GeoSmart - Route2GO Optimisation

By: Geosmart  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Vehicle, Jobs

What is Route Optimisation?

In essence, Route Optimisation withRoute²GO Lite is a web application that allows you to take a set of jobs that a vehicle or fleet of vehicles need to do and calculate the best order to do them in. This is designed to take out the guess work, and in doing so, save time and money. This improves productivity and profitability. Reduced vehicle running costs and more time means more jobs can be done in a day without significantly increasing overheads. These are the types of tools that often allow large companies to take business from smaller ones, but now with GeoSmart, your company can have the same capability and only pay for what you use. This means immediate Return on Investment (ROI).

Solutions for small and large business Route²GO Lite

Companies with very large fleets are already using this type of technology. Traditionally this means buying very expensive software and an engineer to run it. In New Zealand most companies can't afford this kind of expensive solution, so GeoSmart has developed Route²GO Lite to support this market.

Route²GO Lite is a web application and is transaction based. That means you pay per address you route to and don't have to buy any software. Now a company as small as a furniture store with one truck or even a contractor, can benefit. It can be used as a stand alone application, requiring nothing more than a web browser, or integrated with a spreadsheet, accounting software, CRM, job costing and other packages.

How can GeoSmart do this?

GeoSmart has driven all roads in New Zealand to create the definitive road centreline database. We have elminated paper roads that have never been constructed. We include turn restrictions such as no left turn, no right turn, one way streets and barriers such as traffic islands that would stop you turning, or perhaps doing a U-turn. We also know about 'Impicit Turn Restrictions'. These are turns that you can legally make, but would be difficult for some vehicles and impossible for others, such as very tight intersections. We also know things like speed zones and road class. In simple terms, road class differentiates motorways from major highways and motorways, to small roads. From an optimisation perspective, this helps us determine the best way to drive. For example main roads are designed to allow you to travel faster and stop less often. Side roads may be shorter, but have lots of compulsory stops or give ways. Sometimes you can get somewhere quicker on a main rd, even if you are actually travelling a greater distance. Stopping and starting of course also means greater wear and tare and fuel costs for your vehicle. 

Travelling Salesman

There are different levels of route optimisation. This is the most common problem. A vehicle has a number of jobs to do. What order should they be done in? Even in a company with a large fleet, many jobs are still allocated to a particular vehicle or person. They may have a territory that they look after or a particular skill or set of equipment in their vehicle, or perhaps it is the size of the vehicle. A typical sequence would be knowing the start location and the end location, which may of course be the same. Then listing the jobs to be done for the day.  Route²GO will then provide an optimised result.

When the answers come back, you then need to have a way of dealing with them. You could import them into a spreadsheet or word procesing document, or import it right into your software program. Some companies are sending the results to a Mobile Data Terminal (MDT)in their Fleet management System and in some cases sending it from there into a car navigation device to guide the driver to the next job. Following are a couple of examples.

Furniture Store

Delivery is a major cost factor and feature for furniture stores, but the quality and cost of this service will also help win sales. Whether the store owns a delivery truck or uses a contractor,

. If it is your own vehicle, you will be able to benefit from the results directly. If you use a contractor, you will be able to agree on costs based on GeoSmart's data in a way that is fair to everyone.

The traditional way of dealing with delivery was to have a bullseye on a printed map. The further from the centre the more it cost. The problem with this is that driving distance doesn't evenly radiate out from a map. Some places in the bullseye might be a greater driving distance from the store, than people in the next tier.

When we send back your optimised route, you will now have some valuable information. We'll tell you the order to do the jobs and the travel distance and time from one to the next. One option is that you can now charge people based on actuals, even giving them benefit of the other deliveries on that trip. With the distance, you can apply a per km rate to ascertain the cost of that leg of the trip. If you use a tool such as a spreadsheet, you could also add the estimated time to deliver that piece of furniture into the house or building. This could be added to a spreadsheet or jobsheet. Factor in breaks for tea or lunch and you will be able to get an idea of exactly how many deliveries you can do in that day. You can now also give your customer an estimate of when to expect their new furniture to arrive. This also helps the driver, who can load the truck in reverse order and not have to waste time and energy moving heavy objects around the truck.

Retail Merchandisers

 Service People

Time is everything in the service sector and it is quite common for large companies with economies of scale to eat up smaller competitors through efficiency. Now the tide has changed. There are two aspects to service. The first is the scheduled work. This will be managed on the same way as the Furniture Store above. The other thing is urgent work. Companies who have a problem and need urgent attention are valuable, whether they are existing clients, or those who aren't satisfied with or can't get help from their normal supplier. If a person is half way through their day's work and gets an urgent job, they now have the option to re-optimise their route for the rest of the day. This is important because the order of the work for the rest of the day may no longer be the best order now that a location has changed. In a matter of minutes the remainder of the day's work may be reoptimised, again saving time and money.

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What Does it Cost

Very little. As we said, it will pay for itself from the first time you use it. You set up an account with is and you only pay for what you consume. The price depends on how much you use it over each month. As in this example if you had a truck making 8 stops on a journey, the most it would cost you to do that would be $5. A small commercial vehicle costs around $1.30 per km to run, excluding the driver and other related costs, if we reduce your trip by 4km, it has already paid for itself. 

Complex Route Optimisation

We haven't forgotten the big guys, but their needs are more complex. We have the ability to deal with complex constraints. It may be that certain jobs have to be done by certain people, or certain vehicles. It might be that the job can only be done on a certain day of the week or certain time of day. We have the ability to help all comers in this area. We have our own developers and location based specialists in house. Please talk to us if you have a more complex set of problems, we love those.

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

Keywords: Jobs, Vehicle

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