Andrew explains how Strategic Movements is for optimizing product delivery routes.

The video includes a discussion on what factors are used in the optimization process and a demo showing data uploading, changing jobs before assignment, the assignment process, and changing assignments before printing.

Welcome to Strategic Movements.

I’m Andrew and today I am going to show you how to optimize product delivery routes using Strategic Movements.

When assigning the shipment of physical goods, there are several points to consider:

  • Vehicle characteristics and costs
  • Driver availability
  • Vehicle weight limit
  • Vehicle non-weight limit
  • Customer time windows
  • Other business rules

Before I demo the actual process, lets look at each of these considerations.

Vehicle Characteristics And Costs

The delivery fleet may consist of multiple vehicle types and you will probably have a different number of each type of vehicle. Each vehicle also may have different costs. Some are more fuel efficient and some have more maintenance costs.

When there are more vehicles available than are needed on any given day, route optimization should choose the least cost combination of vehicles.

Driver Availability

Drivers may start their deliveries at staggered time throughout the day. Some may start early or late. Only some may be eligible for overtime.

Route optimization must find the combination that gets the work done.

Weight Limit

In some cases, heavy goods are delivered, and it is possible to fill the vehicle to a weight limit before the empty space is completely filled.

Route optimization must make sure that a vehicle is never loaded over its specified weight capacity.

Non-weight Limit

Depending on what is being delivered, this could be cubic feet or square feet of available space; number of pallets, or gallons when oil or propane is being delivered.

Route optimization must make sure that a vehicle is never loaded over its specified non-weight capacity.

Customer time windows

Some customers may receive a delivery only at specified times of the day. And some of these customers may have more than one available time window. For example, a customer with a busy lunch hour may receive from 8:00 until 11:00 and 1:00 until 4:00 only.

Route optimization must plan routes to arrive only when the customer allows a delivery.

Other business rules

Other rules may apply to only some vehicles and some customers.

For example, only a few vehicles may have a lift gate or side door, and only a few customers could require the deliveries to be made by one of these vehicles.

Route optimization must ensure that the right type of vehicle is sent to a customer that has special delivery requirements.

Now let’s take a look at how the process works.

First, we need to create a plan. It’s like a folder that contains the trips, the workers and/or vehicles to be used on a specific date, and all the jobs, the work to be done. Here we specify the name of the plan, the date and template that contains the default set of trips.

We can then click on the Create Plan button.

Once the plan is created, there are several ways to import the work to be done.

  • The QuickBooks interface.
  • The Dynamics GP Transfer report.
  • The Upload Robot.
  • The manual upload process.

For this demo, we will use the Upload Robot.

We will assume that the work to be done has been written to a CSV format file, one that most applications can write with little or no configuration.

We will drag the file from the folder where it is found to the one that the Upload Robot is watching.

When the upload process starts, the file is moved to another folder for archiving.

Back in Strategic Movements, the number of jobs in the plan has been updated, showing that the plan is now available for processing.

At this point, any job can be viewed or edited.

Click on the Jobs link to see the list of jobs.

Here we will select one of the jobs.

And view it by clicking on the Details link.

Here you see the location name and address, how it was geocoded, the work time, the allowed arrival time, the cube and the weight, and where it is located.

To change any of these values, you can click on the Edit Job button.

But let’s go back to the list of jobs.

And then go back to the list of plans.

The next step is to submit the plan to the artificial intelligence assignment process.

We click on the Submit link to do this.

The status of the assignment process is shown on the screen. During this time, the assignment is done on one of our high speed servers.

When the assignment is finished, the results may be viewed on the Dispatch Board.

If any work could not be assigned, it is shown in the left hand Unassigned column.

The next column contains all the trips. For each trip, the list of jobs is shown.

If the trips need no changes, the trips may be printed or sent to another handheld terminal or GPS application.

If changes are needed, there are several functions that can be performed here, but the most useful ones are moving the trips up and down in the list and moving the jobs between trips.

Let’s move the first trip out of the way.

To unassign a job from a trip, click on the hamburger menu and then unassign. It gets moved to the unassigned list, the timeline is marked as needing a recompute, and the map is redrawn with straight lines. Click on the recompute button to see the new estimated times, timeline, and travel path on the map.

The unassigned job can be moved to a trip by a simple drag and drop. As before, the recompute button is used to see the new estimated times, timeline, and travel path on the map. Here the job was assigned outside its allowed time window and shows up in the timeline and job list with a dark pink background.

The arrival time shown on the right is not within the time window shown on the left.

This is just a visible warning, any assignment can be made here.

When all changes are made, the trips may be printed or sent to another application.

And here we see the trip schedules. They can be downloaded as a PDF file, broken down for handy distribution.

To recap, if no changes need to be made to the imported data, the route optimization process for product delivery consists of creating a plan, importing data, assigning the jobs, and then printing or exporting the trip lists.

If the data imported needs to be changed, it can be changed before assigning, and any last minute changes can be made before printing or exporting.

What are the savings by using the assignment process?

  • It takes just a few minutes, far less than the time a human would take.
  • The total transportation costs are reduced by 10 to 30 percent.

Are you ready to start saving on planning and transportation costs?

Check out our website at www.strategicmovements.com and see how route optimization can reduce costs for you.

Thanks for watching.

Hope to see you again soon.