Route planning is the most critical pillar in the field of last-mile delivery
Route planning is the most critical pillar in the field of last-mile delivery. If you want to run your business efficiently and want it to be reliable, you need to have the best route organizer for your delivery business.
Recently, various route organizer websites and apps have entered the market, helping drivers and dispatchers optimize their routing at the tap of a thumb or the click of a mouse. But these route planning tools aren’t all created equal, nor do they all serve the current delivery service’s unique needs. So, in this post, we’ll show you how delivery teams can use Zeo Route Planner‘s route organizer to save time and money, improve delivery performance, and boost customer satisfaction.
How route optimization was done traditionally
A decade ago, there was no such system of using a route optimizer for the delivery business. There was very little advance route planning in delivery teams. Drivers got a list of addresses who knew the local area and would complete all the deliveries. Back in the days when delivery services were rarer, efficiency was less critical, and technology wasn’t so advanced, this seemed like a satisfactory way of doing things. But that’s not the case anymore.
When the delivery companies are using the free route optimizer software, the methods haven’t precisely been seamless, and many software say that they provide route optimization, but they are not. Planning routes conventionally was very time-consuming and even hectic. Let’s look into those old-fashioned methods of route planning.
- Manual route planning: If you have a list of addresses, you could look at a map and figure out roughly the best order of stops. But this takes much time, and no human can ever calculate it 100% accurately. Plus, you’d then need to print out the list in order and have your driver manually enter the addresses into their navigation system.
- Using free web tools: There are many route organizer websites out there, such as MapQuest and Michelin, which allow you to calculate routes from a list of addresses. But their user interfaces are clunky, especially on mobile, and they don’t integrate with your driver’s chosen navigation app, which makes them pointless to use.
- Using Google Maps: For the everyday consumer, mapping apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps are lovely. But if you’re a professional driver, they’re not so useful. Google Maps puts a limit on the number of stops you can enter, and you can’t auto-optimize multi-stop routes. In addition to that, you need to enter your stops in an efficient order or manually reorder your stops until you get the shortest route time possible.
If we talk about a few years back, the more advanced route planning tools were used by larger delivery companies, and the small businesses could not afford expensive enterprise software. Fortunately, Zeo Route Planner understood this problem and developed a product that provides all the essential features at a lower cost compared to its competitors. In this way, an individual driver or larger delivery companies can use this software to raise their profits.
Zeo Route Planner’s route organizer is the breakthrough
Zeo Route Planner provides individual drivers and delivery teams with route planning and route optimization, used by the big giants of the last mile delivery operations. You can save hours every week by uploading your list into the Zeo Route Planner app platform and allowing our algorithm to calculate the best route for your deliveries.
Zeo Route Planner is available on both Android as well as iOS platforms, which provides all the essential features required for the last mile delivery operation.
The free version of the Zeo Route Planner offers the following features:
- Optimize up to 20 stops per route
- No limit on the number of routes created
- Set priority and time slot for slots
- Add stops via typing, voice, dropping a pin, uploading manifest, and scanning order book
- Reroute, go anti-clockwise, add or delete stops while on route
- Option to use preferred navigation services from Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze Maps, TomTom Go, HereWe Go, Sygic Maps
And with a paid subscription, you get:
- Unlimited routes, so you can run as many in a day as you need
- Up to 500 stops per route, meaning you can run large delivery routes
- Importing address, With the help of Zeo Route Planner you can import all your addresses using spreadsheet import, image capture/OCR, bar/QR code scan, so you don’t need to manually enter addresses. Now you can also import addresses from Google Maps into the Zeo Route Planner app.
- Priority stops, so you can optimize routes around an important stop
- Time constraints, so you can make sure deliveries happen at a certain time
- Proof of Delivery, Your drivers can collect e-signatures and/or photo capture using their smartphones. This means they can leave a package in a safe place if necessary, and the customer will know exactly where it is. And this also cuts down on disputes and costly misunderstandings.
- GPS tracking, On your dashboard, you can see where drivers are in the context of their route, meaning you can field any customer questions without calling them and you get a big-picture view of how your operations are running
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- Recipient notifications, Our platform alerts recipients when their package leaves your depot or store, and gives them an SMS and/or email notification when your driver is nearby. This means there’s more chance they’ll be home, making the delivery process smoother and cutting down on redeliveries. And it improves customer satisfaction.
- Navigation Services, Our platform allows the drivers to choose their preferred navigation maps from a range of available services in the app. Drivers can choose any of these as their navigation service. We provide the integration with Google Maps, Apple Maps, Sygic Maps, Waze Maps, TomTom Go, Yandex Maps, and HereWe Go.
Zeo route optimizer app has been downloaded more than 1 million times (and counting) across both the Android and iOS platforms, and our app’s route optimization algorithms save drivers up to 28% on fuel and time.
Other route optimizer: alternative of Zeo Route Planner
We recently compared various route planning software in another post, looking at pros and cons, the costs of subscription packages, and who each software suits best. You can read the comparison of Zeo Route Planner vs Circuit and Zeo Route Planner vs RoadWarriors. Below is a summary, but for a deep dive into the different route planners available, go over to our blog page.
- OptimoRoute: OptimoRoute lets you download optimized routes directly to your driver’s Garmin, TomTom, or Navigation GPS devices. And it also includes CSV/Excel upload and analytics reports on driver routes. However, it doesn’t do a proof of delivery, and lots of the advanced functionality is limited to the more expensive subscription plans.
- Routific: Routific is a solid route planning tool that works for many types of organizations, and it offers some similar features as Zeo Route Planner on its higher-tier plan. However, while Routific does provide e-signature proof of delivery, it doesn’t allow photo capture.
- Route4Me: Route4Me, offers a lot of customization options with its marketplace catalog. But it’s ideally suited for field services companies because it doesn’t offer any features for deliveries beyond routing.
- WorkWave: WorkWave is aimed at field services teams, serving industries such as plumbing, HVAC, and landscaping. It offers a lot of great routing functionality but doesn’t really serve delivery firms, couriers, or SMEs running delivery services.
Towards the end, we would just like to say that we at Zeo Route Planner constantly work to provide our customers with the best of the services in the last mile delivery business and at a very reasonable rate. Route organizers come in all shapes and sizes. But we feel that delivery teams need software that can help them with multiple aspects of managing a delivery operation.
An efficient route organizer will help your team deliver more packages quicker, and when route planning is also supported (in a single platform) by real-time driver tracking, proof of delivery, recipient notifications, and other core delivery management features, you’ll be running a smoother organization that can scale more easily.