Optimize Daily Routes and Saved Routes

ServiceCore offers route optimization designed to simplify scheduling and dispatching. This tool analyzes your stops for the day, and displays them in a way that offers the shortest route for your driver to take.

In this article you will learn about Route Optimization, including how to use it and how its calculations are made.


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Before You Start

There are a few things that will need to be established in ServiceCore before routes can be created and optimized.

  • You will need to make sure that your technician has been added as a user
  • You will also need to have jobs assigned to this technician
  • You must have at least one destination in your account because starting locations are required in order to optimize routes
  • Using the Day view on the Schedule may make it easier to view schedules for optimization by day so that you can see every job for the day and make any manual adjustments you may like
  • All sites must have Latitude and Longitude coordinates in order to use the route optimization function
  • You must click the "Refresh Schedule" button at the bottom of the screen to see the optimized route when you are viewing a route on the Map View on the schedule
  • If you want to see total route time on the schedule, follow the steps outlined in this help article: Add Service Durations to See Total Service Time on Routes

How is the Optimized Route Determined?

There are a variety of factors that affect the routes created through optimization. ServiceCore utilizes an application to solve what is called the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). The TSP is based on the idea of a salesman traveling to multiple cities, and needing to find the shortest path that takes him or her to each city.

ServiceCore will test as many routes as possible in a specified amount of time, and return the shortest path that has been found. If the Optimize command is pressed multiple times, it is very possible that multiple routes can be found. We encourage running the Optimize command more than once if the route that is found does not fit the needs of you or your driver.

What constraints are used during route optimization?

Route optimization takes into account the follow pieces of information every time you click "Optimize Day" for a route from the Schedule:

  1. Departure Time
  2. Departure Location
  3. Travel time between each stop
  4. Service duration of each job and destination
  5. Time windows (access hours) of each job
  6. End location
  7. Traffic (based on the average traffic for that day and area for the past two years)

How Total Distance is Calculated

Point to Point

The total miles shown are the sum of all distances between all points shown on the map. The driving distance from point A to point B to point C is your total miles. Driving distance is calculated on roads that are appropriate for cars, light trucks, vans, and other non-commercial vehicles. This means that this total distance does not take into account the following items when calculating total distance:

  • Road closures that alter paths
  • Weight limits for bridges, overpasses, etc.
  • Height restricted routes because of bridges, overpasses, etc.
  • Routes limited by hazardous waste constraints or prohibited materials
  • Other commercial routing constraints

How to Optimize a Route

From the Schedule

To optimize a route, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure all sites on the route have Latitude and Longitude coordinates
  2. Make sure all destinations on the route have Latitude and Longitude coordinates
  3. Navigate to the Schedule
  4. Locate the technician whose route you want to optimize
  5. If you're on the Week, Day, or List view of the schedule, click the ... (ellipsis icon) for the route you want to optimize
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-18_at_4.19.15_PM.png
  6. If you're on the Map or Directions view of the schedule, click the Gear icon
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-18_at_4.21.02_PM.png
  7. Click Optimize Day from the list of options that appear
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-18_at_4.18.07_PM.png
  8. Enter the Departure Time
  9. Select the Start Route At location
  10. Choose if you want the route to end at the First Addres (Round Trip), Last Address or Any Address on the route

    mceclip0.png

  11. Click Confirm
  12. You will then see a message appear briefly across the top of the schedule as the route is being optimized
    mceclip2.png
  13. Once the route is finished being optimized, you will see another message appear briefly that the route has been successfully optimized
    mceclip3.png
  14. Important: If you are using route optimization from the Directions view, you must click the "Refresh Schedule" button at the bottom of the screen to see the new, optimized route.
    Screen_Shot_2020-08-05_at_4.51.09_PM.png
  15. If you want to change the order of any stops, drag and drop to change the order of jobs by grabbing the handle and moving the job higher or lower in the list of jobs
    mceclip6.png
  16. If you want to re-optimize the route from this screen, click Optimize Day again
  17. If you are on the Map or Directions view, each time you change the route, you will see the route statistics update at the bottom of the sidebar
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-18_at_4.25.34_PM.png

From a Saved Route

You can also optimize saved routes to ensure the order of stops reduce total drive time and distance. To optimized a saved route, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Schedule > Routes
  2. Click the Route Name
  3. Scroll to the Select Start and End Points section
  4. Enter the Departure Time
  5. Select the Start Route At location
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-18_at_4.34.13_PM.png
  6. Scroll down to the View Jobs and Optimize Route section
  7. Click Optimize Route
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-18_at_4.35.44_PM.png
  8. Wait while the route optimizes
  9. Watch for the success message to appear at the top of the page
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-18_at_4.37.03_PM.png
  10. Once you're happy with the order of jobs on the route, click Save

Possible Errors with Route Optimization

Due to a variety of factors, Route Optimization can never be 100% perfect. Some of these are due to the limits of technology, and others simply cannot be accounted for.

For a complete list of possible errors that might cause route optimization to fail, please visit this help article: Glossary of Route Optimization Errors.

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