You are looking to make your operations more efficient and considering investing in a route planner. Great! You are thinking in the right direction.
But as you start researching for the perfect route planner for your business, you realize that there is a myriad of options available in the market. You are left confused and finding it difficult to make a choice.
7 Features to Look for in a Route Planning Software
1. Ease of importing customer data
A route planning software should allow you to upload volumes of customer data in multiple formats like .csv, .xls, .xlsx, .txt, or from a google sheet. It should also enable importing of customer data from any e-commerce platform. Zeo route planner can be seamlessly integrated with Shopify and Wix so that all orders and customer data are directly imported to Zeo.
2. Real-time driver tracking
A good route planner should give you visibility of the driver’s live location. It allows you to calculate accurate ETAs and respond quickly in case of any delays. It also helps you keep a check on the drivers so that they don’t take any unnecessary detours leading to delayed deliveries and an increase in fuel costs.
3. Delivery time window
A route planner that allows you to add constraints like delivery time windows helps you further optimize the route. It is essential for the route planner to have this capability as the customers want deliveries in specific time slots as per their convenience. Not having this feature would mean deliveries will be scheduled at any time of the day leading to missed deliveries.
Ensuring that deliveries are made at customers’ preferred time slots would increase customer satisfaction as well.
4. Real-time updates to the route
The route planner should be able to update the route in case of any unforeseen circumstances on the road. You should also be able to add or remove the stops even after the driver has left for the route. The driver will be notified of the updated route.
5. Data analysis
A route optimization software should have data reporting capabilities. The reports give you visibility into the efficiency of the routes and if all your customers are getting their deliveries on time. Using the reports you can identify any bottlenecks in any particular route and make changes accordingly.
6. Proof of Delivery
A route planner which offers the recording of electronic proof of delivery saves you the hassle of maintaining proof of delivery in physical paper form. Electronic proof of delivery can be captured in the form of digital signatures by the customer or by the person who has accepted the delivery. As an alternative, the driver can also click a picture of the parcel when it was delivered. It serves as a confirmation from the customer that the delivery was received.
In case a customer is not available at the time of the delivery, the driver can keep the package at a safe place as told by the customer and send the picture to the customer.
The signature of the picture will be stored in the system and can be accessed anytime. In case a customer claims that the delivery was not made, the proof of delivery can be used to resolve the issue quickly.
Read more: How can electronic Proof of Delivery help you in the reliability of your delivery business?
7. Skill-based job assignment
Advanced route optimization software like Zeo enables skill-based job assignment. In case your industry, for example, health care or construction requires the representatives to have certain skills, then you can optimize the route accordingly. You can map the skills of the drivers/client service representatives in the dashboard. They will be matched as per the service required at the customer’s address.
This ensures that the person with the right skills is sent to the customer and the customer’s request is fulfilled without any hassle.
Read more: Skill Based Job Assignment
Your business needs a route planner that is easy to use and has helpful features. It’s not difficult to choose a route planner once you know the features you should be looking for in a route planner. This list should come in handy while making the final decision.