As a distributor, optimizing fleet performance is pivotal for financial success, differentiation in a competitive landscape, and delivering an exceptional customer experience. Recently, Adrian Gonzalez delved into these crucial aspects with Brad Bradley, senior sales executive at Descartes, on a recent episode of Talking Logistics.

Brad Bradley of Descartes discusses optimizing fleet performance with Adrian Gonzalez of Talking Logistics

Here are a few highlights that shed light on the value of implementing routing best practices to improve fleet performance:

Fleet Performance Dynamics

Even with the same route planning solution, distributors can experience significant disparities in fleet performance. Why does this happen? According to Brad, one critical factor is measurement. Questions like whether the driver arrived on time, completed all stops in the correct sequence, and if the planner is optimizing routes efficiently play a key role. Brad emphasizes the importance of measurement, stating, “What doesn’t get measured can’t be managed properly.”

Overlooking Best Practices

Identifying whether a distributor is neglecting best practices is essential. Brad suggests that if a planner is altering more than 10 percent of stops, there might be underlying issues such as data problems, optimizer misconfigurations, or insufficient software understanding. Brad advises, "Observing the planner will tell you if the planner is using the optimizer properly and if it is being effective."

Best Practices Unveiled

So, what are these best practices? Brad underscores the significance of observing and reporting on planner and optimizer performance. Additionally, examining data quality is crucial, and Brad suggests innovative solutions such as using mobile applications to collect real-time data from drivers.

Centralized or regionalized route planning is another best practice highlighted by Brad, emphasizing the need for full-time planners with a holistic view. Ongoing training is the third best practice, crucial for adapting to software upgrades and addressing planner turnover.

Benefits of Enhanced Performance

Adrian asked Brad about the benefits of improved performance for distributors. He stressed that cost savings are a key outcome, with automated systems offering 10-15 percent transportation savings compared to manual planning. Improved on-time percentages and accurate delivery information contribute to a positive customer service experience.

INDUSTRY WHITE PAPER


Fleet Data is the New Oil

To achieve a high degree of execution and minimize costs, successful fleet operators focus on driver and vehicle performance, ensuring regulatory compliance, and retaining drivers. Learn why telematics data is the new oil.

Conclusion

Optimizing fleet performance is a strategic imperative for distributors aiming at financial resilience, competitive differentiation, and superior customer experiences. Brad’s insights underscore the pivotal role of effective measurement and adherence to best practices, providing a roadmap for overcoming disparities in route planning and execution.

The benefits of enhanced performance extend beyond operational efficiency, delivering substantial cost savings, improved on-time deliveries, and elevated customer service. As distributors embrace these insights and innovative solutions, they not only streamline logistics but also future-proof their operations for sustained success in the dynamic landscape of modern supply chains.

Solution Highlight


Route Planning, Optimization & Dispatch

Fleet Resource Center

Expand Your Routing, Mobile & Telematics Knowledge

Recommended For You


Manual vs Optimized Planning
See how optimized planning enables businesses to create superior route plans quickly and frees up planners to focus on making future improvements.
Batch vs Continuous Optimization
Learn the difference between batch and continuous route optimization and why continuous optimization can make your fleet operations more agile and productive.
Fleet Innovation Resource Center
See how Descartes’ routing, mobile, and telematics solutions leverage the latest technology. Transform fleet performance and the customer experience today.