If you own or manage a small business, you never have enough time in the day. So like many small businesses owners and managers, you’re always looking for tools that can help you save time and eliminate some of the daily chaos you face. In other words, you’re looking for a tool that puts you back in control.
Route planning solutions do all that and more. They cut manual planning time from hours to minutes, simplify things, and provide more control over your day. Instead of using pencil and paper to plan routes manually, you simply pump the addresses into your computer and press a key.
That’s it. Within minutes, you have an efficient, easy-to-follow route plan that will reduce drive time for your people. Plus, you have more time to do things that can boost growth and increase profitability, like returning customer calls or creating e-mail marketing messages.
“Clearly, time-saved is a planning solution’s biggest benefit for small businesses,” says Bjorn Orvar, director of marketing at Route4Me, Inc., a cloud-based route planning solution. “But they also simplify things, eliminating some of the chaos that often accompanies the start of a typical small business day. If you’re a small business, that’s a benefit you don’t take lightly. Getting off to a good start in the morning is always in a business’ best interest.”
Saving time and simplifying things aren’t the only benefits that route-planning solutions provide. Below are five other benefits small businesses get from using route-planning solutions:
- Cuts transportation costs. A route-planning solution can dramatically cut fuel & labor costs, sometimes by as much as 39%. That’s a big plus for any small business trying to stay within a budget. Also, drivers spend less time on the road, which reduces wear and tear on vehicles and vehicle maintenance costs.
- Boosts control over driver. Without a route-planning solution, it’s almost impossible to tell what drivers are doing. They could be making unscheduled stops or just taking their time. Route planning solutions helps you control driver activities. They can tell you if drivers are hustling or stalling.
- Improves customer service. Route-planning solutions help businesses meet tight schedules. That’s good customer service. But they also help businesses make changes to a planned route schedule on demand so businesses can handle emergencies with ease, keeping customers happy.
- Reduces carbon emissions. Since route-planning solutions provide the most efficient routes, they cut fuel usage. That limits the amount of carbon emissions small businesses produce and protects the environment. For environmentally conscious businesses, that’s a big plus.
- Increases productivity. Some business save as much as 20 hours per week in route planning time and see a significant decrease in drive time. But there’s more to it than that. Route planning solutions help you do more work with fewer resources while holding the line on costs. That can help boost business growth and profitability.
These are just some of the key benefits you get from route-planning solutions. Plus, most route planning solutions are reasonably priced.
Review Solutions Carefully
Any small business that provides field sales, home services, pick-up or delivery services, or territory management and optimization can benefit from using route-planning solutions. These include businesses like bakeries, house cleaning, home health care, real estate, landscapers and many more.
But to enjoy all of a solution’s benefits, you need to find one that fits your needs. That’s not as easy as it sounds.
“There’s a lot of route-planning solutions out there,” says Orvar. “So businesses need to do their homework. They’ll want a mobile-enabled solution with state of the art features, like geo-fencing and left turn avoidance, a choice of pricing plans, and in-depth customer support. If it’s cloud-based, that’s even better. Above all, make sure it has everything your business needs before subscribing.”
One other feature to look for is route optimization. Solutions that provide optimized routes don’t just choose a good route. They choose the optimum route for your needs—one designed to help you get the most out of your assets in the fastest time possible and at the least cost. Optimization is especially important if you have multiple drivers.
Put simply, route-planning solutions save time and money and put you back in control. So look for a proven solution with a track record of success, good customer support, and route optimization. The right solution will help you grow your business, increase profitability, and create time to spend with your loved ones.