How to Optimize Routes for Your Fleet Vehicles
Managing your fleet well depends on a lot of variables, so an optimized route is one that makes sense of these dependent variables and mitigates their impact. This is crucial because managing this impact is the key to improving efficiency and generating a better ROI over time.
What is Route Optimization?
First, let’s define exactly what we mean by route optimization. Simply put, route optimization is a process. We want to figure out the most efficient route for our fleet vehicles. That means knowing the number of stops as well as the other variables that impact the route.
Route Optimization is Dynamic
Because of the mix of independent and dependent variables, any robust route optimization solution for fleets must be dynamic.
Consider for a moment all the potential variables that could impact a route and delivery schedule:
• Traffic patterns
• Time between refueling
• Vehicle health
• Changes in customer’s expectations
• Driver performance
• Cross-vehicle coordination
Calculating the optimal route is best determined by GPS-enabled fleet management software that can weigh all these variables simultaneously and quickly communicate updates across your fleet. Doing this manually is both antiquated and an inefficient use of resources which opens up your operations to unnecessary risk.
What Are the Benefits of Route Optimization for Fleets?
A few of the most obvious benefits of route optimization would be fuel cost savings, meeting customer expectations more easily, improved vehicle longevity and safer drivers. And all of these benefits have a major impact on your bottom line — this is all about return on investment (ROI).
The ROI of Route Optimization & Fleet Management Software
Managing your routes, fleet vehicles and drivers is the most direct way to improve operational excellence. The key areas of impact are fuel cost savings, maintenance savings, operational savings and compliance savings. Here is a useful formula for calculating ROI.
Fuel Cost Savings
With national average gas prices in 2021, fuel savings is an important consideration for every fleet manager. Determining and executing the optimal routes for your drivers will save significant time and money.
Vehicle & Driver Safety Monitoring
Route optimization solutions that leverage ELD hardware and telematics solutions have other benefits beyond faster routes and fuel savings. Having a better way to collect data about vehicle health allows you to plan for maintenance, save on maintenance costs and plan for vehicle downtime.
The other key benefit here is being able to ensure driver safety and accountability. This can help save on insurance costs, cut down on driver fatigue and alert you when there’s an issue.
Improved Customer Experience
All of these advantages impact the end-user, as well — your customers. As supply chains become leaner and tighter, people across the globe are growing to expect the expediency and convenience ushered-in by Amazon. By optimizing routes, minimizing time-to-deliver and giving better time-estimates to your customers on ETA, you will create a pattern of reliability and expediency that your customers both expect and appreciate.
GPS Trackit provides many fleet management options including GPS-enabled route optimization software to help improve your fleet performance. To find a system that best suits your needs, speak to a fleet advisor.