Visible Delivery – you either have it or you don’t – and as a transport operator it should be a critical piece of your technology armoury. The right Fleet Management solution can act as a valuable source of information to help you to understand what’s going on when your drivers are out on the road.
Fleet managers need to get the most from expensive resources (drivers, trucks – not to mention fuel) and to do that they need to maximise utilisation and have a clear picture of what is happening and where.
The critical issue to consider for me is if you’re not capturing and analysing data you can’t measure your fleet performance to improve on it.
Never Underestimate The Value Of A Plan
Regardless of how you do it, whether manually or through a planning and optimisation tool, the key issue to consider is the time planning takes, particularly if you often need to include last minute jobs. Planning and optimising the routes your fleet will take, gives you a clear view of who is going to be making deliveries, where and when.
This type of visibility delivers clear benefits, for example, if you can provide a customer with an accurate ETA, people and equipment can be at the ready, to reduce turnaround time and delays, saving you both time and money.
Being able to calculate and control the number of hours individual drivers are being assigned – and making sure they stay within mandated working hours – will also support driver wellbeing and reduce the likelihood of any costly fines.
Know The Real Routes Your Trucks Are Taking
Route execution functionality supports even greater visibility – allowing you to see what happens once a driver has left the depot. When combined with vehicle tracking technology you can delve deeper into where your trucks have been, and how efficiently your real-world route execution was.
This data can then be fed back into future planning to make continuous improvements to your routes. This supports you – and your team – to reclaim valuable time from your delivery schedule and optimise load efficiency, which in turn may mean that you need fewer trucks on the road and reduce your fuel spend in the process.
Visibility Supports better Driver Management
Having visibility of the routes your drivers have actually taken rather than where the route plan said they should go, can greatly improve your training too. At a time when driver retention is all important, having the capacity to use reliable, valid data about delivery patterns and behaviors means you create a more accurate feedback loop which supports constructive conversations about performance. If a driver deviates from a planned route because they believe they have a better idea about routing, that can also form a valuable part of the conversation as local knowledge can then be factored into future plans.
Better visibility also leads to increased certainty so you’ll find that scrabbling at the last minute to fill in for driver or truck shortages should happen far less often.
Proof of Delivery
It’s important not to let your last-mile delivery operations become the least efficient part of your business. In a world where we are all connected via technology, new expectations and behaviours are shaping our sector. People expect fast and flexible delivery with many consumers willing to pay a premium for immediate or same-day deliveries.
Hand-in-hand with delivery flexibility, is the need for improved customer service and communication. Customers expect a much clearer understanding of when they can expect their delivery – real-time journey updates against planned schedules are critical to support this type of proactive communication so delivery issues can be mitigated and resolved from the go-get.
By digitally managing delivery execution – and subcontractors – you can reduce unnecessary administration and store proof of delivery documents safely and securely. Text and voice functionality, trip sheets, integrated satellite navigation, task management and driving style coaching and debrief can also support effective and joined-up planning that stretches from the transport office direct to your fleet of drivers.
Meet the Microlise team at stand no 201 on the Mezzanine level at The Brisbane Truck Show