Route Balancing – Balanced Route Optimization
Businesses’ bottom line suffers when employees have too little work, and employee performance can drop when they get too overloaded with work. Thus, in addition to planning routes with the most optimal directions, you also need to figure out the most efficient route stop distribution.
Route4Me’s Route Balancing enables you to evenly distribute the workload between your drivers and team members. All you need to do is import your addresses, select the number of routes you want to plan, and then select how you want to distribute the workload. After that, Route4Me will automatically compute and plan the specified number of routes with an equally distributed number of route stops, route distance, or route duration.
Furthermore, you can then dispatch your balanced routes to drivers’ mobile apps in real-time.
Table of Contents
Plan a New Route on Route4Me Route Planner
To plan routes using the Route Balancing constraint, import your route destinations and specify the preferred optimization settings. First, go to “Plan New Route” from the navigation menu and then select one of the preferred route data import options: Interactive Map Editor, Copy-and-Paste, Upload a File, or Import Data. Learn more about Route4Me’s spreadsheet requirements.
Minimize Number of Routes or Vehicles
Next, go to the “Optimization” route settings tab and then select the “Multiple Drivers Optimization” route optimization type. After that, select whether you want to use the stop distribution for a specific number of routes or plan a minimal number of routes.
To plan a minimal optimal number of routes, in the “Stop Distribution” section, select the “Minimize Number of Routes/Vehicles” option. Next, add the preferred Routing Business Rules, such as Maximum Cubic Volume, Weight, Pieces, Revenue, etc. After that, schedule the routes and specify the rest of the route parameters.
Further, Route4Me will plan the minimal and most optimal number of routes based on the specified routing constraints. Accordingly, Route4Me accounts for such rules and constraints as Time Windows, Service Times, vehicle capacity, and many more. Therefore, you can use the “Minimize Number of Routes/Vehicles” optimization when you want to split all imported addresses into as few routes as possible.
Equally important, when planning a minimal number of routes, the system may output routes with noticeable differences in route distances, travel times, and the number of stops.
Balanced Route Optimization with Stops Distribution
In contrast, Route4Me’s Balanced Route Optimization enables you to specify the exact number of routes you want to plan. Furthermore, you can also specify how you want to distribute route stops within the planned routes:
- Number of Stops: the system plans the specified number of routes with an equal or almost equal number of destinations within each route.
- Route Duration: Route4Me plans the specified number of routes with the same or almost equal total route time.
- Route Distance: the system plans the specified number of routes with an equal or almost equal distance.
Additionally, you can specify other route optimization constraints to further customize your balanced team route optimization. Below you can find how to use route balancing and route stops distribution to plan routes with even workload distribution.
Route Stops Distribution Based on Number of Stops
The route stops distribution based on the number of stops enables you to plan a specific number of routes with an almost equal number of stops per planned route.
First, select the “Based on Number of Stops” stop distribution option. Next, specify the exact number of routes to be planned in the “Maximum Number of Routes/Vehicles” field. Additionally, specify more route constraints and rules based on your routing needs.
Accordingly, Route4Me will plan the specified number of routes with an equal or almost equal number of stops on each route. Notably, routes with the exact same or almost equal number of stops can have significantly different distances and total drive time. The reason for this is that route stops can have different time windows, service times, different distances from one stop to another, etc.
Route Stops Distribution Based on Route Distance
The route stop distribution based on route distance allows you to plan a specific number of routes with almost equal distances.
First, select the “Based on Route Distance” route stops distribution option. After that, specify the number of routes to be planned using the “Maximum Number of Routes/Vehicles” field. Additionally, you can add more route constraints and routing business rules based on your route planning requirements.
Accordingly, the system will plan exactly the specified number of routes with equal or almost equal travel distance on each route. Another key point, routes with the exact same or almost equal distances may have noticeably different travel times and the number of route stops. This is due to the fact that certain route destinations can have different service times, time windows, etc.
Stops Distribution Based on Route Duration
The route stop distribution based on route duration permits you to plan a specified number of routes with almost equal total route times. NOTE: Route balancing route optimization by route duration will be available soon. If you have any questions about balanced route optimization, please contact Route4Me’s Support Team.
First, select the “Based on Route Duration” route stop distribution optimization parameter. Then, input the number of routes to be planned into the “Maximum Number of Routes/Vehicles” settings field. Then, add the other required route constraints and optimization rules based on your route planning needs.
Accordingly, the system will plan and optimize the specified number of routes with equal or almost equal total route time on each route.
Notably, routes with equal or almost equal total route time may have different travel distances and the number of included destinations. That is because you may have route stops with different service times, customer time windows, etc. Another key point, the total route time includes the combination of route travel time and total service time.
Dispatch Balanced Routes to Drivers’ Mobile Apps
Furthermore, you can dispatch the created balanced routes to drivers and field employees in real-time. To do so, assign drivers or other users to your planned and optimized balanced routes. Once dispatched, the respective balanced routes will instantly become available on the drivers’ mobile apps. After that, they can use Route4Me’s Mobile routing apps to navigate routes, track route progress, and much more.
- Android Route Planner app – download and install the app on your smartphone or tablet.
- iOS Route Planner app – download and install the app on your iPhone or iPad.
Additionally, learn more about how to dispatch routes from the Web Platform to Route4Me’s mobile apps.
Troubleshooting Unrouted Destinations
When planning routes with optimization constraints, you may get Unrouted Destinations. Unrouted destinations are the addresses that couldn’t fit into planned routes due to the specified optimization constraints and route parameters. For example, if the number of specified vehicles doesn’t have the needed capacity, there are too many locations, etc.
To troubleshoot unrouted destinations, use one of the following options:
- First, you can re-upload your addresses and specify the new optimizations settings that will allow fitting all addresses.
- Second, you can use the Route Maps Timeline to insert unrouted destinations into planned routes. To do so, drag unrouted destinations and drop them on the preferred routes.
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