5 Reasons Why You Should Use Territories for Route Planning
(Even though you will get less efficient routes)
Optimisation specialists hate them...
They cost you money...
Even though driving without them will give you more efficient routes, there are many reasons to use territories in route planning for your delivery and distribution operations:
Example Territories for Melbourne Australia in Tarot Routing
1. Picking, Packing and Order Cut Off times - Warehouse to loading dock interface
A warehouse is a complex environment, and the number of products, customers and order types can quickly get overwhelming. Minimising mistakes is often preferable to maximising efficiency, the best way to do this is to simplify things as much as possible.
When a warehouse picks and prepares orders before delivery routes are planned pre-defined territories simplifies the warehouse workers task and reduces double handling of orders. This means that when an order comes in from a customer:
The picker knows exactly where to look for the correct items and then where to place the items on the loading dock for onwards delivery
The driver (or drivers) assigned to a territory know exactly where all the parcels to be loaded can be found.
If territories are not used, items are picked, staged then re-sorted onto the loading docks once delivery routes are planned. In the absence of an automated system to re-sort packages (think robots and conveyor belts) this additional step can cost time at loading and cause mistakes - eliminating the benefit you get from a territory free optimisation.
2. Loading dock layout
Warehouses are large buildings with multiple loading docks. Drivers need to minimise loading time to be efficient. Using territories means you can pre-define an area on the loading dock where the driver (or drivers) assigned to a territory can find their ALL their parcels.
Without pre-defined territories a ‘forest of stacks’ where parcels are far apart and it’s not clear which one belongs to which driver can be an operational nightmare. Drivers spend time walking around the warehouse looking for their load, instead of being able to pick up their parcels and depart quickly.
Efficient Loading = On-time Departure = Successful Delivery
3. Geography and delivery days
Satellite cities or regional areas may not be services in every delivery wave from your warehouse. Using territories allows you to easily exclude jobs from regions you are not visiting today. Territories allow you to easily define complex areas. You can set the regions your drivers will visit and automatically ignore Jobs outside these areas.
4. Driver preference and local knowledge
A driver who is familiar with an area knows where he can find parking or where there is traffic congestion. For new drivers in particular, driving an an area they already know well makes them more confortable, decreasing the onboarding time and improving driver retention. These efficiency gains on the driver level can offset what you lose in optimisation by using territories.
5. Other operational reasons
The last mile is complex and no two businesses are the same, there are many other valid reasons for using Territories in your delivery & route planning.
So, if your business wants to build a better last mile or you want to learn more about how you can use Territories with Optimisation, reach out and Book a Demo! The team at Tarot Analytics is always happy to assist.