What is Hybrid Route Planning and What Are its Benefits?

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Definition of Hybrid Route Planning

Hybrid route planning combines static and dynamic route planning concepts into a single technology-enabled route planning process that enables some customers to be serviced on fixed delivery patterns and others serviced dynamically to reduce delivery costs and improve customer service.

Hybrid Route Planning for Fleets

Hybrid route planning combines the best characteristics of static and dynamic route planning to maximize fleet productivity while uniquely serving customers.

Traditionally, distribution and services companies have used static routes for operational planning. Static routes work well with a stable customer base, little variability in order mix and delivery frequency and where driver-customer relationship is important but becomes ineffective when there are constant changes. Dynamic planning is much better at addressing the variability and produce delivery routes that are more productive, responsive and cost effective. However, dynamic planning regularly moves customers time windows to create the greatest productivity and lowest routes costs.

Many customers and especially the largest ones, value the stability of their deliveries so constantly changing delivery times can become a serious customer service issue potentially leading to a loss in business. Hybrid route planning allows larger or highly profitable customers, “A&B” customers, to be serviced on a fixed basis and smaller or less profitable customers, “C&D” customers, to be serviced on a dynamic basis on the same route. Hybrid route planning economically threads the C&D customers between the fixed-window A&B customers based upon the location and order size. It also considers A&B customer order size to see if more deliveries can be added to the route to further improve delivery productivity.

An example of how hybrid stops can be incorporated on a route with dynamic ones.

Descartes’ hybrid route planning solution allows for unique customer types and service strategies (e.g. fixed and dynamic service) with attributes that the optimization engine uses to create the best plan routes. The continuous optimization capabilities of the hybrid route planning solution allows for order cut-off times to be extended to take more orders and provides the ability to plan orders as they are booked and seed anchor orders for key customers.

Descartes hybrid planning solution goes beyond creating the most optimal delivery routes. It helps create driver and warehouse resource plans, coordinates picking, packing, staging and loading and is forward looking to minimize the impact of over and under capacity situations. The robotic process automation built into Descartes hybrid route planning solution means that planners only have to review the results that are being automatically planned.

The Benefits of Hybrid Route Planning:

  • Unique service strategies to address fixed and dynamic delivery customers on the same route
  • Lower delivery costs and greater route productivity
  • Higher customer service
  • Minimizes error prone manual adjustments to route plans
  • Improved responsiveness for more effectively and efficiently handling off-orders
  • Extended order cut-off times to take more orders
  • Automated planning to improve planner productivity and consistency

Learn More About Hybrid Route Planning

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