Every business deals with seasonal fluctuations. While it would no doubt make business planning easier if every month was the same, the reality is that it can vary wildly. Depending on your industry you may notice the change of seasons more than most. For example, food and beverage can often be run off their feet over summer as people tend to drink or eat out more.
When your business hits the busy times how do you cope? Does all your careful route planning fall to pieces, as the day-to-day routine becomes more like firefighting? Do stressed-out drivers leave prematurely, creating resource gaps? At debrief meetings are there committed plans to ‘do better’ next time but it never happens?
Lets look at a solution that can ‘smooth’ the bumps your mobile workforce faces due to seasonal fluctuations. Some pain points you’ll be able to say goodbye to include:
- Costly one-off deliveries due to poor advance planning
- Driver shortages when you need them most
- Over or under-utilization of drivers and vehicles
- Inability to plan for sales territory variations
- Extra administration overhead including processing payroll overtime
The secret to dealing with seasonal demands relies in having a flexible solution that can be setup months in advance to map out the expected ‘terrain’ your business encounters in any given year.
The Secret to Smarter Capacity Planning
Smoothing out the bumps
Before we get to the real secret of managing seasonal fluctuations in your business, let’s outline one piece of valuable advice. Get your operations organized before the busy season hits. It seems like common sense but this is often the single biggest factor that prevents businesses from implementing better processes. They feel the pain when things get hectic but there’s no time then to do anything. As soon as the busyness subsides they promptly lose their motivation to take action. It’s a cycle that never gets resolved. So do your fleet a favor and do what 80% of businesses will never do – implement a solution to handle peak seasons.
“From our experience, a strategically planned and well-executed optimization deployment can create a 50% cost reduction.”
David K Schneider & Company, LLC
Innovative and Practical Supply Chain Solutions
Use Telogis Route ‘what if’ scenario planning. Think of it as your own personal mobile workforce time machine. It allows you to project your business into the future, simulate workloads common to the busy season, input expected customer orders and delivery schedules and then allow Telogis Route to show you the resources you’ll need to comfortably cope.
Drivers, trucks, shifts – you can modify available resources to see how that changes other resource needs. What happens if a driver is out of action? Can the rest of the team pick up the slack, or will you need a substitute driver? Do you actually need to purchase another truck? What about if you move the depot? Will that save time and reduce your delivery time allowing you to improve your fulfillment window?
One of the other nice features of Telogis Route ‘what if’ scenarios are the costings attached to each scenario – you can quickly do the math on the relative benefit of each setup.
By experimenting with different scenarios you can quickly see not only the resources you’ll need to cope successfully with the high season but also the most cost-effective way to do it.
Ask a Telogis product specialist for more information on how Telogis Route can help with your fleet’s capacity planning, or request a free product demo.