Have you ever made three or four errands in a row, traveling from place-to-place, meticulously crossing the errands off your list?
If you have, chances are good you didn’t input all of your stops into a smart routing system that used advanced algorithms to determine the best order, and most efficient routes for your errands.
But if you did, just imagine how much time you could have saved, compounded over all the errands you’ve made in your lifetime.
Today, many small businesses still rely on similar methods to deliver goods and services to their customers with a fleet of vehicles; often times grouping jobs together loosely based on location, letting drivers decide, or plotting what seems to be the most efficient route on a free online mapping service.
Unfortunately, these methods can be very time-consuming and often don’t produce the best results. The good news is that there is a new technology for small businesses that can make routing easier and more efficient.
FLEETMATICS ROUTIST, A TECHNOLOGY DESIGNED FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Today’s digital economy is dominated by a small handful of technology companies, and although each company supports small businesses in some way, their primary focus isn’t to deliver new and innovative technologies that cater primarily to small businesses.
Fleetmatics, a company co-based in Dublin, Ireland and Boston, Massachusetts, has been delivering technology solutions tailored specifically for small businesses for over a decade.
They’ve helped tens of thousands of small businesses from across the globe gain increased visibility into their fleet of vehicles, drivers and jobs.
That’s why they introduced a new product called Fleetmatics Routist, an intelligent routing optimization solution that takes routing to an entirely new level.
According to Todd Ewing, Director of Product Marketing at Fleetmatics, “Fleetmatics Routist systematically builds cost-effective, customer-friendly routes and operates by taking locations, vehicles, time windows, technician skills, and costs and capacities into consideration, among other inputs.”
Interestingly, Fleetmatics Routist also incorporates historical traffic data into its algorithm, elevating traffic and routing optimization for drivers in metropolitan areas. It can even match drivers to jobs based on their skillset and history with customers.
Ewing added, “Small business owners and operations managers tasked with planning routes say that Fleetmatics Routist saves them a lot of time, and is simple and intuitive to use. It’s as easy as selecting your drivers, the jobs that need to be completed, and hitting the optimize button.”
Once you select optimize, Fleetmatics Routist generates a timeline view where users can see the number of jobs, distance traveled, and time expectancy for the day – giving small business owners and operations managers more time to focus on other areas of their business.
EARLY ADOPTERS: FROM TRADITIONAL TO CONTEMPORARY
From carpenters and coffee shops to farmers and food delivery services, small business can benefit from more efficient routing.
Take Joyride Coffee, for example, a company based in New York City that provides “the world’s best coffee, tea and cold brew on tap to America’s most innovative offices and cafes.”
Joyride is one of the early adopters of Fleetmatics Routist, and found that they have experienced significant time savings since using the tool.
“We deliver in Manhattan, which is a challenge,” said Adam Belanich, President of Joyride Coffee. “Delivering to 18 miles of coverage can take up to six hours depending on traffic. And with many one-way streets plus strict rules on right turns for commercial vehicles, we needed a system that would take everything into account and determine our routes for us.”
Take a look at this video to see how Joyride Coffee is using Fleetmatics Routist to solve its biggest fleet management and routing challenges.
According to Belanich, “We’ve also seen an increase in driver safety since installing the tracking devices on our vans. Now that our drivers know they are being monitored, their behavior has improved without any interference from our managers.”
PEACE OF MIND, FOR YOU AND YOUR MOBILE WORKFORCE
Once your routes are live, dispatchers and managers can stay current on a driver’s progress against route stops in near real-time and make adjustments as needed.
Drivers can also receive their daily routes and notifications on mobile devices, meaning there is little to no paperwork, or a need to touch base frequently about stops throughout the day.
Finally, when the day is complete, actual versus plan analysis is available to compare stops made against work orders, so managers can provide appropriate coaching around route deviations.
For more information about Routist – which is available as an add-on module to Fleetmatics’ REVEAL solution – you can visit https://www.fleetmatics.com/reveal/route-optimization.
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