• Route Optimization Reduces Labor Costs

    May 24, 2021 7:30 AMRon Dombrowski
    Lately there have been quite a few articles written about labor shortages at the end of the pandemic. There is a shortage of qualified drivers which leads to driving positions not being filled and drivers working overtime to make all the needed deliveries.
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  • Why Are You Still Planning Routes The Old School Way?

    May 14, 2021 1:00 PMFay Sobottka
    If your route planning is not completely automated or takes more than 10 minutes to complete, you may be a good candidate for the Strategic Movements route planning and optimization application.
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  • Strategic Movements For Shippers and Brokers

    May 6, 2021 9:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Strategic Movements can find low-cost routing solutions for more complicated distribution problems, like those facing shippers, or for freight brokers working for those shippers.
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  • Planning Recurring Work Efficiently

    March 19, 2021 10:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Many businesses visit the same set of customers on a regular basis. Examples of this are cleaning, document shredding and pest control service providers, and businesses that deliver water, snacks and beverages.
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  • Visiting Customers On A Repeating Schedule

    March 2, 2021 6:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Although many of the people visiting the Strategic Movements website are looking for a route optimization solution, others are looking for a way to manage their recurring work. Strategic Movements is well suited for this type of organization which could be a paper shredding service, a medical specimen pickup service, a meals delivery service, or any other service where customers are visited on a regularly scheduled basis.
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  • Know Your Costs To Track Your Savings

    February 10, 2021 4:00 AMFay Sobottka
    Significant savings can be achieved through route optimization.  A key first step is to know your costs. Only when you know those cost, can you start to control them.
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  • Saving Time When Planning Routes

    February 4, 2021 10:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Time is money and time only marches on. Once a minute has passed, that minute is no longer available for any productive use. In the world of route planning, there are way too many opportunities to have unproductive minutes. Doing manual repetitive tasks or planning less than the best routes can yield quite a bit of time that could be spent elsewhere.
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  • A Day Not As Planned

    January 27, 2021 9:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    What happens when the yesterday's deliveries did not go as planned? How does this impact the deliveries that need to be made today? How do you deal with these unplanned extra stops?
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  • Planning For Route Optimization Implementation

    January 22, 2021 4:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Many larger organizations have adopted some type of route optimization software in the past. Many have had successful implementations and are happy with their vendor today. On the other hand, there have also been many cases where the results were not what was expected. And, in many of these cases, a considerable amount of time and money was spent before abandoning the implementation.
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  • How To Reduce Route Planning Costs

    January 7, 2021 4:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    When discussing optimization when planning routes, trips, or loads, the first thing that comes to mind is that the optimized end result reduces transportation costs by a significant amount. But there are other savings to be gained as well. The time needed to plan those routes, trips, or loads can take quite a long time every day.
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  • Better Dispatching With Integrated Tracking And Communications

    December 17, 2020 4:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Good communications is more than just a two way street where a dispatcher can carry on a conversation with a driver in the field. It also is a way to send data back and forth which can be turned into useful operational information.
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  • Using GPS To Improve Driver Compliance

    November 25, 2020 4:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    One of the key reasons for using a route optimization application is the ability to use a GPS application for tracking, and then to compare the actual route driven with the route that was planned. Route optimization can save anywhere from 10 to 30 percent in overall transportation expenses every day, but these savings only can be achieved when the driver follows the route given.
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  • Route Optimization Reduces Costs

    November 20, 2020 4:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Businesses are always in the process of reducing costs. Last mile product delivery is one place where costs can be reduced. Any business that does not use some type of route optimization or dynamic routing is leaving money on the table.
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  • Be Safe in These Shorter Days

    November 11, 2020 3:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Now that we have set our clocks back to Standard Time and have some extra daylight in the morning, it is time to consider safety issues on these shorter days.
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  • Take A Look

    November 4, 2020 3:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    Now that the election is over, and your email inbox won’t be getting the frequent solicitations from the party or candidate of your choice, the Strategic Movements team would like to offer you something different: our new website. Over the past few weeks, we have been working on ways to tell our story better and we feel that the new website tells it effectively. We are combining it with new emails for our blog and video posts and are actively promoting with social media.
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  • Why Dynamic Routing?

