you use.
OnTime’s route optimization features are priced simply and predictably at $0.30 per optimized route. That’s money well spent when it’s in exchange for a 20% to 40% reduction in cost, a 50% to 70% increase in capacity, and a streamlined dispatching process.
OnTime makes use of a credit system where one route optimization requires one credit. Credits are available for purchase in bundles starting at $20. Larger bundles offer cost savings, reducing the per credit cost to as little as $0.15.
Compared to one leading provider* of route optimization, OnTime can easily reduce optimization costs by 92%. For example, 20 users cost $799 per month with a leading competitor, where OnTime would cost approximately $66 per month.
With OnTime’s route optimization, there is no setup fee, no monthly fee, and no exporting or importing to a separate routing service.
If you’re evaluating OnTime’s route optimization, you likely have more specific questions about features and support. Each courier service will have its own unique implementations. Contact us if you'd like to learn how we can find the right solution for your business.
* Comparing Route4Me’s monthly subscription program vs OnTime’s pay-for-what-you-use pricing model.