Written by Ingrid Zwiers
Route Planning | 6 mins read
The ever increasing complexity of transportation requires an automated route planning solution to support the business processes. Small margins are typical in the industry, so cost control is crucial. Many Transportation Management Systems provide no or rudimentary support for automated planning.
Ab Ovo offers the SmartRouting solution to transportation companies to help solve this daily puzzle. Next to our traditional offering as an on-premise solution, we now introduce the solution as Managed Software as a Service (MSaaS) a.k.a Ab-Ovo To-Go.
Many companies already use SmartRouting for route planning and optimization, the solution is proven to work and to add value to many types of transportation puzzles.
But why would an MSaaS solution be interesting to a transportation company, while SaaS solutions are more and more popular?
SmartRoutingManaged Software as a Service (Ab-Ovo To-Go) solution for route planning & optimization
Popularity of Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service has grown substantially over the past years and is expected to grow rapidly in the years to come according to Gartner research. It is clear from successful SaaS applications such as Zoom, Atlassian and Salesforce, that businesses are willing and able to invest in SaaS solutions and that these solutions continue to add value to small and large companies. The recent developments around COVID-19 are also a push for subscriptions to SaaS solutions as working anywhere and anytime is becoming the norm. A SaaS solution provides that out-of-the box.
Benefits of SaaS
The main reasons that businesses turn to SaaS solutions are:
1. Where on-premise solutions require a large hardware investment, SaaS solutions do not require such an investment as all hardware is provided in the cloud.
2. Additionally, these solutions are easily scalable, both up and down, with no impact on the company’s hardware, which is a crucial benefit to transportation companies, where carrying contracts are almost always flexible in volume.
3. Together with the scalability in hardware, the scalability in costs to the company is also a major factor, which makes a SaaS solution especially interesting to the road transportation sector. SaaS models in route planning or transportation management usually come with a pricing which is pay-per-use, either by resource, route or shipment. When customer volumes drop, the software expenses drop along with them, which gives the business a more sustainable cost model in uncertain times.
4. Implementation is easy. The implementation process is typically short and smooth and little effort is required from both customer as well as supplier. The solution is off-the-shelf and requires no customization to implement.
Drawbacks of SaaS
However, in spite of these benefits, as any solution, SaaS solutions have drawbacks as well. The drawbacks of a SaaS solution are very strongly related to the nature of the transportation industry. Every company operates differently, every company has a different product mix to plan for and a very different resource configuration to plan with. In many regions, a driver shortage calls for catering for driver preferences much more than elsewhere. Customers direct pickup and delivery time windows much more than ever in the past. The orders coming from customers are not always complete (e.g. dimensions missing), which makes accurate planning challenging.
Ab Ovo has recognized that where SaaS solutions are suitable for some business functions that are supporting in nature (such as HRM, ticket systems), they are often not suitable for the core business processes with which the company actually makes its money. Any solution for that process has to cater to all needs for flexibility to ensure the company can keep a competitive edge.
These are just a few examples of why an off-the-shelf SaaS product for route planning and optimization may not be the way to go for your business processes.
SmartRoutingThe main benefit of our MSaaS SmartRouting solution is that it can be customized to the needs of each company with limited effort.
Ab Ovo’s Managed SaaS solution
To get the best from SaaS, without its downsides, Ab Ovo introduces the SmartRouting solution as a Managed SaaS application. There are no requirements for hardware investments and the solution can be scaled to the needs at any time. The ease of access to the solution is the same as with any SaaS solution.
A flexible cost structure is a main benefit of a SaaS solution, and also the Ab Ovo MSaaS solution caters for that, fully adjusted to each business.
The main benefit of our MSaaS SmartRouting solution is that it can be customized to the needs of each company with limited effort. The software can be configured for specific needs with the many parameters that are available, and when an exceptional process – giving the competitive edge over another company – needs to be supported, this can easily be implemented.
Next to that, contrary to many SaaS solution, the Ab Ovo MSaaS solution provides full support to configure the application to support all business needs. Additionally we provide training to the team of users (when so desired) as well as support you with any questions you may have through our service desk.
At the same time, there is no need for to worry about hardware, scalability, security and so on.
If you are interested in how the SmartRouting solution supports your business needs, continue reading here.
Ingrid Zwiers is an experienced Advanced Planning and Scheduling consultant at Ab Ovo for over 5 years. With a background in Operations Research (MSc) and extensive business experience for over 10 years in the logistics sector, she wants to help companies get all the potential savings out of their planning challenges without compromising the competitive edge that each company has.