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TOUR PLANNING OR ROUTE PLANNING - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?



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  17 August 2021  ·     Bettina Marksteiner
T ime and again, tour planning is equated with route planning. If you're beginning your journey into digitised scheduling, you'll need to know if this equation is correct. Are these terms really synonyms? In this blog article we will give you some answers.

Few terms are more often confused or used synonymously than 'tour planning' and 'route planning'. But as we all know, the devil is in the detail. If you take a closer look at the exact meaning of the two terms, you will notice clear differences.

Both terms are to be assigned to transport and journey planning. Importantly, the terms do not only play a role for the planning of external service units, but also, for example, for the dispatch of materials or foodstuffs for the catering industry or the end consumer. Efficient route and tour planning can give employees in companies and the end customers a considerable advantage.

In the following article, we will look at the differences between route planning and tour planning.

WHAT MAKES ROUTE PLANNING?

A route is a component of tours and usually consists of a start address, one or more intermediate stops and a destination address. Most people will now probably think of personal TomTom navigation device or Google Maps. However, there are a few things to consider when planning a route:

  • Length of the route and estimated travel time
  • Bypassing low emission zones
  • Height of bridges and tunnels
  • Maximum driving times of individual drivers and their break scheduling
In short, the route is a component of a tour. Through it, intermediate stops are regulated and a suitable driving route is picked out, which enables trouble-free driving with the respective loaded field service resources.


WHAT MAKES TOUR PLANNING WORK?

Tour planning is much more extensive than planning a route. A tour includes several routes that are coordinated by it. Especially in larger companies that regularly deliver goods with the help of several vehicles or schedule field staff, efficient route planning is very important.

The following data is important for planning a tour:

  • The distribution of individual routes
  • The most sensible loading of individual vehicles
  • Traffic data
  • Different skills of the employees
  • Other restrictions such as vehicle height
Route planning is therefore much more complex. It includes all routes and coordinates them.

Read more about the benefits of a route planning software for your stakeholders ›

ROUTE AND TOUR PLANNING COMPARED

To show the differences in a striking way, we have provided a list of the main differences below

What makes a tour What makes a route
Consists of several routes and coordinates them with each other Exact, ordered route between multiple points
Component of the task of dispatchers (planning) Is part of the tour
Subject to restrictions (such as working hours or skills) Determines a sensible sequence for stopovers

With the help of this comparison, it quickly becomes apparent that a tour and a route are two completely different things that build on each other. Accordingly, there are also different restrictions to be taken into account during planning in order to achieve the best possible results.


With the help of this comparison, it quickly becomes apparent that a tour and a route are two completely different things that build on each other. Accordingly, there are also different restrictions to be taken into account during planning in order to achieve the best possible results.


TOURING OR ROUTE PLANNING SOFTWARE - WHICH DOES MY BUSINESS NEED?

Whether it is worthwhile to use a route planning software or a route planning software depends on the particular company and its needs. In general, the use of software facilitates internal coordination enormously and relieves dispatchers as well as warehouse staff, drivers or field staff in the long run. With the right software, you can save money and make processes more efficient with little effort.

Low complexity, low dynamics, hardly any restrictions, few ad hoc emergencies and breakdowns and simple routes from A to B indicate that route planning software is sufficient for your needs. Either field staff or dispatchers coordinate the route themselves as efficiently as possible or a special route planning software takes over this task.

When it comes to route planning software, the following generally applies: as soon as a company runs several routes, maintains more than one vehicle and has at least two intermediate destinations per route, it is worth using the software. As soon as your dispatching reaches its limits in route planning, either manually or via Excel, and spends a lot of time on it, or you notice that both employee and customer satisfaction is declining due to inadequate processes, you should react and consider professional route planning. Even though the benefits cannot be generalised, they increase with increasing planning complexity. In concrete terms, this means that the more people you have to coordinate and coordinate with each other at the same time, the greater the benefit of fully automated tour planning software.


NOW MEET REAL-TIME ROUTE AND TOUR PLANNING

To gain an understanding of tools to optimise the field experience and manage costs for your workforce and customers book a short discussion or contact us at info@fastleansmart.com.


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