Planning Routes with the Pieces (Number of Items) Advanced Constraint Add-On
With Route4Me’s Pieces Advanced Constraint, you can effortlessly account for the number of all pieces/items that must be reconciled at each stop of all your routes with just a touch of a button. When planning and driving your routes, Route4Me enables you to track the dynamic number of pieces loaded on or unloaded from your fleet so that you can always be aware of the current carrying capacity of your vehicles. Whenever your drivers have to visit and service multiple stops of different types, you can make sure that your vehicles always have enough space onboard and the right number of items is delivered or picked up at the customers’ locations. Moreover, with Route4Me’s near real-time data synchronization, managers and dispatchers back at the office can make changes to the number of items associated with any order, and the drivers who are out in the field can receive instant live updates on their mobile devices using Route4Me’s Android and iOS apps.
To plan routes with the pieces constraint, first, go to “Plan New Route” from the navigation menu.
After that, adjust the following route optimization settings:
- Go to the “Optimization” tab;
- Select “Multiple Drivers Route” optimization type so that the system can automatically plan and optimize more than one route if needed;
- Choose where to end the route(s) after the last stop is visited and serviced.
Next, use the corresponding fields for defining the maximum number of routes that can be created from the imported addresses and the maximum time duration (DD:HH:MM) for each created route.
NOTE: The “Maximum Number of Routes/Vehicles” and “Maximum Route Duration” constraints, as well as the “Multiple Drivers Route” optimization type can be enabled through the Feature Manager as components of the “Route Optimization for Multiple Drivers with No Advanced Constraints” module. Alternatively, when registering a new Route4Me account, select the “Advanced Route Optimization” package that has both constraints included.
Then, in the “Maximum Pieces per Route” field, define the maximum number of pieces/items allowed to be loaded or unloaded per one planned route.
After that, specify the rest of the route parameters to your preference and then click on the “Create Route and Proceed to Add Addresses” button.
Next, import the route addresses using one of the previously selected methods. When importing a spreadsheet with route data, for it to be successfully processed, the spreadsheet must contain a header row and data rows. The header defines the type of information you are importing, while the corresponding data rows contain the actual information/values that you import into the system. Besides the obligatory “Address” column, you can also include other data columns. In the “Pieces” column, you can define how many pieces/items are expected to be loaded or unloaded at each route stop.
To learn more about Route4Me’s spreadsheet requirements, visit this page.
Once you uploaded the spreadsheet, Route4Me processes the imported data and displays it in the corresponding window. For the system to process the data automatically, select the “Auto (attempt detection)” option respectively. Alternatively, you can manually match column titles to the data contained in the corresponding columns. To proceed, click on the “Continue to Review” button.
In the “Verify Addresses on Map” window, you can view all imported and processed addresses on the map, as well as check their geocoding statuses. Green colored dots indicate that the corresponding addresses were successfully geocoded with “High Confidence.” Addresses that have yellow colored dots next to them should be reviewed and fixed accordingly.
Geocoding is the process of giving/assigning latitude and longitude values/coordinates to street addresses for accurate location detection and precise GPS tracking.
Once the route is planned, it is optimized and then opened in the Route Editor where you can modify it, as well as added to the Routes List with all your routes. To view or change the number of pieces of a particular stop, first, open the route that contains this stop in the Route Editor and then click on the corresponding stop to open its menu. In the “Order” section of the opened stop, you can view its number of pieces value in the “Pieces” field. To modify the “Pieces” value, click on the corresponding field and then input a new value respectively. To apply the same number of pieces value to all stops on the route, first, click on the gear icon in the “Pieces” field and then select the corresponding option.
To view the total number of pieces for the entire route, you can use the Summary Table. To do so, first, click on the gear icon next to the route’s name.
After that, go to the “Vehicle Utilization” tab and then check the following boxes:
- – Pieces: Displays the total number of pieces being picked up or dropped off on the entire route;
- – Pieces Maximum: Displays the maximum number of pieces permitted for the entire route;
- – Pieces Utilization: Displays how many pieces are actually utilized throughout the entire route based on the aggregated data of all route stops (in percentage).
Once enabled, the “Pieces,” “Pieces Maximum,” and “Pieces Utilization” values of the entire route are aggregated based on the pieces data of all route stops and displayed in the Summary Table at the bottom of the interactive map. To get an overview of how the pieces are distributed throughout the entire route, you can use the Route Manifest. To learn more about using the Route Manifest for viewing the number of pieces of each stop, visit this page.
Depending on the “Maximum Number of Routes/Vehicles,” “Maximum Route Duration,” and “Maximum Pieces per Route” constraints’ settings, the system automatically plans the corresponding number of equally-sized and efficiently optimized routes. When the “Maximum Pieces per Route” constraint is exceeded for one route, new routes are planned accordingly.
If multiple routes are planned, then they are automatically opened in the Routes Map. When the system plans multiple routes, each route is suffixed with its corresponding progression “Part” number next to the original name of the route.
Once you planned one or multiple routes, you can start assigning users and vehicles to them. To do so, click on the gear icon next to a particular route and then select the preferred option from the list. To learn more about all methods of assigning users and vehicles to your routes, visit this page.
When the applied “Maximum Number of Routes/Vehicles” constraint is exceeded, the system may automatically plan one or multiple “Unrouted Destinations” routes. The “Unrouted Destinations” routes contain the stops that did not fit into the planned routes due to the exceeded optimization constraints. When you have one or multiple “Unrouted Destinations” routes, you can use the timeline in the Routes Map for moving stops between different routes.
Route4Me’s interactive timeline that operates in real time allows you to move stops from one route to another and instantly synchronize all changes across all associated devices. To do so, click and hold on a particular stop from one route and then drag it to the preferred sequence position on another route. Thus, whenever you have stops that did not fit into planned routes due to the exceeded optimization constraints, you can always manually distribute them to different routes in a fast and effortless manner.
Route4Me provides near real-time data synchronization across all associated computer and mobile devices so that any changes made from the Route4Me Web Platform can be effortlessly synchronized with Route4Me’s iOS and Android mobile apps in a matter of seconds. Thus, managers and dispatchers back at the office can modify the cubic volume of any stop/order and instantly synchronize these updates with the mobile devices of the drivers who are out in the field.
To learn more about viewing and managing the pieces constraint, visit this page.