Field service management has moved from pen and paper to a fully digitized, highly evolving industry in the past decade. To give you an idea of this continuous growth, in 2019, the estimated value of the industry was $2.8 billion. Market research predicts that is expected to reach $5.9 billion by 2024. While the journey is impressive and the trends being born are equally notable, some areas of FSM software remain true staples for operation managers. Today, we’ll talk about the delivery route planner and how it’s a pillar of any
What is a delivery route planner?
Delivery route planner apps or route planning software help users plan their journey to a specific destination using a map. A good delivery route planner is not a view-only application but an interactive route optimization system that suggests multiple routes based on factors such as traffic, car accidents, weather conditions, and vehicle speed. The goal of a delivery route planner is to suggest the best route, the most efficient route to reach your destination.
Delivery route planner apps have traditionally been used by delivery drivers working in retail delivery businesses. Delivery teams would pull out their phones, tap on the mobile app and insert their preferred destination. Using GPS tracking the app would suggest the optimal route with drivers reaching their destination on time, immediately improving customer satisfaction.
The most common interface used in these apps is the Google Maps route planner but that’s not the only solution on the market. Now that we know what a delivery route planner is, let’s talk about how it fits in the field service management realm.
Reduce travel time, mileage & maintenance costs
Let’s start with the Holy Grail of field service technicians: ETAs and deadlines. A sophisticated route planning software will not only offer access to basic information such as trip duration limit, optimized route selection, and driving directions, but it will deliver more accurate estimated arrival times. Field technicians will be able to stick to their promised client appointments and kick off their customer relationships on a positive note.
Moreover, the benefits of optimized routes are also reflected in vehicles. By getting to each destination faster, vehicles prolong their life span and make save the company on maintenance costs.
Increase customer satisfaction
According to KPMG, 90% of consumers report that issue resolution is their most important customer service issue. With field service technicians traveling onsite to resolve issues, not getting there on time could tick the customer off before the problem resolution even begins. A trustworthy route planning tool can turn just a few minutes into the difference between success and failure.
A delivery route planner is so much more than a tool pointing out the speedy route to your destination. It’s the foundation of a long-term relationship between company and consumer. It’s the first piece of the puzzle of successful customer service.
The thinking here is simple: the fewer time technicians spend on the road, the more time they will have to do their job onsite. Less time behind the wheel can be translated to multiple stops and delivery routes with more tasks completed along the way.
Technicians will avoid the frustration of manually figuring out last-minute changes. Instead, they will simply log on to their delivery route planner app follow the clear directions, and focus on how to execute their tasks.
Keep your technicians safe
The health of your mobile workforce might not be the first thing that comes to mind when researching the best delivery route planner but it’s definitely one of the main benefits. With 21% of vehicle crashes attributed to bad weather, a delivery route planner does not only point to the most efficient routes but also the safest.
Getting from point A to point B is not a simple calculation of distance and time. Factors such as the weather are not always easy to predict and it’s crucial to include them in the equation. A delivery route planning app is essential to keep your workers out of trouble and safe during working hours.
Avoid paying fines
Roads close all the time, alleyways turn to dead-ends, dead-ends become one-way streets, and two-way roads suddenly become under-construction highways. Thanks to route optimization software such as Google Maps, you don’t have to keep up with these changes.
The software will optimize routes and plan routes, but most importantly it will ensure that your technicians don’t drive into a street they are not supposed to drive in or find themselves in a dead-end that used to be a road a few months ago.
Can you imagine the frustration of getting a fine for driving into the opposite lane simply because you weren’t aware of the change? One of the software’s key features is route monitoring and the ability to update road maintenance and changes on the fly.
We live in the era of data analytics and this use case is no different to any other business use case you know of – data drive decisions. Knowing how much time it takes to execute certain dispatch routes allows you to plan your day, plan fuel consumption and give realistic expectations on costs, delivery times, and quotes. The more information you have about route optimization, the more accurate your projections and operations management will be as a result.
Delivery route planner: Recap
Delivery route planners might seem like a basic feature of an FSM solution but when you dig deep into their functionalities and usability, you start to realize that they are the foundation of your field service management operations.
You have the ability to track the drivers and vehicles in real-time, enable customers to check their delivery status while minimizing the need for micromanagement. Frontu provides one of the most advanced route planning solutions as we have partnered with FleetComplete, one of the best asset management software on the market.
Don’t hesitate to reach out and inquire about Frontu’s field service management software and how you can benefit from our top-of-the-range route planner feature.