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June 26th 2012 - What's new with the Viamente Route Planner

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2013 02:01PM EDT
Today we are releasing some new features which will give you even more control over the planning process and will simplify your operations.

Fit in new Orders

How many times were you ready to deploy an optimized plan and you received a last-minute call? We are sure this is not a new scenario for many Users.

New Orders to be added to a plan are a very common occurrence in the daily activity of a planner. It is important to be able to meet this need efficiently and, whenever possibile, without excessive impact on already scheduled Routes.

Until today, when you needed to add last-minute Orders to an optimized plan, you could insert them manually in a certain Driver's sequence of stops, or re-optimize everything, potentially having your whole plan revolutionized.

Now you can also decide to Fit in the unserved Orders while keeping the existing Routes and taking advantage only of residual resources. You can in fact choose one the two options you see below.

"Full Optimization" is the default option you also choose when clicking on the general "Plan Optimal Routes" button. It re-optimizes everything.

"Fit in unserved Orders" preserves the existing Routes and assigns the Order(s) to the Drivers whose schedules still have some availability.

Please note that if you select Fit in unserved Orders, Routes with violations will be ignored by the optimization process.

You can always go ahead and assign the new unserved Order(s) manually, by clicking on the marker and choosing "Fit in" from the bubble.

Another window appears, asking you where you want to insert the Order. By choosing "Best Fit" in both fields (see below) you basically ask the Route Planner to decide for you where to insert the Order (same as "Fit in unserved Orders").

Alternatively, you can select a specific Driver from the "Select Route" drop-down menu and the position in his/her sequence of stops from "Insert after".

Please note that in case of violated constraints, the option "Best Fit" is not available and the assignment has to be done manually.

Import/export automation API

Are you tired of creating and uploading spreadsheets for importing your Orders? Now you can automate the process and integrate Viamente with your system: just tell your IT guys about the new Viamente Route Planner API!

This will remarkably simplify your daily planning operations. Let’s imagine a scenario where Linda, every day, has to export from her system the addresses of all the customers she needs to serve. Until today, the only option she had was to put together an Excel/CSV file with data extracted from her database and then upload it to the Viamente Route Planner.

Now, after the integration, Linda can press a single button and send from her system to the Viamente servers all the data necessary for the creation of an optimized Plan.

At this point, she can visualize, optimize and modify the Plan from within the Viamente Route Planner and then export it back to her system with another click.

To obtain a key, click on Add Orders and then on the link you see in the screen shot below.


Flexible vs. Fixed Working Time

Sometimes it is better for Drivers to leave later and to be on the road for a shorter time, sometimes it is just better to leave as early as possible. A new option now allows you to change the approach to the management of your Driver's time.

If you prefer a Fixed Start Time, do NOT tick this option and the Route Planner will force the Driver to start as early as possible. This leads to routes that, on average, are completed earlier.

This default mode comes in handy in those scenarios where it is important to finish a route early or for example when a Driver is paid from 7 o'clock no matter what.

If you tick the Flexible Start Time option, the Route Planner will postpone the actual departure time if that helps minimize the Driver's Total Working Time.

Let us repeat that with Working Time we mean the total time between the moment Drivers leave and hit the road towards their first stop and the moment they finish their route (comprising idle time, drive time, service time, break time and return to their initial position if in round-trip mode).

For this reason, the Route Planner may see it fitting to have Drivers leave later than the beginning of their set working time window, whenever leaving early does not contribute to a shorter Total Working Time. For example, because of some Time Windows' settings, Drivers would have to wait before serving certain Orders and this would generate idle time and decrease efficiency.

General Lock

You already know tha by clicking the Lock icon beside a Driver's name you can preserve his/her sequence of stops, even if you press Plan Optimal routes again (read more about it here).

From today, by pressing the header of the Lock column, you can lock/unlock all Routes at once.

Specify Driver's settings for the current Route Plan

It is now possible to quickly modify a Driver's settings for the current Route Plan.

From the tab Drivers, click on a Driver's name to access his/her settings.

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