Address Bundling – Planning Routes with Location Bundling by Defined Parameters Using the Route4Me Enterprise Architect
Route4Me’s Enterprise Architect is designed for geocoding and optimizing millions of points and producing the most efficient routes and address territories with hundreds of thousands of addresses in a smooth and quick manner. The address bundling allows you to aggregate the metrics of several route stops with the same address within a single address bundle. For example, depending on the particular needs of your business or unique business model, you may need to service several different customers located in close proximity to each other or even in the same building. Thus, to avoid extra route planning or making very short trips that can be accomplished on foot, you can create several route stops for each customer with the same address, and the parameters (i.e., cube, weight, pieces, etc.) of each route stop can be aggregated into a single address bundle. In this way, the driver or field employee will need to visit only one address and will be able to service multiple customers.
To plan one or multiple routes with address bundling, first, import the addresses that you want to use and then geocode them for the most efficient and accurate optimization. To geocode addresses, first, go to the “Addresses” tab and then import the addresses that you want to geocode by clicking on the “Import” button and then uploading the spreadsheet with addresses (in CSV format) from your device.
For the spreadsheet to be successfully processed, it must contain a header row and data rows. The header row defines the type of information you are importing, while the corresponding data rows contain the actual data that is being imported into the app. In addition to the obligatory “Address” column, you can also include other data columns with Route4Me’s reserved attributes (i.e., Revenue, Weight, etc.) and custom data. To learn more about Route4Me spreadsheet requirements, visit this page.
To bundle particular route stops, these route stops must have the same address. Thus, all route stops that have the same address can be automatically bundled into a single address bundle and all metrics (i.e., cube, weight, etc.) of the bundled stops can be aggregated accordingly. For more convenience, you can also use the same alias for the stops that you want to bundle.
Once the spreadsheet is imported, all columns with their corresponding data are automatically uploaded to the “Addresses” tab. To geocode the imported addresses, click on the “Geocode” button respectively.
After that, select the column that contains the addresses that you want to geocode and then transfer it from the left-side list to the right-side list by clicking on the corresponding button. If you want to automatically upload all geocoded addresses to your Route4Me Synchronized Address Book, check the corresponding box and then click on the “Start” button to initiate geocoding.
Once the addresses are geocoded, the app assigns unique latitude and longitude coordinates to each geocoded address, as well as automatically corrects and completes all geocoded address (“fixed_address” column). Next, to use the geocoded addresses for planning one or multiple routes, click on the “Optimize” button.
After that, in the “General” tab, input the name for the route(s) into the corresponding field and then adjust the route’s schedule accordingly. In the “Service Time per Stop” field, you can define the preferred service time that will be applied to each stop/address on the planned route(s) (learn more).
Next, use the corresponding field to add the address of the route’s depot/starting point and then click on the “Geocode” button to geocode the added address. If you want to plan multiple routes and you want each route to start from the same depot, check the “Default Depot” box accordingly.
After selecting the preferred optimization type, go to the “Bundling” tab and then check the “Bundling (Merge Similar Addresses)” box accordingly. Next, select the parameter by which you want to bundle addresses from the list. The recommended bundling parameter is the “Address” parameter (“fixed_address” for geocoded addresses).
When you select the “Address” bundling parameter (“fixed_address” for geocoded addresses), the Enterprise Architect bundles all route stops with the same address into individual address bundles.
After enabling the address bundling, check the corresponding boxes to select which parameters of the bundled route stops you want to aggregate.
To aggregate service times of the bundled route stops, you can select one of the preferred options and define the preferred service time override if needed.
In the “User and Vehicle” tab, you can assign a team member (learn more) and a vehicle to the routes. To finish and plan the routes, click on the “Start” button.
Once one or multiple routes are planned, they are added to the Routes List where you can manage them accordingly (learn more). To view a planned route on the map in the Enterprise Architect, first, select the preferred route and then click on the “Show Selected” button.
Route4Me’s Enterprise Architect supports near real-time data synchronization with your Route4Me account. Thus, when you plan a new route using the Enterprise Architect, this route is instantly synchronized with your Route4Me account and becomes available in your Routes List on the Route4Me Web Platform.
Depending on the defined aggregation parameters, the Enterprise Architect aggregates the corresponding metrics of all route stops in the given address bundle. For example, if an address bundle contains three stops and each stop has a defined number of pieces, the Enterprise Architect will aggregate the defined “Pieces” values of all three stops and provide the aggregated value in the details menu of this address bundle. The number of bundled route stops in a particular address bundle can be found in the Custom Data section as the “bundling_count” value.
Depending on the defined service time bundling settings, the Enterprise Architect aggregates the service times of all route stops in the given address bundle accordingly.