The Effective Difference Between Route Planning and Route Optimization
Last-mile delivery is what is referred to as the delivery phase when the delivery occurs to the end customer or the business. This has become a critical part of the logistics of any business. This is because it is where the business is judged by the customer. It is also where the maximum potential of harm exists for the product. So it is necessary to make the delivery process fast and efficient. Because the delivery range has extended due to technology and the industry asks for the highest quality preservation of the packages, This process has become all the more important.
Technology itself is now being used to address this issue. Delivery management systems with accurate route optimization, automatic dispatch, and analytics are being used to handle logistics in the world. They use these features such that both the consumer and the delivery agents are provided with benefits. Two of those features are often confused, both by professionals and mostly the general public.
Route planning and optimization are present in all modern delivery management systems. Route planning is the process of sorting various destinations in order to increase the speed of shipment. Optimization of routes does a lot more than just sorting and handles emergency situations in the logistical process well.
Major Differences Between Route Planning and Route Optimization
The route planner is a feature in many delivery software these days. Route planning is the process of preparing the drivers to handle their delivery orders in a standard manner. It primarily focuses on the shortest distance between the routes and does not take into account other factors. It is a basic requirement of delivery services, and hence free route planning services are given by various agencies.
One such free route planning service is offered by Google maps. While all this is good news, the shipment process involves more than just focusing on the shortest distance and sorting various destinations. Relying solely on route planning leads to inefficiency in the delivery process.
Route optimization on the other hand involves algorithms that handle thousands of changing parameters at once. Vehicle weight, route traffic, route distance, delivery window times, vehicle mileage, etc are some of the many parameters that can be set when optimizing routes. This process is how modern logistics systems resolve unpredictable obstacles often encountered in the delivery process.
It is also generally believed that route planning has become a thing of the past. This is because there are serious disadvantages of it when applied to many real world scenarios.
It is also important to note that in many delivery management software, optimization services encompass route planning. This is why they often appear the same and lead to a lot of confusion. Vehicle optimization, multiple stop point integration, and handling different orders are strictly speaking, not part of the route planning systems.
A route plan also cannot be changed in the optimal time frames of operation in most logistics businesses. The route planning process is also called “route sequencing”, which is an old name that refers to the time the process was popular. People also refer to advanced optimization services as “smart routing” or “intelligent routing”. The functions of the processes determine what category they fall in, so one must carefully choose software that involves optimization services to increase productivity.
Advantages of Route Optimization
Logistics handling today is a risky business if such a business cannot handle customer demands in time. Since other natural things threaten to affect the business, it is risky to operate without using the most productive methods. Almost every delivery tracking software today has optimization systems built-in themselves to handle such complicated tasks. Following are the major advantages of optimization of routes.
Reducing Transportation Costs
This is one of the major benefits of using algorithms to solve logistics problems. The algorithm handles many parameters on its own, which increases the efficiency of the system. Fuel and labor are probably the two parameters that significantly affect the transport cost in the supply chain. Going a few miles out of the way for a single delivery may mean a lot of fuel cost when such practices become commonplace.
Faster and Effective Deliveries
This is the core function of most commercial last-mile delivery tracking software. This is almost impossible without the feature to optimize various routes very quickly. The most advanced software do this in real-time and have a large set of variables that they handle. Using such methods can boost performance by increasing the number of orders that are delivered in significantly less time.
The safety of both the delivery agents and the consumers is increased by using route-optimizing features. The vehicles already spend less time on roads because of using such features. It is also known that frequent U-turns increase the risk of accidents on the road. The optimization features are programmed to take note of every turn, intersection, and crossing on the road. They help drivers choose alternative routes in real-time if the one previously chosen gets canceled. Such cancellation can happen for natural reasons or by a manual update.
The delivery businesses see a lot of growth if integrated by optimization processes. This is because such optimization cuts down on many unseen losses. At the same time, it increases the profits by helping the drivers in making better decisions. Customer satisfaction is increased and the business value goes up both financially and otherwise. Delivery management software constantly monitors the delivery processes and a single job can go through many optimizations before it reaches its destination.
As we can see, route planning and route optimization are not one and the same things. They are quite different and the difference lies in the capabilities of the technologies. They also refer to methods that have been very successful in different timelines. Deliforce is an on-demand last-mile delivery service that can handle a large-scale operational business. It has advanced route optimization features embedded into it. The route optimization is automatic and delivery agents use the optimized routes by default.