Every mile you put on your trucks costs money. Fuel alone costs 30-40% of your cost per mile. Then there is the increased maintenance and repairs, along with capital outlay for new trucks. The most cost and time efficient way to reduce run-outs and off route deliveries is to develop routes and optimize delivery efficiency. By doing this, it will increase stops, gallons, and revenue.
Develop Routes, then optimize those stops
No matter how well a dispatcher or driver knows, or think they know a territory and how to make the deliveries, nothing can touch the automated optimization of deliveries. Even when human intervention is needed, for whatever the reason, the visual map of the recommended delivery orders allows the individual to make much better decisions on how to go about it. This includes where and when to reload. Optimization will typically include reload logic, but there are times when a sharp dispatcher can see that it makes more sense to do it after certain deliveries, due to extenuating factors such as distance, time, terrain and gallons or drops remaining. When you optimize your delivery schedule, you avoid extra miles due to inefficient delivery order or routing. Dispatchers are critical to implementing this by scheduling drivers and routes that best fit their location and timetable. One way to devise an efficient and automated system for improving your scheduling is with route balancing and logistics software. This software can expose overlaps or size/load disparities, which could otherwise disrupt your payroll and overtime expense.
Tracking and Routing Technology
Remember, you should always expect a full day’s work from your trucks and drivers. While there could be a reason to run a truck for part of a day, it should be the exception. If routes are Balanced and Optimized, you get the maximum return on your investment. There is a minimum fixed amount of cost and time to create routes, as well as a truck leaving the plant. Make the most of it.
The number of routes/trucks/man-days needed typically vary across the seasons. The number of required delivery days will usually differ between winter and summer. Route balance to determine those needs, and schedule accordingly. The number of available trucks and drivers does Not dictate how much workload there is. If allowed, work expands to fill the time available.
Scheduling routes and deliveries are the best way to reduce unnecessary miles and improve efficiency. This can also free up extra drivers, to fill voids in service and or installation. Back Office and Mobile technology can provide your drivers with an optimized route, and the ability to track your trucks and their progress. This serves several purposes. It gives the driver a predetermined number of stops, gallons, miles, and time. Monitoring this gives them an incentive to stay on the route and remain on schedule.
By being able to visualize routes, they can evaluate whether a route adjustment would be more efficient based on factors, including geography, topography, and density. Another benefit is in the event an off-route delivery must be made, the dispatcher can see where that is, about the routes and trucks on hand. This allows an intelligent, informed decision to be made.
Same Day Off-Route
What does 10, 20, 30 wasted/excess, unnecessary miles do to your bottom line? Just ten miles per truck, per day, even at $1.00 per mile, multiplied across your fleet, is a tremendous amount from your bottom line. Remember, this affects repair cost, expected vehicle life cycle, capital expense, payroll, and additional overtime, and ultimately reduces the number of stops made and the gallons sold.
The Ultimate goal is to Deliver Fuel; Not just haul it.