LOGISTICS MOBILE

LOGISTICS / DISPATCHER

Logistics/Dispatcher is a multifunctional program created to implement control over all the working stages of a service business.

Logistics consists of two applications: web and mobile. The web application is intended to be used by an operator. The web part is developed to manage working processes such as orders creation and distribution between units, routes planning and optimization, as well as monitoring and coordination of orders delivery. The mobile application is intended to be used by service personnel. It is available on both smartphones and tablets (Android, iOS). The mobile part is developed to inform a courier on job details: orders attached, their sequence, and optimized delivery routes. Moreover, using the mobile application a courier notifies an operator on a progress of orders delivery (confirmation/rejection), leaves comments regarding it, attaches photos, and uses chat to communicate with an operator.

Web Interface

Interface of the web application is divided into 2 panels: navigation menu (on the left) and working area (on the right).

In the working area of the main page there is the Dashboard, which presents summary information and helps to quickly jump to the required tab. Dashboard consists of four sections: Orders, Routes, Reports and Chat.

The ‘Orders’ section contains summary information on the days in which there are undistributed orders (marked with a red dot) and the number of single and permanent orders.
The ‘Routes’ section contains summary information about active, planning and fulfilled routes.
The ‘Reports’ section displays statistical information on the last executed report for the previous day (if no columns are selected for the statistics table, the ‘No data to display’ message is displayed).
The ‘Chat’ section shows the list of drivers. If a new message comes from a driver, the line with the name is highlighted and an orange dot appears at the end of it.

Orders

To create an order, choose ‘New Order’ in ‘Planning’ section (left panel). New order menu consists of 4 blocks: order’s parameters, map, contact details, files attaching.

An order may contain the following parameters:

  • Order name — an arbitrary name used for order registration in the system (obligatory field).
  • Type — 2 types of orders (single and permanent) are supported in the system. A single type order is intended for a single use. Its delivery interval contains both date and time. Orders of such a type are moved to history after execution. A permanent type order is intended for multiple uses. The delivery interval of such an order contains no particular date, but time (hours: minutes). Permanent orders are not moved to history after execution.
  • Address — a customer’s location address (delivery destination point). Note that before entering this field, it is recommended to choose an address provider (‘Settings’ section). Upon entering the first symbols of an address, a dropdown list containing the possible variants appears. Choose the necessary one from the list or type an address manually (obligatory field).

An indicated address is shown on the map by a marker. If necessary, a delivery destination address can be adjusted by dragging the marker to a corresponding point on the map. Moreover, a necessary destination address can be added directly from the map. To do so, click a corresponding destination point on the map.

  • Cost — total cost of goods in the order. Units of measurement for the cost values are indicated in the corresponding block of the general settings.
  • Radius, m — the maximum distance on which a unit should come close to an indicated delivery destination point and stop there in order a point to become visited (upon delivery point visiting a courier must confirm or reject an order by setting the corresponding status in the mobile app).
  • Weight, kg — an overall weight of goods in the order. This value can be taken into account upon distributing orders among units.
  • Volume — any conventional value (for example, items). Can also be taken into account upon distributing orders among units. Units of measurement for the volume values are indicated in the corresponding block of the general settings.
  • Delivery interval (from – to) — date and time interval for an order to be delivered. Pick dates in the calendar. Indicate initial and final dates of an interval. If an interval consists of a single day, then indicate it as both initial and final date of an interval. To summon a calendar, click one of the fields of a delivery interval. After indicating dates, click OK. Time of a delivery is edited manually.
  • Vehicle type — a preferable vehicle type for order delivery. This value is taken into account upon distributing orders among units. Dropdown list contains only the vehicle types indicated for units in the monitoring system (‘Profile’ tab of unit properties dialog).
  • Unloading time, min — an approximate duration for unloading goods.
  • Priority — a numeric value (from 1 to 99) showing the importance of an order upon distribution if a route validation is used. Orders with higher importance are distributed first. The higher numeric value indicated, the higher the importance of an order is. Priority is taken into account only for orders with overlapping delivery intervals.
  • Comment — an arbitrary comment regarding a delivery.
  • Tags — keywords (any) on the basis of which orders can be sorted (planning section). To add a tag, click the field, enter a keyword, and use Enter on your keyboard. To delete a tag, use Backspace or delete button.