    October 28, 2020 4:00 PMRon Dombrowski
    Although Strategic Movements may be used as a manual dispatching tool, or to maintain and dispatch master schedules of static routes, it provides the greatest savings when used for dynamic routing. Dynamic routing, also known as automated routing or autonomous routing is the technique where the work of a human route planner, load planner or trip planner is done by a computer process.
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  • The Case for Automated Tools for Route Planning

    October 21, 2020 11:00 AMRon Dombrowski
    The history of mankind is full of cases where a tool is discovered or invented, and that tool is used to make some task easier or more efficient, or both. From tools as simple as picks and shovels, to looms and sewing machines, to automobiles and airplanes, ways have been found to complete a task in less time than had been required before. So why are so many things still done in an inefficient manner?
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  • Improving Efficiency In Short Haul Delivery

    September 16, 2020 8:30 AMRon Dombrowski
    There are many ways to get information about trends and possible opportunities in almost all fields. This morning, I was reading the October, 2020 issue of Trains magazine and found an article on intermodal opportunities. While Strategic Movements does not handle intermodal shipments, the article cited some interesting statistics on motor freight in general.
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  • How Static and Dynamic Routing Help Restaurant Service Businesses

    September 2, 2020 9:40 AMRon Dombrowski
    Restaurants need more than food for their operations. One necessary service is the delivery of new fry oil and the picking up of the expended product on a regular basis. In addition to a normal schedule, the provider also needs to handle emergency deliveries and needs to change the following day schedule when an emergency has caused schedule disruption.
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  • Working With QuickBooks

    August 12, 2020 7:48 AMRon Dombrowski
    QuickBooks has been one of the most popular accounting software products over the past few decades. It is now used by a very large number of both small and medium size businesses and is available in both desktop and web-based versions.
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  • Impediments to Efficient Dynamic Routing

    August 5, 2020 8:15 AMRon Dombrowski
    Although there are large savings to be achieved by implementing a dynamic routing application, there must also be the awareness that changing from a loosely implemented manual process to something more rigorous will require business process changes. One thing to consider is that, in a manual process, there can be a lot of tribal knowledge in the dispatch office, or individual head knowledge, of important parts of the process that are either not written down or only exist in some unorganized documents.
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  • Are You Interested In A New Way To Plan Your Delivery Routes?

    July 29, 2020 1:55 PMRon Dombrowski
    There are many organizations that are still planning their routes manually every day. Some use some simple web-based tools to visualize each route and some have no automated tools at all. There are more than just a few vendors offering route planning solutions. Some are just simple tools to automate parts of the route planning process, some are parts of a complete transportation management system, but most fall somewhere in the middle, with features that they found useful to their customers.
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  • Choosing A GPS Vendor

    July 22, 2020 1:54 PMRon Dombrowski
    Many organizations need to track their vehicles during the workday. And once the decision has been made to implement a tracking process, a vendor needs to be selected to provide this service. But before there are answers, there must be questions. And the first one is what features are available from the various GPS vendors and what are the benefits provided?
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  • The Case For Last Mile Dynamic Routing

    July 15, 2020 1:53 PMRon Dombrowski
    Anyone that works in an organization with service technicians or delivery workers that drive to customer locations knows that there is always some planning that needs to be done each day to get the work done. In the simplest case, a load planner prints out work tickets from a business application and gives them to the worker who will be doing the driving.
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  • Reducing Expense and Improving Efficiency for Service and Product Delivery

    July 8, 2020 1:51 PMRon Dombrowski
    Strategic Movements is a cloud-based service for route planning for both service technicians and product delivery. It provides provable benefits to its users by reducing the labor expense of planning routes, by producing more efficient routes, and by offering the capability to measure driver compliance in the execution of planned routes.
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  • Productivity Tools for Last Mile Manual Routing

    July 1, 2020 1:51 PMRon Dombrowski
    In addition to support for dynamic routes where work to vehicle assignments are made using an artificial intelligence process, and support for static routes where the assignments are made each day based on a master schedule, Strategic Movements also supports two types of manual route planning. Manual route planning with Strategic Movements is useful for organizations that make deliveries of products or provide specialized services that cannot be automatically assigned using dynamic routes and do not recur on regularly scheduled basis.
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  • Compliance Reporting For Last Mile Deliveries

    June 24, 2020 1:50 PMRon Dombrowski
    Most businesses want to reduce overall transportation expenses as much as possible while maintaining their equipment well and providing the level of service that their customers expect. For many businesses, a large part of the savings can be found using a software solution that makes intelligent decisions on assigning work to vehicles in the most cost-effective way. When the overall driving distance is reduced, so are fuel and other mileage-based maintenance costs. When the right assignments are made and the work is properly balanced, overtime costs are also reduced.
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  • Tracking Work Progress With GPS

