Delivery Management

A Guide To Better Delivery Scheduling

by TransVirtual, 30 December 2022

To meet and exceed consumer demands.

Table of contents:

–   What is delivery scheduling?
–   How does it work?
–   Importance of good delivery schedules
–   Challenges of scheduling deliveries
–   How to improve your delivery schedule
–   Choosing delivery scheduling software

Nowadays, consumer demands around deliveries are at an all-time high.

In order to meet and exceed these expectations, loading up a delivery vehicle and heading out without a plan and schedule in place won’t do the job anymore. Instead, you want a coherent delivery plan that helps you run smooth operations. This ensures that your deliveries remain profitable and it improves customer satisfaction.

To help you create an optimized delivery Schedule. We’ve gathered every bit of information you must know about this topic and crystalized it into this guide.

What is delivery scheduling?

Delivery scheduling refers to the process that determines which order gets delivered on what routes and the sequence of delivery.

While consumers used to be able to choose a time of day of their delivery. Nowadays, companies let customers select more precise delivery times, even within two or one-hour time slots. This requires flexibility as changes can be made last minute, a well-prepared delivery scheduling helps you respond adequately.

How does it work?

Before you can start make improvements, let’s dive into the step-by-step process that precisely explains how delivery scheduling work:

▶️ Clear inventory and order visibility

The first step in delivery scheduling is having a clear overview of your incoming and outgoing orders. 

This enables you to prepare for the unexpected, while you also know the location of each order at all times which speeds up delivery times.

▶️ Route optimisation

The next step is calculating the distance to each delivery destination and try to find the best route for your driver. 

That means it isn’t just about finding the shortest path from point A to point B, it’s about finding the most efficient route to reduce the distance traveled between delivery drops

▶️ Scheduling

The final step of delivery scheduling involves arranging delivery stops into trips for one driver.

That includes assigning orders to suitable vehicles based on package size, weight, and other dimensions. In addition, you will need to allocate these trips to a trustworthy driver.

Importance of good delivery schedules

Planning the best delivery routes isn’t just useful, it’s profitable. That’s why creating delivery schedules must be a priority for every manufacturing company in the world as it helps businesses:

▶️ Seamless order management
▶️ Deal easily with contingencies
▶️ Better delivery performance

Challenges of scheduling deliveries

Managing your delivery schedule involves a lot of moving parts that can bring challenges. Here is an overview of some of the main operational challenges:

▶️ Lack of flexibility

No matter how well-organized your delivery schedule may be, every business, at some point, experiences certain issues. Order cancellations, product recalls, and last-minute orders can present a challenge for delivery managers who spend a lot of time and effort optimizing routes.

▶️ Tight timeframes

One of the hardest parts of delivery scheduling is making sure each step and process is coordinated. Poor coordination results in delays between processes, which is one of the main reasons why optimized delivery scheduling is so important.

▶️ Surprise delay

Not every delay is under your control. This is because there are a lot of external factors like road closures, weather, serious traffic, or roadworks that can affect delivery time and result in delays.

If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you enable your drivers to adapt quickly to changes or delays while taking the most optimal route possible.

▶️ Lack of processes

If you don't have the right systems or processes in place, then you must be prepared for various operational issues that can delay deliveries or result in no-show deliveries. This has a major negative effect on customers and your brand's reputation.

How to improve your delivery schedule

Scheduling deliveries may have its challenges, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to improve. Use the following guidelines to improve your delivery scheduling:

▶️ Optimise your routes

With the right route optimization tool, you can plan, map out, and optimize delivery routes to save loads of time and cut down on unnecessary driving.

Route optimization includes assigning the most suitable orders to the right vehicles, and planning out a delivery schedule that maximizes time. These schedules are automatically planned to ensure minimal driving between each stop.

▶️ Delivery scheduling app

Implementing a delivery scheduling app makes sure that the driver can easily access the correct, optimized route at all times. By using a mobile-friendly delivery scheduling app, drivers can view the up-to-date route plan, and receive notifications of any changes in real-time.

▶️ Track your vehicles

Delivery Scheduling takes place not only before the trip, but staying up to date with the whereabouts of your vehicles is an important part of improving it.

This will help you adjust your routes, and understand how your scheduled routes perform. Tracking your vehicles also plays a big role in improving communications.

Choosing delivery scheduling software

While most delivery scheduling software can perform a lot of tasks to help you keep up with customer demands and stay customer-centric. Here are some crucial features you must know before you decide to invest:

The delivery scheduling software you implement must include multi-stop route planners, because the software will take care of all the complicated processes for you.

Next, delivery scheduling software must allow you to remain flexible. If any last-minute delays or surprises arise, the software has to be able to reschedule the route for you automatically to prevent delays.

Finally, route planning software should improve communication. If you add or remove any new stops, the route will update automatically. The system keeps the delivery driver updated, and there is no need for phone calls and manual communication.

Conclusion

By following this guide, you’ll deliver faster and eliminate delays, so your customers remain happy and your delivery scheduling remains profitable.

If you want to meet and exceed the high customer demands of today’s world, get in touch with our team of experts and discover how we can help you in your journey. 

Contact our friendly support team. We are here to help!

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