A separate block (bottom-right) is devoted to contact details such as client name, phone number, and e-mail. A phone number and an e-mail indicated by a flag are used to inform a client on a courier’s arrival. Contact details are available to an operator on the stages of planning and delivery. Also, contact details are displayed for a courier in the mobile application.

An order can be attached with a file (for example, a bill or consignment document). The file attached can be viewed by a courier in the mobile application. A file attachment block is situated below order parameters. To attach a file, click the corresponding button.

Click ‘Save’ upon the form’s completion. The saved order is moved to the ‘Planning’ section.

Import Orders

Along with the manual creation of orders, the possibility of importing orders is supported as well. Import is performed using either CSV files in UTF-8 coding or XLSX files. These types of file may contain several orders simultaneously. For an optimal system performance the amount of orders in a file should not exceed 100. If any orders have not been imported, a corresponding notification appears.

Importing Dialog
To import orders, choose ‘Planning’ section in the left panel and click ‘Import Orders’ item below. Afterwards, the importing dialog appears in the right panel. This dialog provides the possibility to attach a file containing orders and create a template which can be used for this file as a header in the table of orders. For an imported file to be correctly recognized by the system, its template should possess the same sequence of parameters as an attached file. The maximum number of columns is 19. Though template creation and usage is a helpful feature, it is considered to be optional at this stage. After attaching a file, click ‘Import’.

In order to save the imported file for further work, each order should contain address information/coordinates (latitude and longitude), as well as the delivery interval (from — to). If one or several columns are missing, the ‘Save’ button will be inactive and the system will issue a corresponding warning.

Table of Orders
All the orders a file contains are placed in the table of orders. A file may also contain names for orders’ columns. In this case the names appear in the first line of the table. To avoid errors, it is necessary to hide this line (indicate the corresponding flag in the bottom of the table).

If a proper template hasn’t been created in the importing dialog, then it is necessary to indicate a name for each column in the header of the table (choose from dropdown lists). Sequence of names indicated in the header can be saved as a template for the further usage in the importing dialog. To do so, click the corresponding button in the bottom of the table (left corner).

If the sequence of columns, their number or names in the imported file differ from the parameters set in the header, then it is necessary to edit the header of the table correspondingly.

In case the column with the date is missing from the imported file, when you select the name of the empty column as ‘Time from’ and ‘Time to’, the time specified in the ‘General’ tab of the general settings will be automatically set, as well as for single orders the date will be set as tomorrow.

Table Editing
To edit any field of the table, click it and make necessary changes. These changes can be saved or canceled using either a keyboard (Enter, Esc) or the corresponding buttons in the bottom of the table (right corner). Moreover, changes are saved automatically upon switching to another field.

A multiple editing feature is also supported in the table of orders. To use multiple editing, indicate flags in the lines where similar information should be provided. Afterwards, edit any field of the table. As a result, identical changes are applied to the corresponding fields of the chosen lines.

If a mistake is made upon editing the table, move a step back by clicking ‘Undo’ in the bottom of the table (left corner). Up to 5 steps are saved in the system.

Buttons in the bottom of the table (from left to right):

Add template — to save a current header of the table as a template.
Add new column — to add new column to the table (the maximum number of columns is 19).
Undo — to move a step back in case of editing mistakes (up to 5 steps).
Cancel — to cancel orders’ import.
Save — to save imported orders (saved orders are moved to the ‘Planning’ section).
The date and time format and the separator for the imported files are indicated in the ‘Settings’ section. In order import to be implemented correctly, the date and time format should be the same in the imported file, the application settings and the user settings in the monitoring system. The separator used in the file and in the application’s settings should coincide as well. In the import window to the left of the ‘Cancel’ button there is information about the date and time format specified in the settings.

