This shipping conglomerate could teach you a thing or two about getting the most out of your service routes.
When you’re at your busiest, you need to be at the height of service route optimization.
If your service technicians head out in the morning with a full schedule of 10 appointments, but find they’re running late because of traffic or have to work late to fit them all in, perhaps it’s time to rethink their routes. According to shipping logistics powerhouse UPS, you might want to take out the left turns all together.
An article on Yahoo.com says UPS drivers don’t make left turns. Why? ORION, the company’s route-optimization technology, calculates the most efficient route for drivers, looking at the entire day rather than a stop-to-stop overview. As the company ramps up for another busy holiday season, adding more drivers and more ORION software, it found the technology almost never routes a left turn.
“I have nothing against left turns, it’s just amazing how our methods over the years continue to show it’s always better to have right turns,” said Mark Wallace, UPS’s Vice President of U.S. Industrial Engineering, in Yahoo’s video interview.
Safety and stoplights reign supreme for UPS — and they should for you, too. The article says making left turns is obviously more dangerous because drivers are crossing an intersection, and many states and cities allow drivers to turn right on red, which minimizes wait time at stoplights.
I should add that UPS does not prohibit drivers from turning left, and Wallace mentions that drivers take left turns because it optimizes the route, but they’re usually in rural areas.
UPS hopes the program will help make drivers more efficient as they strive to meet increased online shopping demand.
While the proprietary GPS software is only available to those who don the notorious brown uniform, it serves as a good reminder about route optimization for services companies who send drivers out on routes each morning — and, of course, how right turns are better than left turns.
You might not be delivering holiday goodies, but revamped service routes could save you time and money. In reality, your drivers probably can’t cut out left turns, but this wacky idea should plant the seed about doing what you can to optimize all aspects of your business.
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