HomeResourcesBlogGPS route planning software: How telematics elevates your fleet
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GPS route planning software: How telematics elevates your fleet

By Julie White May 10, 2023

Knowing the best route to travel and when drivers will arrive at a job site are both vital factors in your daily business operations. By using GPS route planning software to help improve route optimization, you can take greater control of your fleet and get more insights into your day-to-day operations.

What is route optimization?

Route optimization is the process of determining the most cost-efficient route for drivers while also considering factors such as time, mileage, traffic, hours of service and much more. Regardless of the number of deliveries or jobs a driver may have, route optimization uses powerful GPS software to help ensure that deliveries are made on time and drivers show up to customers in a timely fashion.

A best-in-class route planning solution for companies that move or deliver goods and services requires GPS fleet tracking and advanced reporting features to support dispatchers in preventing unplanned stops, reducing mileage and planning more efficient routes.

How does route planning and optimization work?

Isn’t route optimization just Google Maps? Not exactly. While they share similar goals, tools like Google Maps use GPS technology to monitor the location of an object by “attaching” a GPS tracking device to it. At its simplest level, the tracking device is fitted with a GPS receiver and some way to record its current location (latitude & longitude coordinates) at regular intervals. Average speed is then calculated by dividing the total distance traveled by the elapsed time.

A robust GPS route planning software goes far beyond the basic measurements Google Maps offers. It gives fleet managers a more comprehensive set of data that pulls variables from all connected vehicles across the fleet. Data such as number of turns or intersections, number of  left hand turns (crossing the line of traffic), best or nearest driver to dispatch, traffic congestions for the current time of day and/or best approach (access) to a stop on the route can then be accessed from one simple solution through a desktop application or mobile app.

What problems does route optimization address?

Route optimization is the process of determining the most cost-efficient route. It’s more complex than simply finding the shortest path between two points. It needs to include all relevant factors, such as the number and location of all the required stops on the route, as well as time windows for deliveries.

A route optimization solution allows companies to plan, analyze, create and deliver outcomes that provide; the most profitable route, the lowest emissions, shortest distances, least amount of fuel consumption and/or on-time delivery based on the desired strategy for their fleet. Fleets can use it to effectively address a variety of issues they face when developing routing and distribution plans:

  • Create optimized customer “territories” based on predefined criteria.
  • Create routes based on driver and vehicle availability and calendar constraints weeks or even months in advance.
  • Easily incorporate delivery frequency and customer time windows.
  • Test “what-if” scenarios to see different route and resource options before committing resources.
  • Comply with customer requests and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

What can I expect from GPS route planning software? 

GPS route planning solutions use data to analyze jobs and relevant details and define optimal territories—applying criteria and specific filters and business rules can help fleets test scenarios and build territories.

This software can help fleets create modeling scenarios by location and/or customer needs, load type and size, driver attributes, or predefined criteria to create strategic territories and determine depot locations. This strategy helps fleets boost revenue and plan future resource needs, while providing flexible schedules to help improve productivity.

With the right GPS route planning software, fleets can:

  • Build long-range job schedules and fine tune them throughout the day.
  • Easily make changes to existing routes and schedules to incorporate new customers and jobs, modifications, or changing time windows.
  • Determine if multi-day routes are required.
  • Re-optimize a single route (sequence) or selected set of routes.
  • Pivot routes to accommodate fluctuating traffic, customer and vehicle conditions.
  • Publish the day’s routes for drivers and dispatch teams to review and adjust based on daily practicalities.

Want to know more about how route optimization can help save you money and help your drivers be more productive? Download our free route optimization eBook.

How to select the right GPS route planning software for your fleet

How should fleet managers go about selecting the right GPS route planning software? Ideally, the system should:

  • Support “what if” modeling using production data without altering current fleet operations.
  • Be flexible, making changing variables easy and allowing for multiple scenarios.
  • Allow for rapid update and change, making customer data simple to enter.
  • Integrate with other company systems including order management systems, warehouse management systems and federally mandated electronic onboard recorders systems.
  • Take no more than a few minutes to solve complex modeling solutions, generate reports quickly and import late orders for assignment to existing routes in just a few minutes.

The benefits of a route optimization solution for fleets may include:

  • Lower transportation costs
  • Better utilization of drivers, crews and vehicles
  • Reduced working capital invested in inventory
  • More responsive customer service and improved “on-time” percentages
  • Better compliance with HOS driver logs, regulations, and work rules

How Verizon Connect can help your fleet with route optimization

Route-planning software from Verizon Connect helps dispatchers and route planners calculate the most cost-efficient routes for their drivers quickly and efficiently. It also gives them the tools to respond to changes and update already planned routes in near real time as situations change throughout the day. Integrated into our fleet management software, our routing software also provides fleet managers and sales reps with driver management and helps them plan for future business changes.

Julie White

Julie is an experienced product management professional with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry in a variety of customer-facing and technical roles. She is skilled in product management, business analysis, product ownership, enabling sales and customer support management.

Tags: Routing, Cost control, Customer Service, Data & Analytics, Dispatching & Scheduling, Field management, Productivity & Efficiency

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