The vehicle routing problem is a common issue faced by many drivers in the logistics industry. It often leads to inefficiency in driving and delivery tasks. This inefficiency leads to lower sales and higher costs. An app like Google Maps can not solve this problem quickly. Drivers need something more efficient and equipped to handle situations like slow routes, change of plans, traffic conditions, and road blockage.
A driving route app solves the vehicle routing problem and all the other problems that follow it. For that, the app should work as a navigation app and as a route optimization software. Route optimization solutions support the entire delivery service process, and it includes several features that facilitate an easy delivery.
This article will look at some features you can expect from multi-stop route planners and solve the vehicle routing problem.
Table of Contents
What is the Vehicle Routing Problem?
Vehicle Routing Problem is the challenge of finding out the fastest and most cost-efficient route from one location to a set of multiple stops. In addition to that, it considers business-specific constraints. It is a generalization of the well-known Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP).
When door-to-door salespeople peddled encyclopedias and vacuum cleaners back in the day, TSP was noticed on a significant level. Over time, the Vehicle Routing Problem was categorized into more modern and worldly tasks involving large chunks of data and had more significant implications.
Drivers can face vehicle Routing Problems due to different real-world problems like:
- Vehicle capacity
- Time windows
- Pickup & delivery locations
Drivers can tackle all these problems with dedicated software solutions that offer a route optimization service while considering real-time traffic, time windows, distance, and other delivery constraints.
How Does a Multi-Stop Route Planning App Solve Vehicle Routing Problem?
With the delivery and logistics operations becoming increasingly complex, it is crucial to have digital integrations across businesses to meet the dynamic demands. A multi-stop route planning software solves vehicle routing problems using the most advanced algorithm to create the most efficient route.
Delivery route planner apps are developed keeping in mind the requirements of the driver on the road. These route planner apps aim to provide the most optimal route to help drivers save time and money.
A delivery route planning app helps immensely in solving the vehicle routing problem. It also helps in improving the delivery business’s overall efficiency and productivity by making sure the process runs smoothly.
7 Major Features to Look Out For in Any Driving Route App
A multi-stop route planner with the following features must help you tackle the vehicle routing problem.
Bulk Address Import
Having a simple import feature makes a lot of difference in how much time it takes to create routes. Bulk Address Import helps users upload a long list of destinations that will make multiple stops for your delivery routes.
The Bulk Import feature, like copy-paste, helps the user in saving time. It imports an entire address list instead of manually entering each address in the system. The algorithm identifies each address along with the specific code mentioned. Optimization is then done, and the addresses are rearranged more efficiently.
When you have an intelligent input system to support adding stops or addresses, it will quickly and easily detect the addresses you enter. The route planning tool you use must be quick enough to identify the addresses and adding them to the list.
The intelligent input system helps you save a lot of time. If you are manually typing an address and make an error while doing that, the system will easily identify the error and find the right address. Location-based auto-detect can find an address easily and can save you a lot of trouble.
With real-time tracking, a business will know delivery drivers’ locations and progress while the buyers can track their deliveries. This is an excellent way of receiving updated information that helps all parties involved in the deliveries. It provides better control over the supply chain processes and makes sure the deliveries are run smoothly.
Real-time tracking is one of the most important features when it comes to a route planning app. With a tracking feature, you can easily find the real-time location of your drivers and packages. It helps managers by keeping them in the loop. When managers and customers are aware of the location of drivers and packages, it opens clear lines of communication.
Proof of Delivery
A proof of delivery helps businesses and consumers confirm the updated delivery status of the package. It means your drivers have completed the deliveries. Every delivery management solution needs to offer a way to receive proof of delivery in a signature or photo capture.
Proof of delivery is integral to every type of delivery business out there, right from food delivery to courier service. It makes sure that the deliveries are being made properly, that is the main purpose of it. With proper proof of delivery, the delivery driver doesn’t have to be answerable for any mishap.
With each delivery and route, the requirements are different. Users should name and customize the routes with the necessary details to meet their specific needs. The route planners must also accommodate any changes made based on priority.
Customizable routes in route planning software help make things easier for drivers and managers. Customizations like giving a particular name or allocating a specific color to the route can help you distinguish between routes. For example, the routes related to customer service can be given a specific color, while a route for pickup can be allocated a different color.
A business manager can also create individual driver profiles with specific start locations and destinations.
Share to a Driver
Businesses dealing with multiple drivers every day need to dispatch the delivery routes to drivers on their smartphones. The drivers do not have to report to the depot, and they receive their daily tasks wherever they are. Individual drivers or people creating routes for a road trip can share the route plan with their family and friends.
By sharing routes or destinations with drivers on their mobile app (Android and iOS), you can save them from wasting their time coming to the depot to collect their route plans. Sharing routes makes things much easier for the drivers as well as the dispatchers.
Reports & Insights
With up-to-date reports on daily deliveries, businesses receive data on drivers’ performance, deliveries accomplished, and deliveries remaining pending. The reports and analytics offer helpful insight into the operations of the business. These reports help delivery managers as well as delivery drivers in making important decisions.
The reports can be useful in finding out where drivers are lacking in their delivery service. Any lack of resources can be identified and met with from the insights generated by the reports.
When You Need More Than Just Navigation
A navigation app like Google Maps or CoPilot GPS helps you plan for limited routes, but they are not software specifically built to create optimized routes.
You will find optimization features in a scalable and affordable platform like Upper Route Planner. Small and large businesses use it, truck drivers, independent contractors, and other individuals to route multiple stops daily.
A software solution like Upper Route Planner or Circuit offers trip planning, GPS tracking, real-time traffic data, and other route settings and creates the best route possible. These apps can make sure each route plan you create is efficient and gives you maximum value. It can’t always do the same with apps like Google Maps.
You may use Upper Route Planner as a web app or a mobile app on iOS and Android devices. The user can download it from App Store or Google Play Store.
Upper Route Planner is a route optimization app that creates and optimizes a route with multiple locations. There are other options like Circuit, Optimoroute, and Onfleet that you can use to map multiple locations at once. You can download these apps from Google Play Store or App Store.
You can try out apps like Waze, MapQuest, and Google Maps. These apps help you plan routes for free. But each of these apps come with their limitations. Among the free apps, Google Maps, Waze, and MapQuest are some of the best. These apps are available for download on iOS as well as Android devices.
When choosing a delivery route planner app, match your requirements with the features or services offered by the map. If all of your business and delivery requirements fit the elements, it is probably a good option.
Tackle Vehicle Routing Problem with Route Planning
Route optimization is central to the smooth functioning of the delivery services industry. It is a crucial feature in a driving route app. Still, there are other features. Delivery teams or even individual delivery drivers will benefit from the features that solve the vehicle routing problem. We hope you have been able to identify which features are important for your delivery process. The best multi-stop driving route app will be the one that fits your unique requirements.