Using location intelligence for better truck driver scheduling

Joe runs a delivery business for a beverage company. He has 12 drivers. He pays his drivers based on the number of cases they deliver, which varies between seasons. Between them they have 1000 cases to deliver in the low season, rising to 3000 during the peak months.

Joe has a problem. How does he keep all his drivers occupied evenly year round, while keeping operating costs to a minimum?

In an ideal world, he would simply have less drivers in the quieter months, and recruit more when the busy season arrived. But the reality is that hiring drivers would add significant overhead every year, as new drivers are trained up and transitioned to taking on the delivery route.

Joe prefers to keep his 12 good drivers year round to avoid any recruitment issues, knowing he’s good to go when the busy times arrive. But he still has two big challenges to overcome to keep his business profitable.

Minimize miles driven

While Joe doesn’t pay drivers for hours worked, every mile driven does add to his total operating expenses, and has a direct bearing on his business’s profitability. So he needs to make sure drivers aren’t driving more miles than have to when doing their daily deliveries.

Using the territory planning tools in Telogis Route, Joe can easily visualize where his customers are, and where his drivers are based. The advanced territories feature allows for delivery points to be assigned on what is most economical, and meets the given business rules. Joe can override driver assignments, based on personal preferences and local conditions.

With driver assignments done, Joe can easily compare before and after, with color-coded delivery points highlighting driver territories and smart segmenting of customers. Miles driven are calculated based on the updated routes, which can be setup to automatically send to the driver’s PND, ready for the day’s deliveries.

Balance the workload

The other challenge Joe faces is making sure the driver workloads are evenly balanced. Since drivers are paid per case delivered if some drivers had an unfair share of the work it would create feelings of resentment among the rest of the crew.

Manual adjustment of routes and instant workload reporting allows Joe to easily see at a glance how even the the work is being distributed among his drivers, across a given time period.

Where work needs to be reassigned Joe can update the route planning to add or remove clients against a driver based on the current number of orders, while still keeping a driver focused on delivering mostly in their nearby territory.

Location intelligence – Saving fleets thousands

Joe’s story is actually based on a real situation, and the location-intelligence software tools from Telogis were used to achieve a happy outcome. Using real-time and historical GPS data, Telogis software can help fleet managers schedule customers, orders, and drivers with maximum efficiency.

In fact, another beverage company realized quickly with Telogis Route that they could save thousands compared to their existing routing strategy.

Using all the location-relevant data available, Telogis Route capacity planning software organizes routes to minimize miles driven, hours worked, trucks needed, and workload variation. By generating route schedules for drivers weeks in advance, fleet managers can easily accommodate fluctuations in capacity and recruit accordingly.

Location intelligence is about taking GPS data and using it to manage a fleet more profitably, making informed decisions and planning clearly for the future. It’s about having the hard data to use when required to dispose of underutilized assets or request additional drivers.

If you feel like you’re managing your truck drivers in the dark then maybe it’s time to switch on the light and start using some location-based intelligence.

  • Gisellekethlyn

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    gisellekethlyn@hotmail:disqus .com