Optimizing a route

Basic principles 

Opti-Time for Salesforce calculates an optimized rout on the basis of geographic and operational constraints as defined by the user. Thanks to built-in optimization algorithms the application helps you to define the best possible sequence for visits due to be made over one day.  

The route optimization is applied over one day between several points, for example different accounts, contacts, leads or points of interest. These points may have been added manually one by one. They can be situated around a previously defined reference point. The results of this calculation display subsequently in a map, and a list of infoboxes flag the various route stops. These stops on the route can be re-ordered manually. The result of this optimized day can then be sent to the Salesforce agenda by creating the events that correspond to the route stops.  

Pre-requisite 

The different object types manipulated in the search around must have been geocoded beforehand. Consult the on-line Help pages to see how to localise/geocode an account/contact or geocode several accounts / contacts.

Utilisation

> Opti-Time tab > Optimize a route

The Optimize a route tab suggests optimizing a route that covers several points. These points can be added one by one, or selected beforehand depending on their proximity via the route around a previously defined reference point.


Select the objects to visit 

Start by selecting the objects (these are often accounts or contacts) to be visited. To do this, three methods are available. 

  • Select objects manually (accounts, contacts...) to visit

Select the stops one by one that you want to add to the route, typing an address directly or searching for an account, a contact, a lead or any other customer object geocoded earlier using the Search bar provided. Click next on the Add the stop button:

  • Select the objects to visit using a search around command

The choice of a point to serve as reference for a search around can be set up beforehand in the Search an address tab. Refer to the help item dedicated to the search for an address, account, contact, lead or My position.

The search around function allows you to select a group of points located around a reference point, in the Search around tab. Refer to the search around help item 

  • Import appointments from the agenda 

Click on the Import agenda button to import pre-positioned visits directly on one day (for you or for one of your staff). The objects (accounts, contacts or others) to visit are automatically localised on the map and the list of appointments is displayed on the right.


Define operational constraints

When all the objects are selected, Opti-Time for Salesforce allows you to define the operational constraints that will be taken into account in the optimization.  

  • Start and arrival constraints
Simply define the fixed start and arrival points by clicking on the red and green map pins (define stop) or let the optimization engine choose the optimum start and arrival points (undo stop)
  • Handling visit times
If you need to, position the appointments at specific visit times or within set time slots by clicking on the Clock icon associated to each visit object.. You can also modify the duration of each appointment.
 The defined default duration for appointments can be configured in the tab option Administration - Optimization parameters.
When a constraint is defined, the clock icon becomes red.  
Examples of constraints:
«I must visit this account between 8.00am and 12,00 noon and the appointment will last 45 minutes».
«I have an appointment with this account at 10.00am and the appointment will last one hour.»
«I can visit this account at any time of day, from 6.00am up until 18.00pm and the appointment will last 30 minutes.»
If there is no operational constraint to take into account, advance directly to the next step.  

Optimize a route

Simply click on the Optimize button to run the optimization on the route. The optimization engine searches for the best possible sequencing for your route, basing its calculations on the geographic and operational constraints as defined (if they have been defined). The number of kilometers to travel and the total duration of the route are reduced.  
Example:
Before optimization (distance 37 km / journey1 h 40 min)
After optimization (distance 30 km / journey time 1 h 22 min)

Export the results of the search 

Below the map, a list of route stops is also suggested. Click on the Export button located at the bottom of the screen to export the search results in a list in Excel format.
 The fields present in this list can be configured in the  Administration - Results layout tab module.

Save a route in the agenda

Having optimized your route, you can now save it in your agenda by clicking on the Save button. Select the date on which you want to perform your route and indicate if the appointments positioned on the map can replace any existing events that are already present in your agenda:
The calendar (accessed via the Home tab) is automatically filled with the chosen date. The appointments are positioned taking into account the optimum sequencing found, any defined time constraints, the duration of each appointment and the duration of travel between each appointment.
A series of Journey events is also added between appointments, to indicate the drive-time in the agenda. 
Finally a new task is automatically created in each object concerned (account, contact, or other).

More Opti-Time Help...

Consult Opti-Time Help to find out how to optimize several days or several human resources:


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