Route Planning and Optimisation

Descartes Reservations

Descartes Reservations is a web based solution for setting appointments and scheduling deliveries that allows customers to request delivery windows, while an optimised appointment booking agent matches available resources and delivery windows.

Descartes Reservations is a web based solution for setting appointments and scheduling deliveries that allows customers to request delivery windows, while an optimised appointment booking agent matches available resources and delivery windows.

Descartes Reservations facilitates online scheduling of pick-ups and deliveries – either self-service or as a decision support tool for customer service agents.

It helps companies effectively tailor service to the demands of key customers while achieving internal profitability goals.

An effective capable-to-promise engine, it also confirms that requests can be met and locks the appointment.

Features include:

  • Ability to analyze requests for delivery or order by order to consider the delivery schedule and present options for the delivery appointment window.
  • Ability to evaluate the assignment of shipping windows, including profitability of the account and/or order, availability of the time slot in reference to other orders, and other customized business rules.
  • Enables configuration options to restrict costly delivery options, while offering incentives for more beneficial delivery time windows. Allows users to reserve preferred shipping windows for the most profitable customers, and automatically close off time slots to those of lower priority.

Descartes Reservations provides incredible flexibility during the booking process to allow B2C and B2B companies the ability to uniquely tailor scheduling options to the customer during the buying process. The scheduling options are scored so the company can choose which options it wants to present to each customer to maximize the customer experience while minimizing delivery costs. With Descartes Reservations, B2C and B2B companies can turn their delivery operations into a competitive advantage and money maker.

Unlike any other delivery appointment scheduling solutions – even those calling themselves “dynamic”, Descartes Reservations provides options that are not based upon fixed capacity, territory or other static assumptions. The software uses an order-centric approach that understands the unique requirements of the order/customer/location combination and considers existing routes and orders as well as the model of the physical road network, resource capacity, skills required, vehicle types, business logic and a number of other factors to calculate a matrix options uniquely for each appointment request.

This approach gives the company full understanding of the cost/value of the options and complete control over the ones presented. Because it does not use static assumptions, it can squeeze out the most deliveries from the fleet to provide the greatest effective delivery capacity and minimise the number of vehicles needed to serve customers.

With Descartes Reservations, a company can determine the level of customer experience it wants to present the customer while helping to maximize delivery density, hence minimizing costs.

Multiple appointment windows and service options can be generated in real-time to the customer to offer value-added services that can generate incremental revenue and even help sell the company’s products. For example, a number of premium delivery windows can be presented to the customer at the same time along with unique pricing to allow customers to self-select their option. The premium window approach has generated millions in additional revenue for companies deploying it. The same is true for value-added installation and other product-related services.

Descartes Reservations dynamically calculates the required service time for each service option presented. By creating the value-added service options at the same time that the appointment windows are generated, customers can book their window and service with one click.

The value-added service approach also generates millions in incremental services revenue, which helps to sell more product because it provides the customer with options during the buying process and makes it easy for them to choose one.

Descartes Reservations has unmatched appointment scheduling flexibility while scheduling in real-time.

Information related to customer type and priority, product-related information, sourcing locations and number of other factors can be given to the solution for each booking request to determine a unique value proposition for the customer. The solution has an extensive model of the delivery network that takes into account existing orders and routes, vehicle types and restrictions, driver and other resource skills, business rules and other factors that allows companies to maximize the utilization of all of the assets and resources and minimize the cost of the delivery appointment options presented to the customer. The scheduling horizon is unlimited and when combined with Descartes’ route execution and mobile solution can support same-day optimized appointment scheduling. This almost limitless schedule generation flexibility allows companies to uniquely tailor their delivery proposition to the customer increasing competitive differentiation and top and bottom line performance.

The solution has the ability to model multiple delivery channels including their service capabilities to present a unified face to customers. Private and dedicated fleets, 3PLs, specialty couriers and gig economy workers can be included as well as the various types of distribution and fulfillment centers, including stores. The flexibility of Descartes Reservations allows these third-parties to be used to increase capacity, deliver specific types of products, cover unique geographies and in a number of other scenarios.

The combination of advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (including machine learning) makes Descartes Reservations the most powerful dynamic delivery appointment scheduling solution in the industry. Descartes has blended the technologies to take advantage of their unique capabilities. The proprietary algorithms have the ability to model and optimize sophisticated delivery scheduling scenarios. Machine learning (ML) helps to continually tune the system to ensure that the parameters such as road speeds, delivery locations and times, and number of other factors are highly accurate and deliver the greatest productivity. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also used to configure the system and identify configuration improvements as the business evolves.

Descartes Reservations is used by some of the largest retail and distribution companies in the world. It was designed to handle very large delivery or service operations and simultaneously produce delivery appointment options in the blink of an eye. The flexible architecture supports omni-channel retailing allowing integration to ecommerce sites, point of sale, call center and other CRM systems. Its horizontal, cloud-based architecture not only scales, but is designed to provide resilience for mission critical 24 X 7 appointment booking operations.

The ability to model complex organization structures is as critical for large enterprises. Descartes Route Planner supports operational structures that best fits their needs with role-based access control to determine who can use what capabilities and data access. In addition, the software can support multi-party delivery processes that support any combination of private and dedicated fleets.