Route Optimization: Five Questions to Get You from Point A to Point B

Efficiently delivering quality patient care for HME/DME companies requires a new way of thinking about how delivery routes are created and managed. The ability for dispatchers and drivers to quickly create the most optimal routes, have visibility over the status of a delivery, communicate effectively and schedule new stops at any time can make a significant impact on both patient care and the company’s bottom line.

To ensure you’re employing the best process to meet your routing needs from start to finish, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Am I wasting time planning my driver’s routes using pen and paper, whiteboards and/or calendars?

Traditionally, HME/DME companies use outdated tools that can easily get lost or damaged and take more time and man-power than necessary. Companies are not only paying to keep these items in stock, but also incurring the time and cost it takes manually pin-point and calculate the most optimal route from points A to B.

However, utilizing a route optimization software only requires typing addresses into a system, hitting enter – and voila! At the push of a button the software provides a suggested route, saving drivers and dispatchers valuable time, money and materials.

  1. Am I paying high fuel and transportation costs?

Google, Bing and Apple Maps are helpful in a number of ways, but calculating the fastest route based on a list of addresses isn’t one of them. Chances are, if this is how your drivers are determining their daily schedules, you’re paying more than you need to for fuel.

Take the guess work out of drivers making their own schedules and let the software do the job by automatically mapping out the fastest route within seconds based on time and distance between locations. This will ultimately save time, gas and probably a lot of stress.

  1. Don’t Route Optimization solutions cost a lot of money with special hardware and software?

Short answer: yes.

Better Answer: They don’t have to! With the digital world we live in, it seems there’s an app for everything these days, including route optimization software. A cloud-based mobile solution that works off of iOS and Android devices eliminates the cost of bulky hardware, so you’re only paying for the software.

  1. Can I track my drivers after they leave the warehouse?

Knowing the whereabouts of delivery technicians using real-time updates provides managers with crucial information on the productivity of a driver, which will ultimately improve the company’s bottom line. With GPS tracking and real-time reporting managers can locate a technician, view how far along they are in a delivery and oversee their remaining workload to improve productivity.

  1. Am I able to schedule or change new and existing deliveries on-the-fly?

This goes hand-in-hand with driver transparency. As dispatchers receive special delivery requests or new orders, the ability to view the status of current deliveries on a map and quickly optimize the drivers’ route is not only key, but possible. Dispatchers are able to manage and schedule new deliveries at a moment’s notice, confidently knowing any changes are immediately received by the driver.

So what now?

Gone are the days of outdated, cumbersome and expensive equipment to direct drivers from one point to another. The new age of HME/DME route optimization is here and it’s mobile! Your route optimization product should not be a mere piece of the operational puzzle, instead it should host all aspects of the delivery process in one place. Do research and ask yourself these questions to understand your organization’s needs, and then trade up to keep up.