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.
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.
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 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.