6 Route Planning Tips for Small Delivery Businesses – 2021 Guide
With the pandemic keeping people at home, there is a boom in the need for good delivery services. Good delivery services include promptness, punctuality, and professionalism. However, be it a large city or a small town, navigation and route planning is key to ensure good customer service. This boosts your company’s image and makes sure people continue to avail of your services. Optimization of delivery for small delivery businesses are tricks that could be used to give fast service.
There are a few tips that can be kept in mind for route planning to minimize delivery time and boost your image with the customers.
1. Collect enough information about the delivery location
This is an important and often overlooked step as delivery people often just look at the area and feel that they can navigate once they get there. This is quite the wrong approach as you could be completely in another area and this could set you back a lot. There is always access to a lot of data, especially about the routes and traffic. You can look through it at the beginning, plan your route, and act accordingly.
This saves you a lot of time later and you can ensure that you reach the final location as fast as possible. Basic information that you would need to keep in mind is the location, landmarks, popular routes to that place, and building or house name.
2. Plan your route effectively
If you are very familiar with routes in the city you work in, you would know the traffic bottlenecks and the peak traffic times. Certain stops tend to be on the outskirts and you can plan out how much time you would need to navigate that area and deliver the goods. Keep a track of familiar customers who have repeated orders; you would be able to navigate more easily. Even the option of reallotting the goods you have to deliver with specific drivers who are more familiar with specific areas can be availed of for faster delivery.
There are apps like Getstraightaway that show you the most optimized delivery options and routes. Avoiding cities during peak hours is recommended and delivering in outskirts and suburban areas are advised during the peak hours as there won’t be a lot of traffic there.
3. Usage of the right mode of transportation
Generally, the mode of transportation that is selected is based on the number of parcels that have to be delivered. However, the mode of transportation determines the efficiency of the delivery. For reaching a delivery location in the heart of the city, a four-wheeler isn’t recommended. The work can be done more effectively with a two-wheeler. Similarly, a bicycle can be used in sloping areas.
The factors to keep in mind during deliveries are the drop density and the level of urbanization. This can help you determine what vehicle to use to ensure efficient delivery.
4. Reduce errors and wrong stops in your route plan.
This can be done in many ways. One way is to refer to the route map and check for landmarks and prominent identification markers for the destination area. This ensures that you are on the right track and would guarantee fast and error-free delivery. There are many route planning software that you can access with ease and this directs you exactly the way you’d want it to.
You can set aside days for either a personal holiday or maintenance days such that no deliveries are planned then. This prevents delivery emergencies and unexpected orders, thus minimizing room for error.
Route planning software also bunches up many orders with nearby destinations such that you can finish off all the deliveries in one go.
5. Keep an eye on the important stats.
Nowadays, many route optimization software comes with benefits like giving you an ETA which is an Estimated Arrival Time, current GPS location, and dispatch details. This gives you an exact idea of how long it will take you to deliver a certain parcel and you can anticipate the delivery accordingly. The ETAs are now gauged based on traffic, shortcuts, and longer ways that are taken and all the signal times.
Keeping an eye on this will give you a brief idea of how long your delivery would take so you can plan your breaks and stops accordingly. This is helpful information, so integrating that during your delivery process can be of great use. The main statistic is the ETA as fluctuations that gives you an insight into what is going to delay your delivery.
Based on that, you can either change routes, replan your delivery or even reassign the deliveries to another person who is closer to that area.
6. Communicate with your customers
If you have any doubts or there is some lack of information that is apparent, do not hesitate to contact the customers. Many deliveries often take a lot of time because of the lack of sufficient information. Hence, in order to boost the efficiency of your deliveries, contact the customer about the location specifics. This allows you to get further insight about the whole delivery route and you can plan accordingly.
This can be done in large cities with many apartments located quite close to one another since locations can be confusing. Calling and informing the customer would give clarity and assurance to the customer that their parcel is on the way.
These are effective tips to plan the route required for deliveries that small businesses can employ in their dispatches. Route planning has now grown in importance because of the demand for online deliveries. People prefer online shopping and services more than the physical counterparts of the same. Especially with the pandemic, this has grown in popularity widely.
New businesses should have a seamless delivery system that incorporates route-planning software and route optimization techniques to ensure efficient deliveries. This boosts customer preferences and shapes a great image of your brand. Hence, keeping these tips in mind can give a great push to improve delivery efficiencies.