Create new layer - To optimise a call cycle, Open an existing project that contains the two Map Pin layers that will be required as input for the optimisation (the master visits locations layer and the resource layer) and then choose Add Data, Create New Layer.
Choose which type of layer to create -Select Route Optimiser to create optimal routes for your resources.
Choose to optimise call cycle - Select Optimise Call Cycle to create efficient call cycles with optimal routes covering multiple days for one or more resources.
Select the input data - In the Route Optimiser panel you can select the input data and settings for your call cycle optimisation. In the Step 1: Input Data section you can select which visit locations layer and resource locations layer from your project you would like to base the optimisation on by clicking on the dropdown lists next to Visit Locations and Resource Locations.
Select the call cycle settings - Step 2: Call Cycle Settings allows you to set the global start and end dates for the optimisation by entering dates in the Start Date and End Date boxes in the format DD/MM/YYYY.
Apply visit settings - Step 3: Visit Settings allows you to set various settings for your visits. For each option you can either select a column from your data by clicking on the dropdown list or you can manually type in a value which will apply to all the visits in your visit locations layer:
Visit Duration – For visit duration the format needs to be hh:mm.
Frequency – This is the number of times the visit will take place during the call cycle that you set in Step 2.
Visit Days – This is the days of the week that your visit locations can be visited starting from Monday through to Sunday. For example YYYYYNN means that the locations can be visited on Monday to Friday but not at the weekend.
Specific Dates – This needs to be a column from your visit locations data that contains specific dates that a location must be visited. You cannot enter a value manually for this. An example of the format for this is 12 Mar;15 Mar-18 mar; 23 Mar with a semi-colon used to separate dates or date ranges.
NB - Too many restrictions on visit days and specific dates will make routes less optimal so they should only be included if necessary.
Additional visit settings can be set by opening Advanced Options.
Set visit time windows - Additional optional visit settings can be set using the Advanced Visit Settings panel. The Time Settings section allows you to provide the earliest time a visit can be done and the latest time a visit can be completed. To set these times, tick the boxes next to Time Window Start and/or Time Window End and select the appropriate column from your data by clicking on the dropdown list.
NB – Additional restrictions may make the resulting routes less optimal so these time restrictions should only be included if necessary.
Assign resources and skills required for visits - The Resource Requirements section allows you to assign specific resources to visits by ticking the box next to Assign Resources and selecting a column from your visit locations layer. This may be one or more resources.
You can also specify the skills required to perform a visit by ticking the box next to Skills Required and selecting a column from your visit locations layer. This can be one or more skills.
To return to the Route Optimiser settings panel press the Route Optimiser back arrow at the top of the panel.
Specify resource settings - In Step 4: Resource Settings you can specify the time and cost settings for the resource. For each option you can either select a column from your data by clicking on the dropdown list or you can manually type in a value which will apply to all the resources in your resource locations layer.
Start Time – This is the earliest time that a resource can leave their base (as specified in the resource locations layer). The format should be hh:mm.
Finish Time – The latest time that a resource can return back at their base. The format should be hh:mm
Available Days – The days that a resource is available to work every week, starting from Monday through to Sunday.
Hourly Cost – The hourly cost for a resource, specified as a number
Distance Cost – The cost per mile for each resource, specified as a number
Fixed Cost – The fixed cost for each resource, specified as a number
Additional resource settings can be set by opening Advanced Options.
Set lunch break - In the Advanced Resource Settings panel you can set duration and time parameters for the resources lunch breaks in the Time Settings section. Firstly make sure that that the box next to Include Lunch Break is ticked if you wish to allow time for your resources to have a break. Then you can set the break parameters by selecting a column from the drop down lists or typing in a value for:
Lunch Duration - the length of the lunch break.
Lunch Start - the earliest time that the resource can start their lunch break.
Lunch End -the latest time a resource can finish their break.
Specify resource skills - In the Resource Settings section of the Advanced Options the skills possessed by each resource can be specified by selecting a SKILLS column from the resource locations layer. This can be one or more skills. If a resource possesses more than one skill, then the column will contain a string of skills, separated by a comma. The skills in the resource locations layer should match the SKILLS column in the visit locations layer. If a skill column is required tick the box next to Skills and select the required column form the dropdown list.
To return to the Route Optimser panel press the Route Optimiser back arrow at the top left of the panel
Check settings and run optimisation - Once you are happy with your settings, press Optimise to run the process and create your visit cycle.
View the results - Upon completion of the call cycle optimisation the following map layers will be created:
Visit Locations (Map Pins) – containing visit date, time and order.
Current Resource Locations (Map Pins) – to include benchmark information reporting planned time, costs, utilization and % SLA.
Failed Visits (Map Pins) – any visits that cannot be scheduled into the visit plan can be viewed in this layer.
To view the details of any of these layers click on the layer to open the layer and view the data.