    June 15, 2020 1:49 PMRon Dombrowski
    After route planning has been completed, tracking the execution of those planned routes is a very important part of the daily workflow for many organizations. Strategic Movements provides two parts of the tracking process. First, it can upload the planned routes to a GPS provider using their application interface. Then, as that provider captures tracking data, Strategic Movements can request that data on a regular basis and update the worker or vehicle position and status on the Dispatch Board.
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  • Using Strategic Movements for Static Routes

    June 10, 2020 1:48 PMRon Dombrowski
    Many organizations plan their last mile deliveries using routes that do not change very much over time. The customer being visited this Monday is visited by the same person that was there last Monday and will be visited by the same person again next Monday. The case for static routes is that some organizations have a relatively fixed customer base with few changes and that customer base is best served when the same person visits every time an order is delivered.
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  • Delivery Planning with Manual, Static and Dynamic Routes

    June 3, 2020 1:47 PMRon Dombrowski
    Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customer (B2C) models require that someone decides how each service order or delivery ticket is assigned to the proper worker or vehicle for last mile delivery. There are three primary methods used for making those decisions: manual routes, static routes, and dynamic routes.
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  • Business Process Review For Last Mile Deliveries

    May 27, 2020 1:46 PMRon Dombrowski
    Many organizations that provide services at customer locations, or deliver goods to customer locations are being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now may be the time to take a hard look at how transportation is handled in your organization. The starting place is a business process review.
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  • Splitting Jobs In Strategic Movements

    May 20, 2020 1:45 PMRon Dombrowski
    Not every ERP or other business application can divide sales or delivery orders into pieces that will fit into single vehicles. Cube and weight limits need to be considered and sometimes a single sales order might require more that one type of vehicle. The Strategic Movements job splitting functions have been provided to break a single job into two or more parts for easy assignment.
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  • Effective Route Planning For Independent Grocers

    May 13, 2020 1:44 PMRon Dombrowski
    Not everyone buys their groceries at major chains like Kroger or Walmart. Throughout the country, many people shop at either independent grocers or stores that are part of small chains. And these stores are serviced by regional food wholesalers.
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  • How A High Resolution Panel Helps Route Planning Efficiency

    May 6, 2020 1:44 PMRon Dombrowski
    A route planning and scheduling application will improve operational efficiency by planning routes in much less time than a human can, and will find routes that are less expensive to operate, as well. But there are other inexpensive tools available can make the route planner's job even easier. Let's take a look at one of them: the high resolution panel.
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  • Daily Route Planning And Scheduling For Pest Control Technicians

    April 29, 2020 1:42 PMRon Dombrowski
    Now that the weather is getting warmer, many homeowners are seeing those small piles of wood shavings that indicate that either termites or ants are around. And this discovery inevitably leads to a call to a pest control provider. Good pest control is not just a one-time call to have someone come out to eliminate the pests, but an ongoing service that has recurring technician visits to review how well the abatement is working.
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  • Using The Strategic Movements API

    April 22, 2020 1:42 PMRon Dombrowski
    If an application is not easy to use, it won't be used. There are several considerations for ease of use, and getting the needed data into the application in an accurate manner is one of them. And even though we are in the year 2020, there are still processes used every day by companies of all sizes that require data to be entered more than once.
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  • Home Construction Window Installation Planning

    April 15, 2020 1:41 PMRon Dombrowski
    Building a new home requires supplies from many vendors and the work from many construction trades. And putting it all together requires scheduling, not only by the builder but by the suppliers and contractors as well.
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  • Trip Planning For Vehicle Delivery

    April 8, 2020 1:40 PMRon Dombrowski
    Over the years, I have had two opportunities for working with vehicle delivery problems. Very different businesses, but the same problem needed to be addressed.
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  • Planning For Better Times Ahead

    April 1, 2020 1:39 PMRon Dombrowski
    As I write this, the coronavirus is still spreading and parts of the country are under varying business restrictions. Some places are still operating near normally, but other places are under severe restrictions, hopefully to keep people from contracting and spreading the COVID-19 disease.
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  • Optimizing Propane and Fuel Oil Delivery Routes

