Route Planning and Route Optimization- Are They Same?
Often used interchangeably, route planning and route optimization are an integral part of the logistics and supply chain system. Most users and even enterprises are confused about whether they are the same or different. All they know is both these terms are associated with the mapping of routes. And if you, too, are among them, this article is worth a read for you. Here, we have described both the terms in detail to understand what route planning and route optimization are. Let’s start with their definition-
What is route planning?
Mapping or sequencing routes to design the shortest route from point A with B, all the way to Z. Route planning shows the most direct path from the starting point to the last, including each of the destinations you want to stop at. Google maps and GPS are the two most common examples of a route planner.
What is route planning software?
Manually planning and mapping routes is feasible for short locations and limited routes. On the other hand, it is good to adopt route planning software if you have a large fleet and have a significant number of field operations. The automated route planner will help you to save time, effort, and cost of planning routes.
What is route optimization?
Route optimization plans, maps, and routes by considering multiple factors like driver schedules, delivery location, vehicle type, delivery time window, number of stops, route history, and real-time weather & traffic conditions.
Rather than creating the shortest route, it designs the most efficient routes by following which multiple orders can be delivered within the shortest time and at the minimum cost possible.
What is route optimization software?
Considering different parameters and optimizing routes manually is a time-consuming task that requires a lot of human resources. Route optimization software completes the same operations in minutes and that too, with great precision. It relieves the logistics manager from the hassle of hiring a huge team for route optimization and monitoring each order. The software comes up with a dashboard where the manager can track every vehicle and check the delivery status.
How does route optimization software benefit a business?
Every business that offers products to its customers hires a logistics company or sets up an in-house team to look after its delivery operations. Investing in route optimization software can help both the 3PL and the business design the most efficient delivery routes. Well-optimized delivery routes ensure the following-
· Timely delivery of each order
· Improved driver productivity
· Improved business profitability
· Real-time visibility and tracking
· Faster route planning and optimization
· Reduced fuel cost
· Efficient trip planning (both primary and secondary)
· Excellent customer experience
· Minimized operational cost
· Reduced requirement for hiring more delivery vehicles from the market
· Reduced rate of return
Instead of investing in route management software alone, businesses can also get logistics software that comes up with automated route planning and optimization features. It would serve the same purpose along with optimizing the complete logistics management operations. Choose the software carefully to get the best of your money.