Samsara Power User Guide: How to Improve Routing Efficiency

October 24, 2018

If you run routes with your fleet, you know that unexpected circumstances can often derail an entire day or mess up a job. Whether you have regularly scheduled routes, create new routes every day, or do a mix of both, live GPS tracking can help you make the best informed decisions for routing and dispatch.

Samsara allows you to make data-driven decisions and quickly take action by centralizing real-time data about your drivers and vehicles into a single intuitively designed dashboard. Let’s dig into how you can take advantage of different features to make your business run more smoothly.

Feature Highlights:

  • Real-time GPS with live-to-the-second tracking gives you confidence about what’s happening on the ground.

  • Route Stop Arrival alerts notify you when a vehicle in your fleet has made a scheduled stop.

  • Geofence alerts notify you when a vehicle in your fleet enters or leaves a designated area.

  • Route Analytics reports track the performance of your routes over multiple runs.

Combining These Features to Improve Routing: Reduce Dwell Time for Back-to-Back Jobs

  1. See your vehicles while they’re out on a job with real-time GPS. Monitor trip progress on active routes, and even update routes and dispatch drivers on the go.

  2. Set up a Route Stop Arrival alert that gives you enough time to prepare the next load of shipments before the vehicle arrives. This alert can help you proactively notify customers and employees when a vehicle is due to arrive. For example, if it takes half an hour to prepare for an arrival, set up the alert to notify folks when your vehicle is 30 minutes away. This can minimize waiting time for your driver and ensure that your route is completed efficiently.

  3. Use the Route Analytics report to identify trends in planned versus actual route performance. Dig into routes with lower performance to see why drivers aren’t hitting their scheduled stops on time. Maybe one customer delivery always takes half an hour longer than allotted on the schedule, so you need to adjust your stop times to accommodate.

Stay on Schedule for Passengers

  1. Use real-time GPS to see where your vehicles are, especially when running an unfamiliar route (for example, a substitute driver unfamiliar with a K-12 bus route or one-off charter jobs, like a sports tournament or bachelor party). You can even “ride along” with a driver and give turn-by-turn directions over the phone if they’re lost

  2. Set up a Geofence alert that notifies you when a vehicle leaves your yard. This can give you peace of mind that your driver started their route as planned and your passengers won’t be left waiting for their ride.

  3. Use the Route Analytics report to see if your drivers are on time. Arriving too early or too late can cause problems for passengers that are counting on you to stay on schedule. Let historical data show you what adjustments are needed in your routes to maintain consistency for your riders.

Bonus Pro-Tips:

  • Use the Time on Site report to investigate one potential cause of untimely route performance by seeing how long drivers are spending at different locations. The Schwebel Baking Company uses this information to proactively coach drivers if they’re making unsanctioned stops at restaurants or gas stations while working a delivery route.

  • Create Fleet Viewer links to share information about live vehicle location or real-time ETAs for enhanced customer service. Samsara offers different types of Fleet Viewer links to make it easy to choose what you need: by vehicle(s), by location, by recurring route, and by route stop.

Interested in finding out more? Check out how Samsara can help improve your routes to increase productivity and enhance customer service.

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