What is Less Platform?

Less Platform combines online route and load planning and digital dispatch services. With Less Platform, you can plan optimal multi-stop routes and dispatch to private fleets or 3rd party carriers. You can monitor your delivery process and get updates about stops. You can also create reports about your delivery operations, such as timely and late deliveries, planned and actual service times, deliveries by drivers and distribution centers, etc.

Who is it for?

Less Platform is for businesses that are involved in distribution, delivery, or field service operations. These can be:

  • Wholesale distributors (food, building materials, industrial, electronics, furniture, pharma, etc.)
  • Retail distributors (store chains)
  • Trucking and logistic companies (LTL, FTL, asset-light)
  • On-demand delivery companies (food, groceries, other pick and deliveries)
  • Services (HVAC, waste collection, etc.) 

Why is it called "Less"?

Less Platform allows users to get the lowest mileage or time for their plans by assuring the best loading capacity and a maximum number of deliveries. It also helps to use fewer trucks and avoid late deliveries. So it helps to save costs while increasing the efficiency of logistics.  

What is the difference between routing and load building, and how Less Platform is different from routing apps?

What is the difference between routing and load building, and how Less Platform is different from routing apps?

The majority of routing apps build routes for the existing number of drivers. Once the route is executed, it is gone. In Less Platform loads are the routed trucks or other equipment which include specific orders. They can be delivered both by an existing fleet of trucks or contracted out to 3pls. Loads are also going to be saved in the system as executable documents with the attached BOL, dispatch sheet/route manifest, and actual delivery and stop execution data. As a rich and accurate data source, they are included in reporting and analytics modules as well. It is a crucial function for multi-depot (DC) wholesale and retail distributors for data management and data aggregation purposes. 

How does it work?

First, you can upload orders from a CSV file, import them from your ordering system, or create them manually. Orders can have delivery windows or maximum delivery times, variable service times. You can also separately upload your customers' data and configure them into geographical zones. Then you set up your depots. Other constraints or variables are taken into consideration, such as; vehicle/equipment capacities, sequencing preferences, order size, and volume. Less Platform creates routes and loads with specific stops that assures minimum mileage or driving time by taking into consideration all the above-mentioned constraints.

What Less Platform planning engine do?

Less platform algorithms optimize total mileage or total time for the plan. They can plan routes and loads according to specific drivers' schedules or build loads that can later be assigned to drivers or carriers. Routing is implemented both for depot (warehouse, DC, and other hubs) based operations and for pick-up and delivery operations. In both cases, total mileage, total delivery time, and a number of trucks/task managers used are being optimized.

Can I plan multi-day multi-stop deliveries?

Yes. With Less Platform you can plan both daily dispatch operations and multi-day multi-stop deliveries. It will take into consideration hours of service (HoS) requirements as well.

Should I create drivers to start using the planning engine?

You don't need to, although you can. Unlike the other systems, Less Platform creates routes and loads both for private fleets and asset-light operations.

Can I have strict delivery windows?

Yes. Less Platform optimization engine considers delivery windows and never allows any early or late delivery if you didn't specify so.

Can I have a plan without a delivery window?

Yes. You can switch off a delivery window constraint from the engine.

Is the capacity taken into consideration during the planning?

Yes. You can preprogram different capacities for your equipment (trucks, trailers, other transport), which algorithms will take into consideration. You can also create plans using multiple capacities or different types of trucks.

Can I filter out my orders?

Less Platform has a reach filtering functional to select these orders that should be grouped based on some characteristics, such as; reefer vs. dry freight, morning vs. afternoon or night deliveries, special deliveries, etc.

I have variable service times (loading/unloading or dwell) depending on the number of cases, weight, or volume of orders. Will they be taken into consideration?

Less Platform is different from others as it assigns different service or dwell time to stops based on the size, weight, and quantity characteristics. So, your routes are going to be much more realistic and executable.

How many orders can I plan?

Unlike the majority of solutions, You can plan an unlimited number of orders. There are clustering algorithms and zoning functionality to help you less time on planning.

How long will it take to plan orders?

Less Platform's innovative approach helps you to choose the planning time yourself. If you are craving for absolute minimum mileage or time for the plan, you can increase the planning time. Generally, more deliveries you want to plan together more time should be dedicated for that. With that said, it takes from several seconds to a couple of minutes.

