Although many have been lamenting the death of paper media since dial-up, it is, in fact, too soon to write it off altogether. Although overall circulation numbers are down, a recent Pew Research Center report reveals that eight-in-10 people who read newspapers do so the old-fashioned way, in print, while only 5 percent said they read the newspaper exclusively on their mobile device.
Newsprint fans will be happy to know that the reassuring thud of the daily paper hitting the front porch is not going away anytime soon. To make sure you have your paper delivered by the time your morning coffee is brewed, many newspapers turn to RouteSmart, a company with four decades of experience helping companies deliver or pick up all kinds of things, from newspapers and parcels to recycling and waste collection.
Each night, the RouteSmart Online system powered by HERE processes over 10 million addresses across 50,000 unique home delivery routes making sure that about 250 newspaper titles make it to the right location the next morning.
This puts a lot of pressure on the HERE system, especially geocoding, to be accurate. Calculating delivery order sequences for high-density routes demand precision and accuracy.
No margin for error
“When new subdivisions, apartment complexes and buildings show up, the map has to be accurate,” explains Chris Walz, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at RouteSmart. “An error as small as 1 percent in geocoding could be several thousand addresses not optimally sequenced for some of our larger newspaper clients. That impacts the delivery order sequence for the carrier, adding time and miles to their route and also impacts the delivery service commitment to the subscriber expecting their paper on the doorstep.”
Although the routes themselves may not change daily, there is a route sequence variance between 5-10% that necessitates nightly changes. This is due to varying frequency of subscriptions – for example, when a customer only receives the weekend edition of the paper – or when a customer needs to start or stop delivery temporarily due to a vacation.
After the nightly processing, the route sequence, including turn-by-turn directions, is available to be printed or downloaded on a mobile device.
In the loop
To help keep up with the requirements for precise routing calculations, HERE and RouteSmart have worked together to create a positive feedback loop, whereby RouteSmart Online users are trained and have access to HERE Map Creator, where they can add or change a road or report a new place.
These days though, it’s not just newspapers. Many companies are looking at how they can leverage their delivery routes and bring in new revenue sources by delivering things other than newspapers, like magazines or even promotional samples. All the while, companies are challenged to keep total distribution costs down in order to keep these services affordable for their advertisers.
“RouteSmart Online is one of the largest instances of daily routing software that’s out there today,” says Chris. “Since we host everything for the client, it’s really simple for newspapers to get started using the system right away without any special IT skills.”