Cherry Hill, NJ (PRWEB) August 21, 2009
It's an ongoing battle familiar to any fleet-based business: lowering fleet operating costs while improving customer service. It's actually a battle that can be easily won by taking advantage of a reasonably priced logistics consulting service known as Route Optimization that routinely reduces fleet expenses by 10 to 25 percent.
"Route Optimization has been in use by large fleets for a number of years, but is now making its way into businesses with fleets as small as five or six vehicles," explained Dave Beaudry, director of logistics engineering and consulting at AmeriQuest Transportation Services. "Basically, it involves finding a way to travel the least miles with the fewest vehicles while maintaining a high level of customer service. It links real-life professional experience with sophisticated software to improve a company's routing efficiency, enabling them to realize significant savings on fuel, equipment wear and tear, and labor."
AmeriQuest, a leading provider of fleet management services, is seeing its Route Optimization service offering grow in popularity as managers of fleet-based businesses learn that only a minimal investment of time and money is needed to implement the service. The investment can have a dramatically positive impact on the bottom line.
"Our studies show that on average, a client typically devotes about eight hours to gathering input for a Route Optimization analysis and discussing it with us by phone. The average cost of an analysis is $2,000, although it can range from a few hundred to a several thousand dollars, according to the size and complexity of the fleet," Beaudry said. "When you compare that with what you might save in overall operating costs for just one truck in one week, it has a very quick return on investment. Just the savings on one vehicle could be $1,400."
HOW IT WORKS
What is involved with Route Optimization? Initially, a member of the logistics consulting staff of AmeriQuest gathers information on a fleet and creates an Operational Profile. Among the information requested are weekly or monthly statistics on:
- Pickup orders
- Delivery orders
- Total weight of shipments and cubes
- Numbers of stops
- Distance and time traveled
- Sequence of deliveries
- Hours and time spent servicing the customer
- Equipment used.
"Even details such as whether it's an upstairs or downstairs delivery can be a variable, as can the delivery time window. For instance, some docks only accept shipments between 8 a.m. to noon, which can have an effect on the amount of traffic encountered by a delivery vehicle.
"The type of truck used, whether it is a straight truck, a tractor trailer, or a pup trailer can also make a difference," he said. He noted that in one instance, they recommended that a client go with a lighter Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) truck on one route, so that with maximum capacity, they could still improve on fuel economy, decrease miles traveled, and benefit from the truck's increased maneuverability, which in turn reduces the driver's travel time.
Using what Beaudry calls a "robust routing tool," AmeriQuest supplements and supports its recommendations with a staff of veteran transportation professionals who bring the human aspect to Route Optimization. "We understand that flexibility is key to running an efficient fleet and it's important to be able to discuss a client's needs and find solutions in a way that even the best software might not be able to," he explained. There are stand-alone software programs on the market but AmeriQuest's staff brings a wealth of real-world experience that cannot be duplicated simply by a computer system, he noted.
The bottom line benefits that Route Optimization can bring to most fleet-based businesses are hard to ignore, according to Beaudry. These include:
- Decrease in fuel, tire, and other equipment costs
- Decrease in non-productive labor costs
- Improvement in timely deliveries, customer service
- Improvement in quality control
- Reduction of carbon emissions
- Reduction of complaints and calls to Call Centers
- Ability to plan profitable backhaul opportunities
"Once people learn what Route Optimization is all about and why it makes perfect sense in today's tough economy, they turn to us," Beaudry said. For more information on AmeriQuest Transportation Services' Route Optimization service and logistics consulting service, visit http://www.ameriquestcorp.com or call 856-382-4702.
About AmeriQuest Transportation Services
AmeriQuest is a leading provider of comprehensive fleet management services. By leveraging the strength of over 700,000 vehicles, AmeriQuest delivers savings, expertise, and opportunities to its private fleet and truckload carrier members. AmeriQuest provides supply management services, asset management services, material handling services, financing, technology products, and outsourced transportation management services such as full service leasing, integrated logistics, and contract maintenance.
Alvare Associates Representing AmeriQuest Transportation Ser