Optimize Routes to Build a Better Portable Restroom Business

With spring events on the horizon, now is the time to reevaluate and plan service routes

Optimize Routes to Build a Better Portable Restroom Business

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The backbone of a great portable restroom company is built by the strength and efficiency of its service routes. Yes, there are so many other important working parts of a successful company. You need amazing staff, great resources and the money to back it all up. But if your routes are a mess, trust me, your company is suffering.

Every company in our industry has routes. Depending on your size and your region, you most likely follow and service those routes four to five days a week. But how do you know if these routes are optimized and efficient?

The first component to a well-oiled route is accurate data. Everyone has heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out.” Optimal routes starts at the beginning of each order, with the order taker and the order entry. If the data is sloppy or has spelling errors, your drivers can end up driving around in circles. Teach your staff to read back every order, and to spell out certain words so everything is accurate. It is also worth the few minutes it takes to confirm addresses online before completing the order. According to a 1993 census, there were 9,640 roads named “Park” at the time. It’s worth checking Google Maps to make sure you have the right one, don’t you think?

The second component is software. When I say software, I don’t mean something terribly expensive either. For years we ran our company on Microsoft Streets and Trips, which had a relatively inexpensive license fee. Our current billing software has a built-in routing feature, which makes our lives easier but you don’t have to make a big commitment. There are a lot of options available on the internet that offer a trial period, so you can test it out before you commit to buying it.

Once you have these items in place, it is important to remember that no routes are ever truly finished. Job sites are added or removed almost daily. Routes are constantly evolving. Using an optimization tool is a great practice and, today, is usually a feature in routing software.

But as you probably already know, you can’t only rely on the computer. There is a human aspect to this project and human feedback is vital to success. The best people to give you that feedback are your technicians. When the drivers come back at night, dispatchers should take the time to talk through the routes with them. That is the best way to find out bad addresses, inaccurate information, or which sites should be in a different order.

When your routes are optimized, you save time, money and your sanity. It can seem daunting but it is worth the time and energy. Especially at this time of year, when in most areas the routes have shrunk. This is a great time to optimize, move things around or try something completely new.


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