Have you ever noticed all the different types of trucks on the road? You know, the food service, beer or soda truck? Maybe? Maybe not. (I admit they were pretty invisible to me before I started working with them!) Have you ever wondered how they figure out where to go, which roads are best to take, and when?
How do companies efficiently route, whether they have 10 or 100 vehicles or service techs? This problem of routing vehicles is very intriguing to me, so I did some math. If you have one vehicle that has 10 stops, there are 3,628,800 ways to sequence just those 10 stops. That’s where UPS Logistics Technologies fits in – we help companies find the most efficient ways to route their vehicles.
We are a business unit of UPS that sells route planning and GPS tracking software to companies that have a fleet of vehicles to be routed or a team of people to be scheduled. We use algorithms and customer requirements (e.g. don’t deliver food supplies to a restaurant during the lunch rush hour) in order to find the most efficient route to complete all of the deliveries or service calls. Once the plan is established, we use GPS tracking to ensure that the plan is being followed. Our goal is to provide our customers with the tools they need in order to reduce mileage, which reduces fuel consumed and ultimately makes the world a little greener by reducing carbon emissions.
Many of the commercial vehicles that you see on the road today are customers of UPS Logistics Technologies. In fact, we route over 186,000 vehicles every day in 56 different countries.
Several of these vehicles belong to WAXIE Sanitary Supply, the largest family-owned janitorial supply company in the United States. Their key to success is living their mission every day by making the customer central in everything they do, being environmentally sustainable and investing in technology. Through their investment in the Roadnet® Transportation Suite, WAXIE quickly discovered that they were not using their fleet to the fullest, causing unnecessary expense and having more vehicles on the road than needed. By using the technology to balance routes and compare how they planned to deliver to what actually happened they were able to service more customers and not have to purchase additional vehicles, in the days of old, the growth they experienced would have required an additional 29 vehicles!
On the other side of the coin is a customer that has become a household name – Feeding America. They’re using our software to help local food banks save on transportation costs (something that has skyrocketed in recent times). The savings can then be spent to provide additional meals to the hungry. See Donna Longino’s previous story on the benefits these solutions and savings have delivered to Feeding America.
So the next time you see a truck on the road, just because it’s not brown on the outside doesn’t mean it’s not routed by Brown!
|Category:||Business Insights, Logistics|
|Tags:||gps, logistics, Roadnet, route planning, technology|