Route Planning Software is known by many different names – routing and scheduling software, a route planner, route optimiser or route optimization system – so you can be forgiven for being a bit confused about its place within the logistics industry. With multiple terms referring to the same basic principle, route optimisation refers to the process of determining the most efficient order in which to organise a path between multiple delivery or collection points.
What role does routing & scheduling have to play in logistics?
In the logistics industry a route planning tool uses intelligent algorithms that have been specifically designed to simplify the complex task of planning and managing routes. However, for many in the industry the art of route planning and optimisation remains a very manual one, involving spreadsheets, maps, and paper tickets. Time consuming, complex, and often confusing, route scheduling is a specialist form of logistics planning which algorithmic based systems can help manage more efficiently.
Does PODFather offer route planning software?
YES, we most definitely do. With a name like PODFather you can be forgiven for assuming that we just do ePOD solutions. That is NOT the case. Since PODFather came to be we have always had a route scheduling system. Back then it was plotting points and planning efficient journeys based on a set of pre-defined parameters for our early customers.
Over time the route optimisation and planning element of our solution has grown in functionality and strength making it a viable option for the 30,000 users who rely on it every day to route logistics, construction, field service and healthcare vehicles.
So, what does route planning software do?
PODFather’s route planning system allows users to process jobs, usually deliveries or collections, on behalf of their customers. You upload jobs into the system (via SFTP or API), defining any time window restrictions or other constraints. You can then either create a manual route plan, dragging jobs onto routes and optimising on a per route basis, or you can allow PODFather’s advanced route optimization algorithm to select the best route plan for your route schedule.
Our algorithms, designed by our big brain development engineering team in Edinburgh, help you make short work of the route planning process. It is well known that to create a multi drop route plan manually can take several hours each day, yet the PODFather solution will optimize a route sequence of several hundreds of jobs in just a matter of seconds.
What functionality does a route planning software system include?
PODFather’s routing and scheduling optimisation solution offers users an easy to use solution to the complex problem of planning and managing multi drop routes. Core route optimisation functionality includes:
- Creating resource, time, and cost-efficient route plans for your vehicles.
- Plan vehicle routes that meet any time window or operational constraints.
- Provides an easy-to-use route planning interface, using simple drag and drop technology.
- Cloud-based, access PODFather from anywhere.
- Allows you to schedule multi drop routes across multiple depots with ease.
- Share plans with drivers via the PODFather Driver App, no more paper tickets.
- Get real time tracking with PODFather.
- Get electronic PODs confirming route completion uploaded straight to your PODFather system in real time.
- Report on delivery success, so planned vs actual performance.
What our customers have to say about PODFather’s route planning solution
Select Transport, the Manchester-based transport specialist, is reaping the benefit of introducing PODFather’s electronic proof of delivery technology into its international operation. Operating a fleet of 25-vehicles, making a mix of regular and ad hoc deliveries to customers located both in the UK and overseas, Select Transport needed a solution it could rely on to maximise efficiency and increase visibility across its business. The PODFather solution was selected and is now used daily to manage job bookings, plan vehicle routes, track truck movements, communicate with customers and is delivering huge benefits through the automation of both pricing and invoicing processes.
“With PODFather we have a one stop shop solution that does everything from assist with job booking and route optimisation through to managing customer communications and invoicing. It really is an impressive piece of software that is supported by an extremely helpful and knowledgeable team.” Steve Myall, Operations Director at Select Transport
Braehead Foods, one of Scotland’s largest independent food wholesalers, is working with PODFather to optimise routes and streamline proof of delivery processes across its UK wide operation. With a fleet of 20 vehicles, and over 1,300 hotel and restaurant customers to serve, Braehead Foods needed a solution that could help modernise its manual transport planning process. PODFather is now used daily to plan driver routes, track vehicle movements, and capture electronic proof of delivery in real time. As a result, the Braehead Foods team is seeing huge benefit – in the form of significant reductions in mileage, driving time and fuel – which equate to a financial saving of over £80,000 a year.
“PODFather is a fantastic system. We now rely on it every day to create optimised routes for our drivers. This has made a significant difference as the system automatically handles customer delivery windows, opening times and access constraints which makes all our lives a lot easier.” Andy Clark, Director at Braehead Foods
Trimline, the leading supplier of tiling products and solutions is seeing the real time benefits of introducing PODFather’s route optimisation and electronic proof of delivery software to its UK distribution operation. Known for its company commitment to exceptional customer care, the Trimline team wanted a software solution that would help them deliver greater access to quality tile products and quicker response time for customers, whatever the project scale. With PODFather now in place the Trimline team is seeing the benefit of having real time fleet visibility and performance reporting. As a result of the data that PODFather collects, Trimline has been able to dramatically increase its On Time in Full (OTIF) delivery performance by over 12%.
“One of the biggest benefits of introducing PODFather is that we now have real time visibility of what’s going on out on the road. With the PODFather system in place we can optimise the routes we are running, track progress in real time, and capture electronic proof of delivery information without having to rely on the use of paper tickets. As a result of changing our working practices we’ve saved a huge amount of admin time and seen our On Time in Full performance improve by over 12%.” Dave Fletcher, Operations Manager, Trimline
What makes PODFather different from other route optimisation software suppliers?
“Route optimisation technology has been around for many years but what makes our solution different is that it does so much more than just route planning,” comments Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at PODFather. “As our name suggests we’ve been offering an electronic proof of delivery, or ePOD, solution for some time but, as our customers know, we deliver a complete package that gives users everything from order management, route planning and vehicle checks, through to driver tracking, customer notifications, invoicing and reporting tools.”
For more information on how PODFather’s routing and scheduling software could be bringing big benefits to your business Get in Touch with us today.