    March 25, 2020 1:38 PMRon Dombrowski
    Now that the primary heating season is over for most of the United States, it may be time to think not about how to make oil and propane deliveries, but how to do them more efficiently the time around. Much of the delivery of home heating fuel is dynamic; that is, orders are placed when fuel is needed and the supplier has to then plan a route and schedule the delivery.
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  • Eight Tactics to Manage the Impact of Coronavirus on Your Supply Chain

    March 16, 2020 1:37 PMRon Dombrowski
    Today's blog post comes from Abe Eshkenazi, the CEO of the Association for Supply Chain Management who has a lot to say about the supply chain disruptions we are all facing today.
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  • Dealing With Pandemic Disruption

    March 11, 2020 1:36 PMRon Dombrowski
    As I am writing this, there has been a steady stream of updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus and its spread throughout the world. There have been quite a few disruptions already with travel and exhibitions cancelled, and people being quarantined around the world. But what effect does this have on a medium size business that either makes product deliveries or has service technicians making visits on a daily basis? And what can be done in the longer term to reduce the costs incurred by last minute routing and scheduling changes?
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  • Scheduling Hard and Soft Time Windows for Last Mile Deliveries

    February 29, 2020 1:35 PMRon Dombrowski
    Arriving at the agreed upon time at a customer location is more than just important. In many cases, it can be critical as well. Arrive too early and the driver will have to wait for the customer to open or for a dock to become available. Arrive too late and customer may already be closed or unable to accept the delivery.
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  • Scheduling Water Delivery Routes

    February 5, 2020 1:34 PMRon Dombrowski
    Everyone likes to get water from the cooler. Many a cartoon or joke starts with co-workers hanging around the cooler getting a drink. But let’s look at the other side of this thirst quenching and sometimes social device.
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  • Scheduling Chain Store Maintenance Crews

    January 29, 2020 1:33 PMRon Dombrowski
    If you are in the transportation business, whenever you go into a large chain store, you may think about how the groceries or other products got to the store. But there are transportation issues other than product delivery to be considered.
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  • Route Planning for LTL Operations Using AI Assignment

    January 22, 2020 1:32 PMRon Dombrowski
    Less than truckload (LTL) carriers provide both first mile and last mile services for organizations that move goods. Here is the best definition that I found: The first and last mile of product distribution are very crucial to any shipper. The first mile refers to the movement of products from a shipper to a courier service or to anyone who will take these goods to their final users; and the last mile refers to this final movement of products to their final users.
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  • ERP Transportation Solutions

    January 15, 2020 1:31 PMRon Dombrowski
    For an organization of any size, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is on the list of must-have applications. There is always a need to acquire data, organize it, and then make business decisions to drive the organization forward.
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  • AI Last Mile Solutions for Choosing the Right Vehicle

    January 8, 2020 1:30 PMRon Dombrowski
    If you have a fleet where every vehicle is pretty much the same with the same capacities, features and fuel economy, choosing the ones to use every day is a simple matter. But if you have different types of vehicles available, the question is how to choose the best set of vehicles to minimize the number of vehicles used and simultaneously minimize the total miles driven.
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  • Using Electric Vehicles in Last Mile Logistics Solutions

    December 16, 2019 1:30 PMRon Dombrowski
    Are you considering using electric powered vehicles to deliver products or services? Have you considered this in the past and have been hesitant to do this?
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  • How Much Automation Do You Need For An AI Based Logistics Solution?

    November 18, 2019 1:28 PMRon Dombrowski
    As we move into a new decade, there is a lot of talk about process automation and what it can do. Let’s look at process automation in last mile logistics solutions that use some type of an AI driven assignment process.
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  • Does Your Last Mile Routing and Scheduling Application Offer Only One Solution?

    November 12, 2019 1:27 PMRon Dombrowski
    Artificial intelligence is a very powerful thing. Using machine learning, an application that finds optimal solutions for last mile supply chain problems can produce a very cost effective set of routes in a very short time. The problem with many applications is that only the one "best" solution is offered to the user.
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  • How AI Can Help Driver Satisfaction

    October 19, 2019 1:26 PMRon Dombrowski
    I always find it interesting to see what others are saying about the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in providing last mile delivery solutions. The two that are always mentioned are that it takes a lot less time to build the routes and that the routes that are produced are much more efficient. But one thing I have not seen mentioned is that AI can be used to increase driver satisfaction as well.
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  • The Paradox of AI in Last Mile Solutions

