Descartes Route Planner™ software was designed to address the most complex route planning problems and provide fleet operators with capabilities that transform their performance. The solution combines a number of innovations to model and dynamically optimize unique route planning cases, a comprehensive and deep range of capabilities – from delivery appointment scheduling through route execution, to manage the order or pickup process end-to-end and can scale to the largest enterprise requirements. Descartes’ route planning software can not only help improve productivity and customer service, it can help create a differentiated customer experience and help grow revenue.

Planning Innovations

Continuous optimization – unlike batch optimization only solutions, Descartes Route Planner optimization can run all the time, taking in new orders or changes and optimizing them as they occur and constantly looking for new combinations to continue to improve the planning results.

Results scoring to balance business objectives – most business have multiple objectives and the best results are not always “black or white”. Descartes Route Planner “profit-based” approach allows planners to weight the importance of certain objectives over others and balance seemingly competing goals to provide optimal answers that respect real-world conditions and trade-offs.

Robotic process automation – the best planners use multiple steps to create the optimal plan. Descartes Route Planner uses robotic process automation to capture these multi-step processes to consistently provide the best results, minimize planner to planner inconsistency and automatically generate and execute plans.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) – AI and ML are dramatically enhancing route optimization performance. Descartes Route Planner uses AI to generate optimizal configurations that uniquely meet planning requirements on a global and local level and ML to increase the accuracy of parameters and individually tune performance down to the driver, customer and road network.

Comprehensive, end-to-end capability

Descartes Route Planner also has rich and deep functionality across the planning and execution processes. It’s ability to model complex pickup and delivery processes, unique product, vehicle, customer, driver and business requirements all companies to move to exception-based planning reduces the number of planners requires, frees planners to focus on continuous improvement opportunities and other tasks that enhance productivity and customer experience.

Descartes Route Planner is the “lynch pin” of the route planning process that starts with delivery appointment scheduling and ends with the order successfully delivered. The solution combines route planning and execution using the advance planning technology in both to intelligently plan and execute deliveries or pickups. When combined with Descartes Reservations™, the dynamic delivery appointment scheduling solution and Descartes Mobile™, the integrated mobile application and wireless messaging network, the solution enables the most sophisticated last-mile delivery processes such as optimized same day delivery

Descartes Route Planner is part of Descartes home/last mile delivery omni-channel platform. The solution has the ability to model and plan multiple delivery channels including their service capabilities to unify the delivery process. Private and dedicated fleets, 3PLs, specialty couriers and gig economy workers can be included as well as various types of distribution and fulfillment centers, including stores. The flexibility of Descartes Route Planner allows third-parties to be used to increase capacity, deliver specific types of products, cover unique geographies and in a number of other scenarios.

Enterprise Scale

From large order volumes to complex organization structures, Descartes Route Planner can enable enterprises of all sizes. As a cloud-based solution, it scales “horizontally” for large order volumes and real-time performance. Even the optimization has been designed with elastic scaling concepts to take bursts of orders and plan them efficiently.

The ability to model complex organization structures is as critical for large enterprises. Descartes Route Planner supports operational structures that best fits their needs with role-based access control to determine who can use what capabilities and data access. In addition, the software can support multi-party delivery processes that support any combination of private and dedicated fleets.

Descartes Reservations™ - Dynamic Delivery Appointment Scheduling Software that Helps Drive Revenue and Customer Experience While Controlling Costs

Descartes Reservations is a real-time dynamic delivery appointment scheduling solution that provides incredible flexibility during the booking process to allow B2C and B2B companies the ability to uniquely tailor scheduling options to the customer during the buying process. The scheduling options are scored so the company can choose which options it wants to present to each customer to maximize the customer experience while minimizing delivery costs. With Descartes Reservations, B2C and B2B companies can turn their delivery operations into a competitive advantage and money maker.

