• Routing Your Mobile Vehicle

    by Dennis Gnetz, Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions
    © 2001 Dennis Gnetz Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions All Rights Reserved
    Published here with the permission of the author.

    What is the best way to route your van? The most important thing to consider is why would you change your existing system. The goal is to organize your routes so you can minimize your fuel cost and maximize your profits without inconveniencing your customers.

    First of all you must find a logical way to organize your customers. It can be by area, phone prefix, zip code, etc. If you have a computer program like Microsoft Outlook it would allow you to group your customers according to any of these variables. This program can also provide a way to print labels and send information to your customers.

    After you have categorized your customers into a specific area the next step is setting up your appointment times. Here is an example of a typical schedule:

    8-9 1-3
    9-11 2-4
    11-1 3-5

    If you have a faster schedule where customers are close or you have multiple pet households:

    8-9 11-1
    9-11 12-2
    10-12 1-3

    The whole premise behind this is to not to set a time in stone that will disappoint your customer. As we all know there are so many things that can take more time on any given day. You should not have to limit yourself to a specific amount of time per pet.

    To avoid miscommunication with your customers it is a good idea to send a written reminder of their appointment a week ahead. In addition, it is a good idea to call the customer the night before. Remember, your average customer leads a very busy lifestyle and it is easy to forget your appointment.

    When you started your mobile business you probably worked on Saturdays or maybe even Sundays. Now that you have a customer base built it may be difficult to change the expectations of your customers. Setting your customers expectations in the beginning is very important. Yet, if you have to change do it in small steps.