Paragon Software Systems, Inc., a leader in vehicle routing and scheduling optimization solutions, discusses five New Year’s resolutions for transportation managers. Transportation and logistics industry professionals need to control operating costs to stay ahead of the competition. Using solutions that help them lower fuel usage, improve carbon emissions, better utilize resources, and reduce transportation costs will bring a big impact to their bottom line.
“With each New Year, we create a list of resolutions that we hope will change our lives and businesses, such as getting a better handle on data or streamlining processes,” said William Salter, President & CEO of Paragon Software Systems. “We’ve created a list of resolutions for transportation managers that we feel will make their life better, job easier, and improve their bottom line profits. Paragon is poised to help transportation managers better manage their transportation operations in 2014.”
The New Year’s Resolutions for Transportation Managers Are:
1. Look at how you allocate your customers to your Distribution Centers (DCs) to determine the best network of DC locations to satisfy your customer service requirements most cost effectively. Paragon’s Fastnet is a network modeling tool that lets you determine the best network of distribution centers and depots to satisfy distribution requirements most cost effectively. It utilizes historical order volumes to decide which customers to serve from each DC. This improves transportation efficiency, reduces total mileage, and fosters better customer service due to appropriate allocation of customers to each DC.
2. Optimize your truck routes to cut costs, optimize vehicle use, streamline operations and help you make the most of every drop of fuel. Paragon’s advanced routing and scheduling software provides intelligent route optimization so that companies can reduce their total annual mileage, which in turn cuts fuel usage and carbon emissions. These operations can also typically reduce their truck fleet costs by up to 20%, and sometimes by significantly more.
3. Make your truck route plans as accurate as possible to deliver better results. There is no point creating a plan that does not reflect the real world. Utilize a vehicle tracking tool that can tell how long it really takes a driver to deliver and/or collect at each customer site, then refine planning parameters accordingly. The more accurate your route plans, the more likely you are to achieve more realistic savings.
4. Reduce empty running of trucks—empty trucks are a waste of money. If your drivers could pick up another load on the way back to the depot, then trucks are better utilized. Paragon’s Integrated Fleets option enables vehicles and drivers at multiple sites to be treated as a single integrated transportation resource, so that movements from different depots can be combined into efficient routes that reduce overall empty running. This inter-working of multiple fleets generates route plans with efficient backloads, which increases asset utilization, improves productivity and reduces empty mileage.
5. Continue working on winning the hearts and minds of those involved in your distribution operation. When you add a routing and scheduling solution that will make the team’s job easier by eliminating manual route planning and scheduling, some transportation teams find it hard to accept the change. Assure planners that the system is not a threat, but will enhance the overall job that they do. Invest in your staff with appropriate training and support to speed implementation and acceptance.