Planning

Some peculiarities of a delivery planning:

Only those single orders, the delivery interval of which corresponds to the current date can be added to the route.
Working with permanent orders (step 1), you should choose a delivery date (calendar in the bottom right corner of the table).
Routes building is implemented on the basis of an algorithm set on the corresponding tab of the settings. Parameters of an algorithm can be changed directly from ‘Planning’ section (on any planning step). To do so, click the ‘Gear’ button in the bottom right corner of the table, indicate necessary parameters, and apply or cancel implemented changes.
If a specific vehicle type is selected in the order parameters, the units of that type are displayed in the table when selecting the unit during step 2. To see other available units, use ‘Vehicle type’ filter in the left panel and check the required types from the drop-down list. Select ‘Any’ to display all available units, regardless of their type.
Table

Main actions on the delivery planning are performed in the table. Depending on the current planning step the table may contain created orders, available units (transport), and built routes. The planning step is shown in the lower left corner of the table. To move to the next step, first complete the previous one. At every step (until a route is saved) there is a possibility to go back to the previous one and make corrections. The number of columns in the table is configured individually (click the icon in the top right corner of the table).

Table supports a number of additional actions with an order:

Edit — change order parameters.
Copy — create new order with identical parameters (by default ‘Today’ is used as delivery interval).
Delete — delete order from the system.
These actions become available upon pointing the cursor on a necessary order (buttons at the end of a line).

You can select several orders in two ways: check the required boxes in the first column or left-click on the orders while holding the Ctrl key. If you need to apply changes to several orders at a time, mark them in the table and press the ‘Edit parameters of selected orders’ button located in the lower part of the information block to the left of the ‘Delete’ button. In the opened dialog you can modify the delivery interval (from — to), the unloading time and the orders’ tags.

Map

Information presented in the table is visualized on the map (click an element’s line in order for the map to be centered on the selected element; check the box in order for the map to be scaled and centered in such a way that all the elements with the checked boxes are seen on it). Press   to expand the map to the entire workspace. Clicking the   button or anywhere in the inactive area of the screen restores the original size of the map.

Information on a particular element can be viewed directly from the map. To do so, summon a tooltip by clicking a necessary element. Moreover, the map can be used as a means of choosing orders. To select elements on the map, hold the Ctrl key and click on the required element. To select several elements, hold Shift and point out the area with the necessary elements on the map.

Information Block
Information presented in this block can be divided into 3 categories: information on the chosen element, general information on orders, and general information on routes.

Information on a chosen element (order, unit) is shown upon clicking an element’s line in the table and includes its detailed description. Order description is an information indicated upon order creation; unit description is an information indicated on ‘Profile’ tab of a unit properties dialog in the monitoring system. In the bottom of the information block there are buttons for editing or deleting an order chosen in the table.

General information is shown upon checking an element’s flag. On the 1st step of planning this piece of information includes such parameters as total weight, volume, cost, and number of orders; on the 2d step this piece of information is also accompanied by unit’s data (total carrying and effective capacities). In the bottom of the information block there is a button for deleting all the orders indicated in the table by flags.

General information on routes is shown on the step of routes building. Information on orders and units engaged in a route is added by data on distribution optimization and route validity parameters used.

Filters and Dynamic Search

Elements shown in the table are determined by the filters applied. Filters are used to quickly find the necessary elements. They are located in the left panel. Filtration is made by the following parameters: order type (single, permanent, single and permanent), delivery interval, warehouse, and warehouse parameters — for orders (1st step), as well as the warehouse parameters and vehicle type — for units (2nd step). By default, the warehouse used as a filter is the one indicated on the corresponding settings tab as the initial warehouse, default delivery interval is ‘Today’, and default vehicle type filter is ‘Any’.

A calendar is used to select a delivery interval. At the bottom of the calendar there is a drop-down list where you can select one of the fixed time periods (‘Today’, ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Next week’, ‘Next month’) or ‘Custom’ interval which allows you to set the period yourself. For the latter, you must specify its beginning and end. If the length of the interval is one day long, double-click the required day.

The red dots on the calendar indicate the availability of single orders on a certain day. Their number is displayed at the bottom of the calendar to the right of the drop-down list when selecting the delivery interval. Digital indicators next to the month switches indicate the availability of single orders and their number in the previous and next months.

Note that a warehouse’s filter value can be changed on the first planning step only.

Besides, the necessary elements can be found using dynamic search. The search field is located above the ‘Orders’ type’ filter. Search is performed by all the fields of the table.

Sorting by Tags
Orders filtered by delivery interval and warehouse can be sorted by tags added upon orders creation. To do so, choose necessary key words in the tags cloud (below the filters). Moreover, orders can be sorted by warehouse tags. In this case a table presents a list of orders, tags of which match the tags of a chosen warehouse. To sort by warehouse tags, it is necessary to enable the corresponding flag (‘Tags’) in ‘Warehouse parameters’ filter.

