Retailers should use fleet software to model different what-if scenarios to optimise Christmas delivery routes and schedules, according to Paragon Software Systems.
“Retailers are gearing up for the Christmas rush, and with the improved economy, they can expect greater than normal delivery requirements,” said William Salter, managing director of Paragon Software Systems.
“Retailers need to have a strategic plan in place to eliminate the danger of paying too much for quick turnaround deliveries due to last minute orders or peak demand.
"By modelling potential peak scenarios, retailers can identify the fleet resources needed to meet this demand, ensuring they have the right size and mix of delivery vehicles available to meet customer delivery schedules.”
Paragon's routing and scheduling software can analyse a typical week of delivery routes and then running comparisons to test alternative options such as truck sizes, driver shifts, DC locations or time window options, retailers can quickly establish which models will give the best transport cost savings.
Modelling scenarios can also determine the optimal number of drivers, vehicles and fleet mix required across the week, as well as the number of drivers needed per shift.
For each scenario, the software calculates optimised routes and schedules, and outputs the total fleet resources, miles, drivers' hours, CO2 emissions and transport costs so that retailers can make the best possible, cost-based decisions.
“Our clients are well-prepared to smooth the ups and downs of the Christmas rush and meet their customers’ delivery deadlines at lower costs, eliminating the need to pay higher prices for expedited shipments,” added William Salter.
“Even if there is an unexpected high volume of last minute shoppers, by strategically planning for these types of peaks, retailers will be well prepared to handle them for the optimal cost.”