“Do I really need automated truck routing, or can I get by without it?” Another intriguing question is, “Will I end up saving anything at all?” The truth is that automated truck routing can help you take your dispatching to the next level. Automation, when done right, benefits companies on multiple levels.
Speed up the process
Process efficiency is a critical aspect of automating scheduling. Manual activities that are simple, repetitive and constant can be almost completely eliminated. Surprisingly, these are the activities that people find least interesting and that can be mechanized the most. First and foremost, this includes searching for, collecting, and providing data as the basis for planning. For human planners, this alone is a great relief. In the context of scheduling, resources can already be freed up for other value-adding activities, such as customer communication. In this way, process costs can already be greatly reduced by reducing manual activities.
However, automating dispatching is not just about automating simple manual tasks. Creating route plans is a mentally demanding task. Typically, dispatchers with extensive experience are required to spend a significant amount of time preparing repetitive tasks. However, with efficient scheduling techniques, these tasks can be completed in a fraction of the time. The time required to create a new schedule is typically reduced from many hours to a few minutes. Manual input is either eliminated altogether or is only needed for testing purposes. At this point, process costs can be significantly reduced once again.
The aforementioned factors are often accompanied by a higher level of employee commitment and more enjoyment at work. Motivation and enjoyment of work can be significantly increased by avoiding repetitive tasks. Employee motivation can be significantly increased simply by using an up-to-date tool. The use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence methods has significant motivation for young, tech-savvy people. Employee self-esteem is affected by pride in the modern workplace and also has a non-negligible motivational impact.
Higher-quality schedules, fewer delays and lower costs
Another benefit of scheduling automation – and perhaps the most anticipated benefit – is improved quality of scheduling and results. A powerful optimization approach can continuously produce good routing plans with high quality results. This is achieved by combining orders and tours more effectively. As a result, travel times and total distances are shortened, which leads to a lower impact on the environment with CO2 and other pollutants. In addition, the use of optimized route designs usually avoids delays and increases the level of service.
The amount that can be saved is determined by how well the dispatchers have performed so far. Experienced dispatchers who have been on the job for a long time are usually able to come up with good strategies on their own. One advantage of automation, however, is that even in tense situations or when experts are on vacation, effective route plans can be reliably developed. The bottom line is always an increase in quality while reducing costs.
In addition to the aforementioned features, another essential feature is the improvement of transparency. An initial plan and thus an outlook can be created at any time without much effort, based on the current order situation and what the forecast resource utilization will be, e.g. using the automatically scheduled plans. This means that bottlenecks can be identified and eliminated at an early stage.
It also becomes much easier to look back into the past. All data on plans that have already been carried out can be accessed digitally. Key figures can be determined in a simple way.
Would you like to know how Swynoo can support you in route planning? Then contact us for an individual consultation.