Routes Building (3rd step)

Select the orders (step 1) and the units for their delivery (step 2) and click the ‘Next’ button. On the basis of the algorithm used, a route is formed. For the optimal route building the algorithm considers such parameters as delivery interval, weight, and volume of goods in the order (if the corresponding settings are indicated), as well as warehouse working hours and unloading time (indicated on the ‘Warehouses’ tab of the settings). Moreover, upon a route building the algorithm considers requirements on the minimization of distance and time for a delivery. Pay attention to the fact that the distributed order created more than 10 days ago are deleted from the system automatically.

To view the sequence of delivery points to be passed, expand a route (click its line). Note that a formed route is considered to be preliminary. In other words, the sequence of delivery points of a formed route can be reestablished either automatically or manually.

To do it automatically, click ‘Refresh’ icon in the end of the line.

To automatically redistribute the points among the units or change their order, select the routes in which you want to make changes and click the ‘Optimize again’ button ( ) at the bottom of the table (the numeric indicator on the button corresponds to the number of selected routes). This will result in re-optimization of the routes.

To reestablish delivery points manually, drag and drop them in the required sequence. Note that if several routes are formed, you can drag points from one route to another even if the number of orders exceeds the number specified in the ‘Route validity’ parameters.

At this stage, you can create a new route from the orders of the current route. To do this, select the required orders and press the  button at the bottom of the table. The selected orders will be assigned to the new (‘other’) route. Click the   icon to the right of this route to assign the unit and complete the third step of planning.

If in the second planning step no unit was selected, it is impossible to save the created route. Click the   button to the right of the route name to assign the units. In the appeared dialog box, only those units that are currently not assigned to any other routes are displayed. The table with units can be sorted by any of its columns, for instance, by distance to the first order of the route. To find the required unit, in the search bar you can use wildcards ‘*’ (replaces any number of characters) and ‘?’ (replaces one character). Click on the required unit and press ‘Save’.

Note that upon a route building you can receive a situation when some of the route’s points cannot be visited in the indicated delivery interval. Such a point is marked in the estimated arrival column by a special marker (the marker is also duplicated beside the route name). In case such a situation emerges, delivery points can be reestablished either automatically or manually. If a delivery point is impossible to visit, it should be deleted from this route (click ‘Trash’ icon in the end of the line).

A built delivery route is displayed on the map. Route visualization color schemes can be set on ‘General’ tab of the settings section.

Click on the   button located in the lower right corner of the information block to change the name of the route. To save a built and optimized route, click ‘Floppy disk’ icon at the end of the line. To save all the built routes, click ‘Save’ in the bottom right corner of the table. Saved routes are moved to the corresponding section.

Adding Orders to Route

It is possible to add orders to the already built route. To do this, select the necessary route and press the   button located in the lower part of the information block. In the dialog that opens, select the order type (single or permanent) and click the line with the order you want to add to the route (you can only select one). After that, a dialog with the name of the route and a list of its orders opens. The added order is placed at the end of the list. However, you can change its sequence number by dragging it to the required position. After this, the time is re-counted, that is, all the orders that follow the new one, are moved taking into account the time needed for the travel and unloading. The delta of the modified arrival time for the moved orders is shown in red when it is increased and in green when it is decreased.

To confirm the introduced changes, click ‘Save’. To dismiss them, press ‘Cancel’. To go to the previous dialog, press ‘Back’.

New Unit Selection

It is possible to select a new unit for the routes. To do this, hover the mouse over the name of the route and click on the   button, which appears at the end of the line. In the opened window the table with the units available to the user is presented. The units that have at least one trip scheduled for a stated time are not shown in the table. To filter the table by the units selected in step 2, activate the corresponding function. The table can be sorted by any of its columns, for instance, by distance to the first order of the route. To find the required unit, in the search bar you can use wildcards ‘*’ (replaces any number of characters) and ‘?’ (replaces one character). Click on the required unit and press ‘Save’.

If selection of a new unit occurs when part of the orders are visited, the current route is marked as fulfilled, and the non-visited orders are transferred to the route of the newly assigned unit.

Quick Track GPS Real Time GPS Tracking | Fleet Management