Route4Me is an automated route planning and optimization software solution. Company founder and CEO Dan Khasis spoke to us about some common challenges when it comes to fleet routing, and how technology can help.
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What are the key challenges when it comes to routing?
I think there’s a few challenges in routing, and it’s kind of in the middle of everything. Even though people don’t’ realize it is, it is one of those hidden operational items. The routing problem is so pervasive in some industries that people don’t’ realize it until it’s too late, and they’re bleeding a lot of money or customers are complaining. People have this perception that it’s just a trucking or delivery business problem.
Some companies visit the same locations over and over again, while others have dynamic businesses where they visit different locations every day. The former don’t realize they need to optimize their routing otherwise they are making the same wrong moves on a daily basis for years. Those that have changing routes every day aren’t optimizing fast enough.
How does your platform improve that?
Over time our feature set has been enhanced to cover a huge portion of different scenarios that businesses have when it comes to routing and logistics. There’s a centralized system for dispatch and keeping track of routes, as well as geofencing. The platform has evolved.
Companies enter a list of customers or places into the system, along with rules around the visit, such as how many pieces or boxes are being dropped offed or picked up. There are also industry specific attributes. The system outputs a list of routes and what has to be done on each visit on the route. It can be any type of route, even bicycle couriers or routes that are walked. The routes are distributed equally among the staff.
Owners or managers have visibility into what’s happening throughout the day.
If there are bad weather conditions or other problems, the system will slow down travel times and make adjustments. We can reroute personnel, or resequence a route.
How are new technologies like connected vehicles playing a role in routing?
If you are talking about electric vehicles or autonomous driving, I think that latter is a long way off, but electric vehicles have certain constraints that are very unique to them. They can be depleted, so you need to know how far they can go and how much power is going to be consumed to plan the route. You don’t want to send them past the point of no return.
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