Getting to and from appointments is a major part of running a home service business. With jobs, estimates, and service calls all over the map, it isn’t unusual to spend hours on the road each day fulfilling commitments to customers.
Route optimization is the key to doing this in a way that’s efficient and helps you scale your business. At first glance, the process may seem fairly straightforward. To many people, the concept of route optimization and planning is as simple as finding the path with the fewest stops, or whichever one is the shortest. However, the many factors at play make for a much more complicated undertaking.
To understand the importance of route optimization, it’s helpful to first understand the complexity of route planning. Data from Verizon Connect illustrates this nicely: “With just one vehicle and 10 stops, the number of possibilities is 3,628,800. But if you have a fleet of five vehicles, that number jumps to a whopping 37,267,043,023,296,000.” If that seems like an overwhelming number of decisions to make, don’t be discouraged—that’s where route optimization technology comes in. Route optimization technology relies on artificial intelligence and algorithms to quickly help you find the best path to accommodate everything on your schedule. The benefits of doing this are many:
1. Lower fuel costs
When you travel the most efficient path to get to all your destinations for the day, you ultimately spend less time on the road and less money on gas to get around. Average fuel cost savings due to route optimization are between 10 and 30% over 3 to 6 months.
2. Less vehicle maintenance
Along similar lines, planning out efficient routes puts less mileage on your vehicle, resulting in fewer repairs and lower maintenance costs than you would have otherwise. Investing in software to intelligently plan your routes can end up saving you significant amounts of money on vehicle maintenance down the line.
3. Increased productivity
An added benefit of route optimization is accomplishing more things in a day’s work. With less time spent on the road, you have more time to be with customers and complete jobs, which means more gets done by the end of each day.
4. Safer driving
Routes can be optimized to include fewer left turns, U-turns, and other more risky maneuvers that increase the chances of a collision. Doing this helps to better protect you, your team, and your fleet.
Planning out efficient routes requires the consideration of several different factors including worker availability, customer time constraints, traffic, number of turns, and more. Software helps you do this quickly and efficiently to achieve the best outcome.
Estimates predict that route optimization can improve the productivity of any given route by roughly 5-15%. When you have a large business or you’re looking to scale your business, these improvements can be significant. Furthermore, because route optimization uses algorithms to plan routes in a matter of seconds, it also helps you respond to last-minute schedule changes and cancellations to still make the most of your day. You’ll be equipped to respond better and faster to whatever your customers throw at you.
Route optimization is a critical component of fleet management. It can lower fuel costs, reduce maintenance expenditures and increase productivity for your business. As the premier call answering company for the home service industry, we understand this well. Route optimization is included as a standard part of our job and estimate scheduling service, so you can rest assured the appointment calendars we put together are designed with efficiency in mind. For more information on how we can make your appointment scheduling better, get in touch to book a free discovery call.