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How Dynamic Route Optimization Can Transform Your Delivery Business
DRO allows delivery services to move away from static routing by using the latest technologies to analyze numerous parameters and support real-time adjustments.
In 2019, Raj Subramaniam became President and COO of FedEx and immediately made a list of five key objectives for the shipping giant. Four of them addressed expansion plans, the usual strategies frequently discussed in corporate boardrooms.
However, his last objective went back to the streets of FedEx’s ground origins as a delivery and pickup operation. His final goal for FedEx was also something that every shipping business, large and small, can and should achieve:
“Offering dynamic route optimization technology – near-real-time data that can be used by FedEx Ground service providers to plan efficient delivery routes and make decisions about vehicle mix and workforce to accommodate the volume associated with e-commerce growth.”
What is Dynamic Route Optimization?
Dynamic Route Optimization (DRO) is software that continuously monitors and optimizes the efficiency of drivers, vehicles, fuel, warehouses, and, most importantly, time.
Good DRO software creates work area-based route planning that allows delivery companies to split their deliveries between zones, routes, and drivers.
Reasonable limits are enforced so that drivers are not overworked, but they know what is expected of them and how they fit into the overall delivery plan. Vehicles are used efficiently but not overloaded. Dispatchers can quickly determine how many vehicles and drivers will be needed for any given day.
In short, DRO maximizes the efficiency of every driver and vehicle to cut costs and keep customers happily satisfied.
Presented with realistic constraints on driver workloads and vehicle availability,
DRO will find the optimal resource mix and routes to minimize delivery times.
The origins of good DRO
Companies doing manual route planning, rather than using route optimization software, have dispatchers processing live orders. They make educated decisions as to the best driver and route for that package, taking into account as many variables as they can. This can prove slower and more costly, with specific training needed on the legacy structures and practices of the business.
Meanwhile, their competitors can have all this information and more available through route management software. Many platforms use AI-powered systems that point the way towards getting every package to every customer as quickly as possible.
DRO-powered systems will do all necessary monitoring and planning, leaving personnel with the time to do what they do best—keep customers happy. With the onset of Uber Eats, Doordash, and Amazon, manual routing is almost as scary as an air traffic controller manually calculating the paths of all airplanes in their region.
Dispatch can set global parameters to customize a cloud-based
DRO system to their specific situations.
Why DRO’s time has come
The large amounts of data used by DRO previously required expensive storage, and getting the correct information to the right driver could require additional investments in communication systems. However, the advent of cloud-based technology, artificial intelligence, and 4G/5G LTE communications has changed everything. As a result, DRO is now being offered as a service that companies can simply tap into and start benefiting from very quickly with minimal investments.
The cloud-based architecture allows the company to grow unencumbered. It will automatically scale and help avoid costly and dangerous conversions to new systems.
Regardless of size, the best time for every shipper to adopt DRO is right now. It would be an unforced error to allow competitors to gain an advantage in customer satisfaction while saving money at the same time.
The effective DRO transition
Change always presents organizational challenges, and the switch to DRO is no exception. The ops team may be comfortable with their existing methodologies and might even be concerned about their ongoing role within new technology. There is a brief learning curve, but good DRO systems have been thoroughly user-tested and offer intuitive controls. It helps that positive results can be seen quickly—2 or 3 days in many instances.
There are proven managerial methods that can make the transition to cloud-based services go smoothly. The best DRO vendors will help to create timelines, incentive structures, and to manage expectations about the transition process and the benefits it will then offer to all involved.
The Beans advantage in DRO
Bad location data will ruin the customer experience of even the smartest DRO systems. Beans Route, a route optimization software with a state-of-the-art DRO system, is part of Beans.ai, a geospatial mapping company that specializes in hard-to-find delivery addresses. Beans.ai works with a large number of active delivery people across all industries to identify difficult addresses and then optimizes the delivery process for each one.
Beans Route uses a single API to call over thousands of origins and
destinations to optimize millions of possibilities.
Beans Route also calls upon its extensive delivery experience to model complex cases involving multiple pickups and drop-offs built into the same routes. These have been identified as significant time consumers. The DRO in Beans Route’s route management software will automatically spot these instances before they become problems that slow delivery times.
So what will DRO mean to your operations?
The simple answer: delighting the customer by getting their packages delivered on time or sooner. There is no shortage of competitors for every customer, and keeping a customer happy is always less expensive than replacing them.
Your customers don’t need to know that you rely on technology with a wonky name like Dynamic Route Optimization. They just know that, somehow, you always live up to your promises.
Every delivery market is unique, and your mileage may vary even with DRO involved. The Beans staff will evaluate the benefits to your operations based on their industry experience. Start by visiting BeansRoute.AI for a free trial, or, better yet, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out exactly how Beans Route DRO can give you a major competitive advantage.