Route Optimization, if done the right way, can function as the most important tool for optimizing the market coverage.
Every FMCG company out there is always looking for ways to reduce their sales reps’ travel costs and increase their face-time with the retailers. More the time spent at the stores, better the relationship between the company and the retailer. By covering the route in the most efficient manner, companies can directly see a positive impact on the performance of the sales reps.
Often companies don’t see the right value in efficient Route Optimization. Optimizing the route with the help of specialized algorithms can boost the productivity of the sales rep and thus, the sales output of a business. If the distance, time, and other variants are optimized, the sales rep will be able to reach stores as per the availability of the retailers and the preferences of the business.
A small improvement in the sales rep’s route serves three purposes:
- increase returns on investment on the sales team
- increase face time with retailers & reduce the time taken for order collection
- increase the productivity of sales reps
The process of improving the sales reps’ routes and scheduling the visits according to the store classification and available time slots while optimizing the travel cost and time is described as Route Optimization.
While the process of route optimization may seem simple, it involves a lot of science. Some businesses try to optimize the routes manually, but it affects the efficiency, scalability, accuracy, and productivity of the sales reps.
With the rise of the digital age, Route Optimization Softwares have grown in the demands of business leaders to increase the returns on investments. Route Optimization Software comes up with a lot of benefits, to start off it helps in finding the most cost-effective route for the sales reps. It reduces the time required to plan the route for the sales reps. It recognizes the best routes with the least distance according to the location of the store. This makes sure that the sales rep can visit a maximum number of stores on a given day with maximum face-time with retailers.
Summing up all the benefits, it is safe to say that a Route Optimization Software gets the best productivity out of sales reps by scheduling the visits in the least possible time at the least possible cost.
Let us now go through the 5 step process on which BeatRoute’s Route Optimization software functions, and understand how the software makes the process of route optimization so simple to implement!
1) Utilizing Geo Location of all stores:
The Geo Locations of all the stores are captured with the help of BeatRoute’s Store Profiling Engine so that the exact coordinates of all the stores are mapped within BeatRoute’s system. BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software then utilizes these geo-locations to efficiently plan the most-efficient route. Exact Lat and Long help the software decide the best route for the sales reps considering the time constraints of the retailers and the urgency posted by the sales reps.
2) Considering stores based on segmentation:
It is important for a business leader to know which stores are important from the business perspective and which stores need some more attention. BeatRoute, with the help of its store profiling engine, solves this problem by classifying the stores into various classes like A-class, B-class, and C-class based on different data inputs. With the help of this information, BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software plans the route considering the visit frequency as per the different classes of stores. While planning the route, the AI-assisted software takes into account all the classes of the store and plans the route accordingly for the sales reps.
3) Setting Visit Time and Visit Frequency:
BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software takes into account the opening and closing hours of the stores and also the visit frequency as per the class of the store. This ensures that the sales rep visits the store at the right time at the right intervals, which leads to an increase in customer engagement and satisfaction.
4) Taking Special Prerequisites into consideration:
BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software considers special prerequisites of certain stores. These Prerequisites may include specific times for order collection. There may be cases that some stores do not operate on a certain day of a week or a particular store owner is only available on certain days at certain times. BeatRoute’s Route Optimization software takes into account all these special prerequisites of your customers and plans the best possible schedule for collecting orders.
5) Geo-fencing of stores:
BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software creates virtual geographical boundaries based on the areas a business caters. This ensures that the route selected by the software is perfectly aligned with the areas served by the business.
BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software takes account of all the factors and plans the customized route(s). It also lets the sales leaders know the number of sales reps needed to cover the stores based on distance, proximity, and availability.
BeatRoute’s Route Optimization software is ideal for business leaders to maximize their returns on investment and increase the productivity of sales reps by maximum utilization of the available resources.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does Route Optimization Software work?
Route Optimization Software uses AI-based algorithms to find the most optimized route based on the different parameters set by the company on account of its customers. It minimizes the complexity of Route Planning for sales reps by using advanced algorithms and mechanisms which is not possible manually.
Can google maps provide the best-optimized route?
Google maps can provide the best-optimized route for individual purpose but in the case of companies catering to hundreds of customers with the area constraints and other prerequisites of the customers, companies need to have dedicated software which can select the best-optimized route for a sales rep, It also makes the job of sales leader easy to monitor the activities of their sales reps.
Can I manually calculate or optimize routes for my team?
Manual route optimization may lead to lags in the scheduling of sales reps. It may also affect the cost planning by a business leader as the fuel costs may increase due to the imperfect selection of routes. On the other hand, It becomes equally time-consuming and difficult to consider all the prerequisites of thousands of stores while designing a route.
What is the best Software for Route Optimization?
Although there are many softwares that provide route optimization services, there are very few who provide services like capturing the location of all stores, Geo-fencing, classification of stores, and considering special prerequisites of all the stores. BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software is designed specifically for Enterprise FMCG/CPG organizations and delivers the highest improvement in the route planning efficiency for organizations.