    October 8, 2019 1:25 PMRon Dombrowski
    As we move further into the 21st century, we see more and more AI around us. My car tells me when I am leaving my lane and will brake if the car in front of me stops. So, why does finding a cost effective solution for routing pickups and deliveries take so long? To start, we need to look at what AI does.
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  • Times Have Changed

    September 24, 2019 1:24 PMRon Dombrowski
    Although a lot of the art of logistics is the same, much of it has changed over the years.
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  • Robotic Process Automation – What and Why

    September 17, 2019 1:23 PMRon Dombrowski
    One of the newer buzzwords in the IT world is Robotic Process Automation, or RPA for short. According to the Wikipedia article on the subject, it is an emerging form of business process automation technology based on the notion of metaphorical software robots or artificial intelligence (AI) workers.
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  • AI Is for Everyone

    September 14, 2019 1:22 PMRon Dombrowski
    Today I saw that McDonald's purchased an AI startup with the intention of using their voice recognition technology to improve their ordering process. With Artifical Intellegence everywhere, it may time for smaller distibution and delivery businesses to consider solutions that could improve their last mile processes.
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  • Planning for Natural Disasters

    September 5, 2019 1:21 PMRon Dombrowski
    This week Hurricane Dorian is at the top of the news feed. The Bahamas took heavy damage, but closer to home there were lot of disruptions in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. In these places there was quite a bit of infrastructure damage, mostly electrical power and flooding.
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  • Increasing Efficiency

    September 2, 2019 1:16 PMRon Dombrowski
    I just got back from a trip to Taiwan and while travelling I gave some thought to how transportation is more efficient now than it was in the past. Commercial aircraft are more efficient today. Although the cruising speed of a modern Boeing 777 is just about the same as a 1959 vintage Boeing 707, the 777 can move twice the number of passengers and can fly 8,000 miles non-stop, a big improvement over the 3,000 mile range of the 707. The results, move more people, eliminate stops, and thus reduce the overall travel time.
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  • Faster Is Not Always Better

    August 19, 2019 1:15 PMRon Dombrowski
    I have been a customer for Amazon for a very long time and have subscribed to Prime for years, as well. In all this time, I have always had a choice of delivery methods and times that have suited me very well. So, when I recently (on Friday, August 9th) went to buy a new chair for my office, I was very surprised to see that I was only offered one delivery option, free in two days, on Sunday, August 11th.
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  • The Last Mile

    August 7, 2019 1:14 PMRon Dombrowski
    In Wikipedia, the definition of the last mile is "Last mile is a term used in supply chain management and transportation planning to describe the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination in the home."
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  • Infrastructure Needs and Fairness

    July 16, 2017 1:13 PMRon Dombrowski
    I am old enough to remember when a vacation trip in the car was punctuated by "Highway Ends 1 Mile" signs, followed by a stretch of two lane highway. By the time I graduated from college, this part of taking a road trip had been eliminated, but now we have to realize that a lot of this highway infrastructure is getting pretty old and needs some serious work.
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  • More Than Maps

    July 12, 2017 1:14 PMRon Dombrowski
    Over the past decade, many web and mobile applications have added maps to their user interfaces. Maps are a natural addition. Looking for a hotel or restaurant? See it on a map. Need direction to a store or attraction? See how to get there on a map. But there are other applications for mapping besides these.
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  • Disruption – It Can Happen to You

    July 8, 2016 1:11 PMRon Dombrowski
    Any manufacturing process depends on raw materials and the output of other manufacturing processes. What glues this together is transportation. Transportation can be as mundane as moving a subassembly across a building as or as complex as moving a part from the Far East via ship. Things can wrong. And plans are needed in case this happens.
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  • Dealing with Routing and Scheduling Issues

    May 17, 2016 1:11 PMRon Dombrowski
    Recently, I saw an announcement for webinar dealing with the complexity of routing and scheduling. The announcement noted that transportation planners and schedulers have far too many variables to consider as they do their daily work. There is no substitute for an experienced professional that deals with the day to day issues that they encounter throughout the day. No system can plan for equipment failure, weather, traffic accidents or other congestion. But good route planning is the best way to start the day.
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  • Getting Started

    May 12, 2016 1:08 PMRon Dombrowski
    Welcome to the Walzik blog. Walzik provides Strategic Movements, a Software as a Service (SaaS) site that provides optimized vehicle and technician routes. Watch this blog for interesting items about our company, our product and the vehicle and technician routing marketplace, as well.
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