The logistics software provider Descartes last week released a new same-day delivery optimization product aimed at retailers and distributors.
The system, unveiled at the company’s user conference in Miami, enables dispatchers to receive, automatically assign and execute orders throughout the day, placing pick-up or delivery orders on the routes best suited to meet the customer appointment requirements and operational cost constraints. The technology uses real-time GPS-based fleet statuses to predict new delivery times and drive delivery efficiencies. The same-day optimization technology is part of Descartes' Route Planner solution.
“Clearly, the ability to profitably steer customer delivery choices is enabled by technology,” ARC Advisory Group analyst Steve Banker wrote about the solution. “The routing solution that is integrated to the web ordering system must understand the logistics costs associated with each slot. By understanding the costs, the engine can choose not to offer certain slots at all if they are too costly or transportation assets are being fully utilized.
“At the conclusion of the purchase when the customer is slotted into a particular route, that route is not locked down until shortly before the actual delivery," he explained. "An offline routing engine will continue to look at the routes and ask itself 'if we swapped this stop on this route with that stop on the other route, could we save money?'"
Descartes also provided more details about its Community platform, a concept it introduced at its user conference a year ago. Community is designed to link Descartes users with each other and with their partners (including those not using Descartes solutions) to encourage higher data quality and timeliness levels, and to improve how Descartes modules functions.
The platform is not designed to be a Facebook for the Descartes community, executives emphasized.
Chris Jones, Descartes’ executive vice president of marketing and services, said after a year of development, the company is “giving the keys” to the platform to its customers. The question is whether they are “ready to drive.”