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5 Delivery Route Planning Challenges and How to Deal with Them

For delivery schedule planners and logistics managers, planning and ascertaining the delivery of goods to the customers within the agreed service terms needs a well-planned delivery schedule. However, if you are like most businesses with the last mile logistics task, planning a multi fleet distribution operation can be a gigantic task especially when using manual methods.

If your company still uses manual methods to plan last-mile distribution it means that your route operations are less efficient than they should be. Delivery operations are costly and critical to the general customer service operations. Using manual route planning can be hard to determine how your company's profits are being drained.

In this article we will look at how manually planning your delivery routes affects your business operations and how adopting route planning software can save you time and operation costs.

Red Flags To Never To Ignore When Planning Route Delivery:

1. Higher transportation costs.

You will notice that as your business grows more vehicles and drivers are needed. As a result, fleet cost grows faster than it should. To curb this problem, you will need to reduce the number of planners, drivers, trucks, and miles to reduce the fleet cost.

2. Lack of data on the performance of your delivery operations.

Manually planning your routes denies you performance figures which are crucial for the growth of your business. It is difficult to generate reports that senior managers can use to assess the business operations from the performance and costs perspective. It will be impossible to determine key metrics like the number of deliveries, miles per drop/cost per drop, percentage of on-time deliveries, customer retention rate, etc.

3. Internal organizational conflicts.

Unforeseen delays lead to an increase in driver shifts. Drivers might feel like there are some favors of other drivers by the planner. Emotions might seem to be creeping into the route planning process due to manual route planning. Due to the shortage of drivers, companies are offering higher salaries and it is up to you to give them a conducive operating environment to make them happy. 4. Assigning the route planning task to a single employee.

Most companies assign the route planning task to a few members with the knowledge of customer needs and specific delivery destinations. The major challenge is that they leave with this knowledge offering you zero data and having to start all over again. It is important to adopt an automation system to transfer all this data to avert this risk.

5. Lack of data to assess customer service cost.

Manually planning routes denies you the data for delivery cost per drop. This makes it difficult to calculate whether a business idea will be lucrative. Most businesses will assume that a new business will be profitable which is not the case.

Benefits of Adopting Route Optimization Software:

There are many benefits of automating your last-mile delivery operations such as reducing your business’ operation costs. Here is a look at some of them:

  • Better customer experience: Promotes faster delivery by using the shortest route possible to deliver items.

  • Driver scheduling: helps in scheduling the proper number of drivers.

  • Reduce fuel cost: finds the most efficient route using an algorithm instead of guessing.

  • Reduction in maintenance cost: Vehicles are driven fewer hours reducing mileage.

Why Choose Norma As Your Route Optimization Software?

An AI-based route optimization software like Norma cuts all the time required to plan routes from hours to minutes. It also gives you enough time to figure out those "what-if" scenarios. You can use this software to further research how the costs of delivery impacts profitability.

Other operational functions of your business might be systemized such as warehouse management, payroll, accounting, or order management. If route planning is automated there will be a significant upside in reduced costs and an improvement in delivery performance.

Download our case study “Mylerz Success Story” to learn how Softec empowers Mylerz to achieve a 96% delivery success rate with AI.   For more information, visit  

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