Unlike any other delivery appointment scheduling solutions – even those calling themselves “dynamic”, Descartes Reservations provides options that are not based upon fixed capacity, territory or other static assumptions. The software uses an order-centric approach that understands the unique requirements of the order/customer/location combination and considers existing routes and orders as well as the model of the physical road network, resource capacity, skills required, vehicle types, business logic and a number of other factors to calculate a matrix options uniquely for each appointment request. This approach gives the company full understanding of the cost/value of the options and complete control over the ones presented. Because it does not use static assumptions, it can squeeze out the most deliveries from the fleet to provide the greatest effective delivery capacity and minimize the number of vehicles needed to serve customers. With Descartes Reservations, a company can determine the level of customer experience it wants to present the customer while helping to maximize delivery density, hence minimizing costs.

Multiple appointment windows and service options can be generated in real-time to the customer to offer value-added services that can generate incremental revenue and even help sell the company’s products. For example, a number of premium delivery windows can be presented to the customer at the same time along with unique pricing to allow customers to self-select their option. The premium window approach has generated millions in additional revenue for companies deploying it. The same is true for value-added installation and other product-related services. Descartes Reservations dynamically calculates the required service time for each service option presented. By creating the value-added service options at the same time that the appointment windows are generated, customers can book their window and service with one click. The value-added service approach also generates millions in incremental services revenue, which helps to sell more product because it provides the customer with options during the buying process and makes it easy for them to choose one.

Descartes Reservations has unmatched appointment scheduling flexibility while scheduling in real-time. Information related to customer type and priority, product-related information, sourcing locations and number of other factors can be given to the solution for each booking request to determine a unique value proposition for the customer. The solution has an extensive model of the delivery network that takes into account existing orders and routes, vehicle types and restrictions, driver and other resource skills, business rules and other factors that allows companies to maximize the utilization of all of the assets and resources and minimize the cost of the delivery appointment options presented to the customer. The scheduling horizon is unlimited and when combined with Descartes’ route execution and mobile solution can support same-day optimized appointment scheduling. This almost limitless schedule generation flexibility allows companies to uniquely tailor their delivery proposition to the customer increasing competitive differentiation and top and bottom line performance.

Descartes Reservations is part of Descartes home/last mile delivery omni-channel platform. The solution has the ability to model multiple delivery channels including their service capabilities to present a unified face to customers. Private and dedicated fleets, 3PLs, specialty couriers and gig economy workers can be included as well as the various types of distribution and fulfillment centers, including stores. The flexibility of Descartes Reservations allows these third-parties to be used to increase capacity, deliver specific types of products, cover unique geographies and in a number of other scenarios.

The combination of advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (including machine learning) makes Descartes Reservations the most powerful dynamic delivery appointment scheduling solution in the industry. Descartes has blended the technologies to take advantage of their unique capabilities. The proprietary algorithms have the ability to model and optimize sophisticated delivery scheduling scenarios. Machine learning (ML) helps to continually tune the system to ensure that the parameters such as road speeds, delivery locations and times, and number of other factors are highly accurate and deliver the greatest productivity. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also used to configure the system and identify configuration improvements as the business evolves.

Descartes Reservations is used by some of the largest retail and distribution companies in the world. It was designed to handle very large delivery or service operations and simultaneously produce delivery appointment options in the blink of an eye. The flexible architecture supports omni-channel retailing allowing integration to ecommerce sites, point of sale, call center and other CRM systems.  Its horizontal, cloud-based architecture not only scales, but is designed to provide resilience for mission critical 24 X 7 appointment booking operations.

The ability to model complex organization structures is as critical for large enterprises. Descartes Route Planner supports operational structures that best fits their needs with role-based access control to determine who can use what capabilities and data access. In addition, the software can support multi-party delivery processes that support any combination of private and dedicated fleets.

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Best Practices for Last Mile Delivery

In many industries, same-day delivery is a requirement or becoming the new differentiating point. It can, however, be very expensive and not precise. Same-day optimization combines dynamic delivery appointment scheduling with the real-time GPS-based status of vehicles in the field. It allows customers to offer time-definite same-day delivery in the most productive way. Same-day optimization lets fleets take in orders with later cut-off times and provide more dynamic or premium customer service options. Download the eBook to learn more about last mile delivery best practices.

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