Integrating vehicle tracking and route planning software can provide significant business benefits which cannot be achieved by simply using the two systems alongside each other. Once integrated, you will be able to compare planned activity with what is actually happening in real-time, allowing you or your transportation team to quickly identify discrepancies between the two.
The integration of vehicle tracking and route planning software provides you with a number of benefits including:
- Improved customer communication. The ability to automatically track actual vehicle progress against your planned routes in real time will allow you to proactively keep your customers informed. For example, live ETA updates and “running late” alerts allow you to update customers about their scheduled deliveries. This works two ways – not only to advise customers of unexpected delays, but if customers know when to expect you, they’ll be ready and your driver can expect shorter waiting times.
- Operational efficiency. Discrepancies between planned and actual routes could indicate habitual delays at a particular customer, or regular traffic jams at specific times in specific areas. By integrating your vehicle tracking system and routing and scheduling software, you can more easily identify the trouble spots and then update the data within your routing and scheduling software to create more accurate and achievable transportation schedules.
- Use route replays and KPIs for instant driver debrief . The ability to replay routes at the end of a driver shift means that any deviations from the planned route can be discussed there and then. If key performanxce indicators (KPI) summaries highlight queries about mileage or late/early arrivals, you can drill into the detail and see exactly what happened while it’s still fresh in the driver’s mind.
How does it work?
The integration involves installing a layer of software between your routing and scheduling system and the global positioning system (GPS) devices in your vehicles. It uses a proprietary algorithm to process the messages received from the GPS devices to monitor the vehicles along the planned routes. So instead of your transportation team simply seeing dots on a map, they will know whether the vehicle will reach its next destination early, late or on time.
Can you integrate with more than one vehicle tracking system?
If you use more than one vehicle tracking system, then routing and scheduling software like Paragon can be integrated with multiple vehicle tracking products. For example, if yours is a seasonal business with particularly heavy volumes during peak periods, short term contract transportation operators can be added to the system, irrespective of which tracking device they have in their vehicles. Alternatively, you can keep a stock of ready-linked portable tracking devices to give to temporary drivers. Either way, it means your logistics management processes can extend to your whole fleet.
How easy is it to implement?
As long as your routing and scheduling system already has an established interface with your vehicle tracking system, then implementation can be a straightforward process. Benefits can be realized quickly.
Let is know how you are handling these chores in your logistics and supply chain in the comments section below.