Route Planning Solution helps to simplify operations
Are you a food distributor looking for a better route planning solution to maximize your time and provide a cost-effective supply to customers even when demand is unpredictable? Despite there being many options you can choose from to enable you to plan and prepare your logistics, the fact remains that food distribution software can always be upgraded to fit the client's needs and the market as a whole.
What can be described as a multi-faceted operation, food distribution services need to remain viable for transporting food by utilizing the very best in scheduling, route planning software, and food delivery planning.
Consumer demand is growing. The marketplace for locally sourced foods and those that have a lower impact on the environment due to traveling fewer miles or being transported more efficiently is becoming the focus of consumer demands. If 2020 has taught us anything, it would be the fact that the more sustainable a supply chain operation is, the less likely it is to see major impacts from changes in the market. Sustainability, transparency and ethical sourcing are considered to be among the most important trends affecting any food and beverage company.
There is a misconception that route planning is for finding better routes between different locations on the map. While it can be a part of the solution, a route planning app for food distributors should be able to plan hundreds of deliveries from multiple locations that include tight delivery windows and variable service times. Along the way of doing that the best route planning solution should also minimize the mileage driven, time spent on routes, and vehicles needed of the plan (please watch the video below to see how)
Route panning is not included in distribution solutions?
While many software programs allow for you to schedule and plan for deliveries due to integrated food distribution software, route planning and maximum efficiency is still an area that is lacking when it comes to food delivery options. When COVID-19 hit the US in early 2020, it created a ripple of interruptions to the supply chain. Retailers responded to the sudden increase in demand caused by workplaces and schools being shut and restaurants closing down by offering curbside pickups, deliveries, and click and collect. Food distributors incorporated direct-to-consumer channels to keep food moving through the chain so that customers did not go without it. Software and technology providers fast-tracked development and deployment of new solutions designed to automate, digitize and measure every link in the supply chain from a distance.
Demand Could be Variable
In an ideal world, you would want to meet demand while removing excessive time-wasting, and underutilized routes from your food delivery route planner. A software program that allows you to cater to those unpredictable order frequencies and optimize your route to remove waste and inefficiency can help you meet your ever-increasing customer demands while getting the most from your workforce, whether you have your own fleet or not.
With more than three hundred food hubs identified in the United States, many rural hubs miss route optimization due to location. By enabling route optimization for fleets, you can provide the customer with real-time tracking to allow them to locate and identify when their shipment will arrive while allowing you to focus on making sure your fleet is being used most effectively and efficiently to benefit both your business and the customer.
Operational flexibility is a requirement in food delivery planning to allow you to meet demand and best utilize your supply chain.
What Benefits Can Route Planning Optimization Offer Your Company?
By being able to direct your fleet and assign staff to work hours that most benefit the company and your supply chain, you can look at lowering staff costs by removing the bloat from wages and offering better working hours and routes for when your fleet is on the road and delivering orders and sales to customers.
Whether you are making one larger drop or multi-drop routes, having software that takes into consideration load-bearing, scheduling, route planning, and more will allow you to maximize your workforce and reduce costs and overheads by removing and uncertainty over delivery times and routes and timescales for when you can potentially deliver the goods. However, it is worth bearing in mind that an overzealous approach to money saving can be counterproductive as expensive software can prove to be a good investment over time and help you to save money in other areas in the long run.
Less Planning Time
On top of this, you can also reduce mileage by having the best possible route tracked and planned before you load up your fleet, allowing you to load up in a way that compliments your chosen route reducing time spent unloading excess deliveries to find the one for a specific destination.
This allows for a smoother transfer of goods and less spoilage in transit, meaning you deliver a better quality of service for our clients while also keeping costs and overheads down, all while benefiting from less time spent planning routes and a faster delivery schedule.
There are always ways you can look to improve how efficiently your food delivery process is. Having a system in place that can account for more efficient load-bearing when allocating deliveries will help you create a streamlined process from import to delivery. It is wise for food distributors to take the challenges that they face, improve their own processes, mitigate the risks, improve products and improve overall business operations. Food distributors and logistics teams who manage disruption day in and day out know how to engineer supply chains that not only adapt to planned seasonality or unexpected events but also deliver cost savings, increase productivity and improve efficiency.
Focusing on streamlining your food delivery planning and investing in software to enable you to do more with less effort can pay dividends when it comes to meeting customer expectations and hitting targets within your industry. Simplifying the food delivery process to focus on what matters most can put you ahead of your competition by accessing the food distribution software to complement your business and reduce the workload when it comes to route planning, load-bearing, and more.
In an increasingly competitive market, having an advantage over your competitors to appeal to clients especially when it comes to providing real-time updates and putting a focus on conservation and reducing your carbon footprint can help you to reach more people quicker and retain a high level of customer satisfaction thanks to a fully optimized food delivery software that takes all the hard work out of efficient route planning and deliveries.
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Vardan Markosyan is the CEO at Less® Platform
MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
PhD in Economics from the Institute of Economy of NAS RA
He spent decades of research and consultancy on business process optimization and system design