Administrator must enable Modules: Optimization in the client's Organization settings for the client to have access to Optimization. As the Optimization features are accessed within the Tasks module, that must also be allowed. The Areas module is necessary to define depots.
As a result of enabling Modules:Optimization:
– The Optimization fieldset in Tasks is displayed.
– In Settings, there will also be several new options:
- Settings will have a new tab for Optimization profiles.
- Settings -> Vehicles will have an extra tab for Optimization
2. Define depots
It is first necessary to define depots, or at least one of them.
Depots are considered to be starting and ending points for planned vehicle tracks. These are your company premises, parking lots, garages, from which your vehicles start their journeys.
Depots are defined as areas in the Areas module. Area shape (line/circle/polygon/route) is not important and neither is the name of the area.
We suggest starting by creating a circle-shaped area loosely covering the depot and naming it “Depot 1”. This may overlap any areas you have previously defined for purposes of Events module or for other purposes.
3. Define optimization profile
You will need to create at least one optimization profile for your vehicles. Optimization profile defines, for a vehicle or vehicles that the profile will be assigned to, their cost of operations, carrying capacities, limits on operating time and other parameters for optimization.
Optimization profiles are listed and created under Settings -> Optimization profiles. Click “Add new” to create a new optimization profile.
The profile properties are displayed on the panel in the right side.
We recommend initially to use as few parameters as possible. None of the fields are mandatory.
|Profile name:||Name of the optimization profile, for example „Large truck“.||If your vehicle fleet has groups of vehicles with the same brand and maker, each with distinct parameters and operating costs, it may be best to create profiles for each such group.|
|Starting cost:||How much it costs for the vehicle to start and leave depot.||Value in cost (numerical). The larger the starting cost, the fewer vehicles will leave depot.|
|Cost per km:||How much it costs for the vehicle to drive 1 km.||Value in cost (numerical).|
|Pickup duration:||Default time spent in client site.||Value in minutes. Of the „duration“ options we recommend using only one at the same time.|
|Delivery duration:||Default time spent in base after tour processing the 'delivery'. Mostly recommended not to use that.||Value in minutes.|
|Capacity:||How many units the vehicle can carry.||Value in units.|
|Accumulated capacity:||How many units the vehicle can pick-up and unload in total. The maximum limit of units that may be involved in a task.||Value in units.|
|Max distance:||Limit to how far the vehicle is allowed to travel.||Value in distance.|
|Max time:||Limit to how long the vehicle is allowed to take on the task.||Value in minutes.|
|Max cost:||Limit to how much the task is allowed to cost.||Value in cost.|
|May start later:||Toggle whether a vehicle is allowed to start the day later in the day than it’s configured worktime.|
4. Define vehicles
All vehicles should be entered into Ecofleet. This can be done by an administrator in the configuration tool.
If the vehicles have been entered into Ecofleet in Settings -> Vehicles, under the Optimization tab, assign one of the optimization profiles that you created in Step 3 to each vehicle. Also, in the Start depot and Stop depot, select the area or areas that you created in Step 2. The Start and Stop depots may be identical.
5. Define drivers
All drivers should be entered into Ecofleet. This is done in Settings -> People -> Is Driver. The only mandatory fields at this point are the first name and last name fields.
6. Link vehicles to driver
It is now necessary to assign drivers to vehicle.
In Settings -> People -> Is driver -> Is hauler select for each driver a vehicle from the drop-down list.
At this point, everything is set up for the actual optimization.
7. Create the tasks
In the Tasks module, click the “Add new task” button.
As a minimum, fill in the task name and location.
Once you have created the necessary tasks, make sure they are checked and visible in the Unplanned tasks panel.
Then select the Optimization tab and click Start optimization. Ecofleet will start the optimization process taking into account all data entered in previous steps.
If the StatusCode row states 'CalculatingResultFound', optimization has resulted in some results that may be viewed in Ecofleet if you click 'Finish optimization'.
Please note that optimization is effectively endless, as taking into account all combinations of all roads in the matrices will take a disproportionately large time compared to the savings it will yield. Optimization keeps working after you've clicked 'Start optimization' and as long as the StatusCode row displays either 'CalculatingMatrix' or 'CalculatingResultFound'. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, we suggest clicking the 'Finish optimization' button once you've gotten 30% savings on either DriveTime, TotalDist or TotalTime rows, compared to what Ecofleet suggests at the beginning.
StatusCode results other than 'CalculatingMatrix' or 'CalculatingResultFound' are error messages, suggesting you review the optimization parameters.
9. Viewing the results
As a result of optimization, Ecofleet will have divided the tasks out among drivers, reordered them and projected out tracks. These may be viewed in the Tasks tab, in the Planned tasks panel.
Right-clicking the 'wavy' figure next to driver name will allow you to view the projected track on the map panel.