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What Does Optimized Routing REALLY Mean?

Many of our competitors use Microsoft® Mappoint® software. This package does indeed optimize routes, but if you don't understand precisely what this assertion means, you could easily confuse this feature with the Command Post 3000 dispatching engine's routing system (which was awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,788,121 on August 31, 2010).

Mappoint® software is able to take an EXISTING route you've already planned out and, in Microsoft's words, "automatically reorder the route to create a shorter, more efficient trip by optimizing the route. Optimizing changes the order of the stops, but does not affect the start and end points. It will not have an effect on trips with less than four waypoints." Microsoft makes clear that YOU must feed in the start & stop points, plus each "waypoint" inbetween. What is submitted to the mechanic is first determined by YOU. Systems that use Mappoint® then optimize the choices YOU have already made. THIS is what is meant when other packages say they provide "optimized routing." You must first predigest the raw job list and make assignments to your mechanics. Then the routes get optimized as a final step.

In contrast, Command Post 3000 predetermines what jobs should be given to which mechanics based on optimized routing. Command Post 3000 handles this function. You don't. The optimization occurs first, and the jobs are allocated to the mechanics based on the criteria you've applied, resulting in the best optimization, period. Other packages usually have you manually allocate the calls to the mechanics first, and then they reorder that subset of calls to get the best route, BASED ON THE MANUAL ALLOCATION YOU'VE PREVIOUSLY APPLIED. You can still get poor results, due to the "garbage in, garbage out" phenomenon. Command Post 3000 creates the correct job assignments from the raw job list, already optimized.

Ask the competition whether their software correctly assigns raw jobs to the right technicians at the right time of day and sets up the correct start points, end points, and waypoints automatically, using optimized routing from start to finish. It's worth pinning them down on this, because unless yours is the kind of business that truly requires you to manually predetermine job distribution to your techs (like certain trucking and delivery services do), your dispatchers will find themselves literally closing the barn door after the horses have run away.

Think about YOUR industry and YOUR company, and then ask the right questions when buying your dispatching package. And feel free to call SDS (512.422.3040) to have one of our reps explain how full optimization will work for you.

Microsoft® and MapPoint® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation

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