How do you optimize drive time for service routes?

Anytime a facility maintenance team needs to travel to perform inspections, repairs, and other maintenance tasks, it incurs additional costs, doesn’t it? Technicians need a service vehicle, portable equipment, and methods to access and record maintenance data. Add to that the fuel and time required for travel and your costs keep climbing.

Although there are some factors you simply can’t control such as traffic jams and road construction, you can employ tools to help you optimize drive time for your service routes.

Smart Planning Software

With all the GPS technology available today, you can automate drive time optimization. Software can crunch all the relevant information such as routes, distances, and expected service call lengths to produce a route that makes the most sense for your technicians.

In addition, calls and priorities may be reshuffled throughout the day as new factors enter the picture. For instance, if a technician encounters a critical maintenance issue during a routine check, that particular call may need to be lengthened and other calls reassigned to different technicians.

Significant Cost Savings

We all know, sort of at a gut level, that optimizing drive times will save money. But what does that savings really look like? According to a studyconducted by the research centers of several universities, 2.62 percent of drive time is eaten up by unplanned delays alone. For one driver earning $30 per hour, that means an additional cost of $1,560 per year.

Factor in the saved planning costs, the ability to respond in real-time to maintenance changes, and other benefits, and you end up with a significant cost savings that goes right to your bottom line.

Real-Time Oversight

By incorporating driver route optimization, a maintenance manager can also have real-time access to where each maintenance technician is located at any given time. If a manager has to make a strategic or emergency decision during the day, it’s easy to determine which technician may be the closest and most available to respond.