The Route Optimiser

  • Updated

One of the benefits of setting up scheduled jobs as a route is that the BigChange Job Management System can then journey plan for you, by analysing the jobs’ locations. BigChange can optimise the route for a series of jobs, finding the most efficient order for the resource to complete them, usually reducing route duration, mileage, cost, and CO2 emissions.

The route optimiser feature can be particularly effective for collections and delivery, haulage, transport, refuse collection, regular maintenance/inspection visits and many more.

After adding jobs to your schedule, you can use the route optimiser to sort the stops (jobs) into the most efficient order, helping to achieve the reductions outlined above.

Does your navigation menu bar look like this? 

imageNewnav.png
Read our Support article about changes we are making, New BigChange Navigation Bar – BigChange

 

Optimising a route

On the schedule tab, in both the resource or vehicle view, add all the jobs planned for your resource for the day onto the schedule.

Select the three-line (burger) menu for that particular vehicle or resources, followed by “Optimise Route”.

The following pop-up window will appear:

Opt- route 1.png

You will be able to see the travel distance, travel time and the start times (by location) before and after optimising your journey.

You can also see job information displayed from within the route optimiser, including job reference and current job flag. By selecting the job flag column, you can add a flag to a job, or edit an existing one.

To change the route start time, select the drop-down menu and choose the desired time. The start time of each individual job will then be amended.

Please note, route optimisation does have some limitations and won’t 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

____________________________________________________________

 

Editing route information from within the Route Optimiser

You will see that the start and end location of the route are highlighted in grey, in addition to all the route stops, which are all the individual planned jobs.

Opt- route 2.png

It is possible to set some default behaviour for the start and end locations of the routes determined through optimisation.

For example, you may wish a route to begin from the last previous location of your resource, or, you may decide that the route needs to end at the location of the next shift start location of your resource.

Finally, you may choose to not set system wide default behaviour, but instead choose to determine the starting location of your resources at an individual level.

To set system wide default behaviour for route optimiser start and end locations.

  • Navigate to:[Top menu] Profile (icon)  Admin Settings  General account settings [quick links menu]  Schedule [section]  Shift end location [drop-down]

Opt- route 3.png

You are presented with three options:

Current shift start location will default the route start location to the previous location of your resource (the location of the last job on their previous shift)

Next shift start location will default the route end location to the planned location of your resources first job on their next shift.

None will apply any starting location rules set at an individual resource level.

To set the start location for an individual resource, either at a contact (for example a depot, your office or the resources home address), or from their previous job location.

  • Navigate to: [Top menu] Profile (icon)  Admin Settings  Resource → [side menu]  Add – edit select a resource Working hours [field]  Start location [radio button].

Opt- route 4.png

Please note that if your resource is starting from their home or office location each day, the contact/address will need to be added to the CRM.

____________________________________________________________

Fixing first job(s) of the day within a route

When planning routes, there may be occasion where you need to “fix” your first job or jobs of the day. For example, your first job may be a “Collection,” which involves picking up parts or equipment to fulfil jobs later that day. To ensure the first job or jobs is not moved by the optimiser, you can use the new “fix” feature within the route optimiser.

Opt- route 6.png

To fix a job in the route optimiser, select the relevant job, followed by “Fix Job”.

Opt- route 5.png

Please note, to apply the route optimisation changes to the live schedule, you must select “Save”.

____________________________________________________________

Manually setting the start and end location of a route

When planning complex routes, you may need to manually set the start or end location. These locations do not need to be associated with a job, or contact, and can be entered in a number of ways.

To set the start or end location of an optimised route, select the edit icon next to “Route start” or “Route end” and either enter a contact from your CRM, a physical address (e.g. 3150 Century Way), or a what3words location.

Opt- route 7.png

____________________________________________________________

Adding a Job Flag to a job

Should you wish to add a Job Flag, select the relevant job from within the current flag column, select a flag, add any necessary comments, and save.

Opt- route 8.png

____________________________________________________________

Editing job information from within the Route Optimiser

You can view and edit job information from within the optimiser; to do this, select the relevant job, followed by “View Job”.

Opt- route 9.png

The following pop-up window will open:

Opt- route 10.png

Please note, If you make any changes to the job and save them, the route optimiser will automatically update.

____________________________________________________________

Visibility of reductions in cost, mileage, time, and CO2 emissions of optimised routes

     
 

Please note

If you are optimising the route from the Vehicle view (1) in the Schedule tab, you will be able to see the CO2 field in the Route Optimiser UI.

However, if you are optimising the route from the Resource view (2) in the Schedule tab, the CO2 field will not appear in the Route Optimiser UI.

 
     

 

1. The Route Optimiser.PNG

Visual indicators of the proposed route distance, time and cost following route optimisation are available alongside the estimated savings in the “Difference” column in the Route Optimiser pop-up.

This will give you an overview of the distance, travel time, route total time but also cost before and after using the route optimiser.

You will see coloured arrows indicating either an increase or reduction:

  • A green down arrow indicates a reduction or saving.
  • A red up arrow indicates an increase, whether that be distance, time, or cost.

In addition to these visual indicators, you will see a short text summary of the impact of the changes made to the route by the route optimiser.

Opt- route 11.png

From there, you can also view the CO2 emissions of your vehicle.

Opt- route 12.png