This article explains what the Routes element of the Schedule section does, the useful features it contains and what you can use it to achieve.
Overview of Routes and how they are used?
A Route is a series of individual jobs to be undertaken in a single day by either an individual or a vehicle. If you highlight the required Route from your list and drag and drop it onto the schedule, all the jobs are created at once, to be completed one after the other by the resource. The jobs are referred to as “stops” within the Route.
Scheduling a Route is much quicker for the back office than it would be were each job to be individually added to the schedule. An additional benefit of setting up the scheduled jobs as a Route is that JobWatch can then journey plan for you. By inputting the location and type of each job, JobWatch will optimise the route ie find the most efficient order for the resource to complete the Route in, usually reducing Route duration and mileage.
Routes work best where resources are regularly completing the same jobs/routes, for example on a daily or weekly basis, so that the Route can be set up once and then re-used. You can add/remove stops if there are changes.
Common examples where Routes are used successfully include collection & delivery, haulage, transport, refuse collection, regular maintenance/inspection visits and many more.,
There are 3 steps to using Routes:
- Create a Route and add jobs
- Optimise the Route
- Start scheduling the Route
Creating a route and adding jobs
- Open the “Schedule” tab
- Click on “Routes” in the bottom-left hand menu
- Click to “create a new route”
This opens the “Add / edit route” popup, explained below:
- Route name: A name for the route
- Add stop: Add a new job, or “stop”, to the route (opens popup)
Add all the jobs/stops you want to include in the route using the “add stop“ button. The “Add stop” popup is explained below:
- Contact: Name of the contact for this stop. Stops must be linked to a contact.
- Job Type: Type of job which will be completed at this stop
- Job start time: You can set a fixed start time for each stop, however this should be left blank if you want the route to be optimised.
- Job duration: Planned duration of the job for this stop. This will be filled out with the default for the job type, but can be overridden here.
- Description: Free text box for any relevant notes or information about the stop
Optimise the route
Once you have added all the stops, you can optimise the route by clicking the “optimise” wand button, circled below:
A popup will appear asking you to select a start and end point for each resource. This is because the optimal route may be different once the trip to/from the depot or other location is accounted for. Enter the contacts and click “optimise” to finish the process. The stops will now have been sorted into the most efficient order.
Bear in mind that optimisation does have some limitations. Optimisation will not be able to help in situations where:
- You want a route to be completed over multiple days
- The route is impossible e.g. too many jobs to complete within the resource’s working hours
- The route is in the past e.g. you cannot log in at 11am and optimise a route to start at 9am
Optimisation is a great feature which makes it simple to find the best order for stops, however it is not appropriate if you need stops to be completed in a specific order. In this case, do not optimise the route and instead order them manually using the arrows highlighted below.
Start scheduling the route
The route you have created will be listed under the “Routes” tab including the name, number of stops, total duration and total mileage for the route. You can also use the search box to find the route which you want more easily. If you have multiple routes that all need to be carried out on a regular basis, we suggest using a naming convention which allows for easy retrieval. For example prefixing routes with days of the week will allow for these to be identified on a certain day (eg Mon, Tue – ABC Pickups – this will be displayed when you search Mon and Tue, but not Wed-Sun).
To schedule the route, drag and drop it onto the schedule. As you drag over the schedule, a box will appear to show how much time the route will take (see below). The box includes the time from the first stop to the end of the last, so does not include the time for driving from start location (i.e. home or depot) to the first job, or from the last job to the end location.
Once you drop a Route on to the schedule it will behave in the same way as jobs which are scheduled individually.
Drag and Drop Stops Within a Route
When you’re trying to adjust a route in a hurry, shuffling jobs by one position at a time can be irritating, so we thought that we’d make it easier. You can just click and drag to whichever position on the route you wish.
Duplicate Stops Within a Route
Need to create a route in a hurry? Wouldn’t life be so much easier if you could just duplicate an existing job/stop? Well guess what…
If you any queries or require any additional information, contact RoadCrew, who will be pleased to assist.