Can I plan orders from multiple depots?

Yes. Less Platform built for multi-depot wholesale and retail operations. You can alternate your orders and plan them from different depots if you happen to have the same product in more than one location. You can also change depots from where specific customers should be served.

Can I do the same day dynamic planning?

Yes. Less Platform's routing engine plans hundreds of deliveries in seconds. You can dynamically change routes and loads both before and after the dispatch.

Can I include new orders into planned routes?

You can incorporate new orders into existing routes and loads and make automatic resequencing to get feasible loads with the best mileage or the fastest delivery time. You can also easily run a new plan in seconds if the number of orders is too high, or delivery windows and distances would allow you to get feasible routes with new orders.

Can I use it as a TMS?

Asset-light shippers can ask their 3pls to use the application for delivery planning and implementation. You will have full visibility of both the planning and delivery process. You can also settle with your carriers on the platform.

Can I automatically upload orders?

If you have your order data in a CSV file, you can automatically upload it using Less Platforms small uploader. You can also separately upload your customer data.

Can I import orders from my order management system?

Yes. Less Platform modular structure is built around the Restful API to integrate with any API enabled external system.

Can I assign routes and dispatch loads to drivers?

Less Platform has cutting-edge dispatch and visibility functionality. All the loads can be assigned to different drivers. You have your driver database with detailed shift variables, so those who are not working for the day won't get loads. When you assign the load, a driver will have it in his app instantly. All the changes also will be updated automatically.

How does the driver app work?

Driver app helps to: 

  • receive loads and routes, 
  • Show route durations including not only driving but also service and break times
  • Update ETA's and check feasibility with delivery windows for all upcoming stops
  • Update stops statuses
  • Take digital POD's and upload to the main system
  • Navigation for drivers

Does it have a customer notification system?

Yes. You can configure your customers to receive notifications about both scheduled deliveries and an approaching truck.

Does the driver app trace my truck?

You can both trace your trucks and receive updates for delivery progress. Unlike other apps, you are also going to save your loads with the exact delivery times for later reporting and analytics.

Where to activate or download a driver app?

The key is assigned to every driver in the system. Once you activate it, a driver is going to receive an email with download instructions. It is a very easy and straightforward process.

How does a driver's app navigation work?

We are connecting to major navigation engines, such as Mapbox, Google maps, etc. You select the navigation provider to use during the upload, and it starts instantly once the driver begins the delivery.

Can I import loads back into my WMS or TMS?

This function is another distinctive feature of Less, and it works thanks to building loads based on routes and Restful API. You can send scheduled loads back to your WMS, TMS, and other ERP systems as well as import them to other tracking apps such as Verison connect, Garmin etc. 

Can I manage my customers separately from my orders?

Less Platform has separate customer and order management systems. It allows you to set up your customers/stores separately. You can also implement smart zoning, sequence prioritizing, driver attachment, and much more. Specific orders' delivery windows, service times, and other data can be different from those for customers. This helps to have more flexibility, especially in the case of large retail operations when retailers plan multi-day deliveries from their DC's to stores or large wholesalers from their DC's customers.

Why is it different from using maps or map-based routing apps?

Google maps or other routing apps will tell you how to make a single run between different stops to reach the fastest time. Less Platform tells how many trucks use and in which trucks to place your orders, schedule deliveries, and what stops to make to get the best mileage, time, or more balanced loads. Unlike maps, it also takes into consideration your delivery windows, service times, truck capacity, and HoS requirements.

Can I export routes and loads?

Yes. You can export routes and loads in specific file formats, including the ones used by different navigation software.

Can I use only a planning engine with my homegrown system?

Yes. You can use Less Platforms planning engine by connecting to our API. Less Platform will get your orders, route and send them back to your system. You don't need to make additional installations or use other applications.

I am an owner-operator. Can I use a Mobile up for the planning?

Yes. You can use Less Platform's mobile app for planning purposes. It is the only app which allows you to have the same powerful engine for constraint-based planning as the desktop app. Your orders will be routed on our powerful servers and will be sent back to your mobile. You also become a part of the marketplace if you choose when many shippers can reach you out for delivery.