Overview

Multidrop route planning is an art….one that transport planners have perfected over many years.  Historically a manual process, involving the use of maps, pins and spreadsheets, there is now a simpler way to tackle the challenge of creating and optimising a multi drop route that is cost effective, resource efficient and meets your customer expectations.

Here we take a look at how the PODFather route planning and electronic proof of delivery system can help you remove the headache of planning and managing a multi stop route plan, improve customer service, and unlock the hidden potential sitting within your logistics, healthcare, service management or home delivery vehicle fleet.

The art of building multi drop route plans in PODFather

Using PODFather’s route planning & optimisation functionality you can build routes that automatically take business critical factors, such as time windows, vehicle capacity, and driving hours into consideration.  Once you have your job information – whether it be sitting in an order management system or as a csv file – you can upload it into PODFather either through our robust API or by csv import.

The PODFather system also holds information about your customers, your drivers, your depots, and your vehicles – all this is added as part of your system on-boarding process.  Now that you have uploaded a days’ worth of delivery information you just need to hit the optimise button and our advanced algorithms will get to work and return a set of routes that take fleet capacity, customer time window restrictions and driver availability into consideration.

PODFather’s Multi Drop Route Planner

Your planning team can review routes on a map, or in table form, using our intuitive drag and drop functionality to move stops between routes, or make any required multi drop route changes.  You can instantly see the impact each change has on the plan for the day.  Once finalised, these routes are shared automatically with drivers who can review their shift information using the PODFather app which runs on even the most basic of smartphone. 

The benefit of multi drop route planning with PODFather

So, what makes the PODFather way better than the manual way of old?  Well…. planning a multi-drop route is an extremely difficult thing to do manually.  It requires a lot of knowledge and experience to create a plan that can handle the delicate balance between meeting customer expectations, making best use of the resources you have available and controlling costs.  With PODFather helping to create an optimised plan you can be assured that your multi drop plan won’t break any of the rules, restrictions or customer constraints that could easily be overlooked.  In addition, a PODFather multi drop route plan will ensure that your available vehicle capacity is fully utilised, vehicles won’t be overloaded and that empty running is reduced across your fleet.

Lady delivering parcel carrying a mobile device with van in background
Create optimised multi drop route plans that meet customer time windows

If you are a planner and are worried that this means you are no longer needed, then think again.  You still get the benefit of using your knowledge as once we’ve done our bit your teams can then use their knowledge and experience to make those manual tweaks needed to perfect your multi drop route plans prior to your vehicles heading out on the road.

Reporting – learn, refine, improve

Let us now fast forward in time to when your drivers are completing their shifts and returning to the depot.  Historically, for operators planning manually, there is no way of knowing exactly what happened when the vehicles were out on the road.  Did they carry out their route in the right order, where there any product issues, did they hit the promised customer time window? 

With PODFather you can close the loop on your multi route plan by using the data that the system collects to review and refine your future plans.  Are there customers who are always keeping drivers waiting?  PODFather can tell you this and you can refine your route times or use PODFather to send them an ETA message, so they are ready and waiting when their next delivery is coming.  Are you losing customers due to poor service?  PODFather will create plans that are feasible, and our Driver App integrates with satellite navigation to keep drivers on the right track, so they if everything goes to plan your drivers should arrive on time, every time.  But what happens if a driver gets stuck in traffic or must take a detour? 

PODFather job performance screen on a laptop screen in an office
PODFather’s multi stop reporting information helps you refine future plans

Historically you would have had no visibility of this but with PODFather managing your multi stop route plans you will get delivery tracking as part of the package.  If you see that a driver has fallen behind or missed a drop, the ETAs sent to customers can be updated to show where the driver is and when they are now expecting to be making each delivery …. after all an informed customer is less likely to be disgruntled compared to one who doesn’t have a clue where their delivery is.

Get in touch today to find out more about our multi drop route planning capabilities

So, we hope that you are a little more convinced about the benefit of using PODFather’s multi stop route planning software than you were before.  We are working with hundreds of companies who use our system to plan and manage their routes, across a wide range of industries every day.   If you are looking for a software solution to enhance your current multi drop planning practices, then give us a call today on tel: (0) 131 553 0400…we’d love to hear from you.

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Jane Geary

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