November 28, 2016
Getting Started with OptimoRoute
Welcome to OptimoRoute
This guide will help you make your first optimal route plan for your drivers and vehicles. We will be looking at a company delivering goods using a small fleet of three delivery vehicles. This guide also applies to companies doing field service, simply skip the vehicle setup steps.
In this guide you will learn how to:
- Create an OptimoRoute account
- Configure your account and create drivers and vehicles
- Import orders from Microsoft Excel
- Plan optimal schedule and routes
- Export results and share them with your team
Creating an OptimoRoute Account
The first step is to create an OptimoRoute account using the sign-up form. Choose a company ID (for example your domain name), enter your email and choose a password.
You will be automatically logged in to OptimoRoute. Getting started wizard will be displayed to you.
Configuring your Account and creating Drivers and Vehicles
We will be setting up our account using the getting started wizard.
The first step is to setup the depot location. This will be used as the start and end location for our fleet.
To set the depot location, enter the address in the search box and select the appropriate address from the drop down. Check the location on the map and if necessary adjust it by dragging the marker.
Second step is to create drivers and vehicles. Adjust the number of drivers by either entering a number or clicking up/down. Set the driver work and break time then click on the Next button.
Once your drivers have been created, we will have a list of addresses/stops loaded into your account so you can test out the optimization within seconds of creating your account.
For our example we will be focusing on how to import orders from a Microsoft Excel file.
Related help topics:
- Configuring Time and Date Format
- Configuring Distance Unit
- Vehicle Load/Capacity Constraints
- Adding Drivers and Setting Driver Details
- Adding Vehicles and Setting Vehicle Details
Now that you’ve got your account, drivers and vehicles all set up, it’s time to import the orders you want to plan. Orders can also be added one at the time by clicking on the Add order button.
Any MS Excel file (template is available here) or CSV file (comma separated value) or tab delimited file can be imported as long as it contains one of the following options that define the location (all other fields are optional):
- Address, or
- Location Number, or
- Address Line, Town/City, State/Province, ZIP Code, Country/Region, or
- Latitude, Longitude.
Other (non mandatory) fields that can be used to define Orders are:
- Order No – unique identifier for each order
- Order Type – set it to D for all Orders
- Priority – orders with higher priority will be scheduled before orders with lower priority, options are: L (Low), M (Medium), H (High), C (Critical)
- Date – date of delivery in DD/MM/YYYY format, for example 20/12/2013
- Duration – time at the location required to unload goods or perform a task (in minutes)
- TW from – earliest time allowed to begin the service (if the drivers arrives too early, he will be forced to wait) in 24-hour (military) clock format, for example 10:00
- TW to – latest time to end the service in 24-hour (military) clock format, for example 12:00
- Assigned To – assign this order to a specific driver
- Skills – required skills to service this order
- Vehicle Features – required vehicle features to service this order
- Load #1-5 – numeric fields indicating the load requirements of the order, i.e. how many load units (Number of boxes, Kilos, Pounds, Liters etc) should be delivered (in our example the number represents the number of boxes)
- Notes – optional note that will show in the driver’s instructions. Notes do not affect the optimization process.
To import the orders click on Import Orders button. In the Import Orders window select Import from CSV, TXT or Excel File. Select the prepared Excel file on your computer and click on Import button.
OptimoRoute will try to match the columns from the file you have uploaded to fields in OptimoRoute. You will be presented with Import Orders – Column Mapping window where you can adjust the mapping if necessary. When you are satisfied with the mapping click on Continue Import. The column mapping will be saved, so you only have to make corrections once.
Before completing the import you get to review all the orders that will be imported. Location Accuracy column should be checked before saving. Possible statuses are:
- Matching Location No – existing location with the same location number was found in the system
- Matching Location – existing location with the same address and name was found in the system
- Geocoded – new location is created using the supplied address
- Geocoded, Multiple Results Found – new location is created using the supplied address, but multiple results have been found for the supplied address – should be checked before saving
- Geocoded, Partial Match – new location is created using the supplied address, but found result is only a partial match to the supplied address – should be checked before saving
- GPS Coordinates – new location is created using supplied latitude and longitude coordinates
- Not Found – address could not be found, location needs to be manually corrected
To correct the location double click the row with the order you want to correct and the Edit location window will be presented. Make the necessary corrections and save the changes.
When you are satisfied with the orders click on Save to complete the import.
Change the planning date if required and your orders will be displayed in the Orders table and on the map.
Now that your orders are imported you can plan your routes by clicking on the Plan Routes button. You will be presented with the Planning Settings window where you can adjust the drivers and vehicles that will be used for this route plan.
If necessary adjust which drivers will be included in the planning, their work time and the vehicle they will be driving. To start the planning process, click on Plan routes button.
In a very short time Optimo Route plans the most efficient routes and schedules in accordance with your constraints (work times, time windows, vehicle load capacities etc.). The system will try to maximize the number of server orders and minimize the total cost.
The resulting route plan is displayed on the map. Each route is displayed in different color and the numbers in the markers show the stop sequence. The results can also be reviewed in the orders table – for each order the system displays the performing driver/vehicle, stop number and the planned time for the driver to arrive at the customer location.
In the Routes tab you can see the following information:
- Distance each driver/vehicle will be driving
- Duration for each route
- Vehicle load utilization
If necessary, the route plan can be changed manually before exporting.
To learn about more features regarding plan optimization, visit our help page: Planning Optimal Schedules and Routes
With OptimoRoute you can send optimized routes to all Drivers with one click. Drivers will receive a list of stops with:
- Location name,
- Estimated arrival time at the location,
- Time window: earliest time allowed to begin the service – latest time to end the service,
- Notes for the driver,
- Link to start navigation on the smartphone using one of the installed navigation applications like Google Maps, Bing Maps, Apple Maps, Navigon, TomTom, Garmin StreetPilot and Waze.
Sent emails have a responsive design and will adjust to Drivers smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.
To send emails directly to the Drivers you first need to enter their email addresses and set the default navigation application in Driver administration. For more details on Driver administration please click here.
To send the emails to the drivers click on Share routes button and select Send routes to drivers. System will notify you when the routes are sent and your Drivers will receive their routes via email.
To export the planned routes in Microsoft Excel file click on the Share Routes button and select Excel export. The resulting excel file can easily be printed and handed out to drivers.
This concludes our tutorial. Optimo Route has a ton of other features like driver skills and vehicle features. Visit our Support Center to see what else could be useful for you.