Routal blog

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
At Routal we have new ideas every day. In this post we explain how we landed these ideas and transformed them into a product.
Planner
From idea to implementation

The creation process is a very complex process that always Part of a idea. But an idea in itself is nothing more than a seed that needs to be watered and cared for patiently. Not all ideas end up blossoming, and it's important to know why.

There are generally three reasons why an idea fails; 1) It wasn't a good idea 2) It wasn't executed properly 3) The context wasn't right.

At Routal, over the years, we have had failures of all three types. We have had crazy ideas that have ended up turning into failed projects. Good ideas that have gone down the drain because of not knowing how to put them into practice. And finally, great ideas for which we didn't have a suitable market context.

In this article we are going to work on a framework for how to move from idea to implementation to ensure that our idea grows and develops correctly.

IMG 20210127 095909 11
The implementation process

1. Problem definition

TL; DR: If the idea I have is: “Buy me a hammer”, should be able to express as the solution to a problem: “I have nails to nail and for that I'm going to buy a hammer”.

An idea, in order to be evaluated from a market perspective, and to measure performance in the way we execute it, must be able to express itself as the solution to one or more problems.

In R&D environments, the idea usually comes first, and yet in a productive environment it is more common that the first thing that appears is the problem or the need.

  • Idea first: It occurs to me to buy a hammer, I look around the house and find nails to nail. I'll buy the hammer and nail them.
  • Problem first: I see that the house is full of nails, it occurs to me that I can buy a hammer. I'll buy the hammer.

What is essential is that they appear as an inseparable duo.

  • Just the idea: It occurs to me to buy a hammer. I'll buy the hammer. I'm looking around the house to see if there are nails. Since I can't find them, I use the hammer to eat my soup.
  • Just the problem: I find unhammered nails. I'm going to sleep crying because I don't know what to do with them.

In the case of the scenario”Just the idea” it is important to clarify that no, because there are no nails in my house, the hammer is a bad tool. We simply don't have the right context for that tool to be useful and to extract its value.

The output of this phase is a paragraph of text in which both the idea and the problem are identified in a clear and understandable way.

2. Conceptualization

Once the need or problem has been identified, the An idea becomes a solution. The objective of this phase is to detail the solution and to make the team agree on its scope and value.

Scope of the solution

Evaluating the scope of the solution consists mainly of placing the proposed solution in the current context of the company.

Let's imagine that a company is making hammers, and it occurs to someone that they should also manufacture screwdrivers. Determining the scope of the solution means defining whether they are going to manufacture flat or star screwdrivers, or both. Decide if they will use the existing production process to manufacture the new tools. Define if it is necessary to buy new machinery, etc.

Another of the key points to be defined at this point are the limits, where the proposal begins and where it ends; If a solution can work for everything, then it's good for nothing. It's very important to know when to stop. It is very tempting when you are defining a process, a feature or a product to say that “well, since we are...”.

To illustrate this, in the same hammer company they have decided to continue with their business and now they are going to produce a new hammer that has to be more ergonomic and lighter because they are having complaints from users about it. But an enthusiastic manager says “hey, users who drive nails usually screw in as well. Why don't we add to the hammer, while we are, a screwdriver tip and a level? That way, they'll have three tools in one.” This manager is joined by the manager of the support team and says “Besides, there are users who don't have the strength, why don't we add a second handle?” The marketing director also has his opinion on the matter and joins the brainstorming “And besides, it would be nice if it were friendly to girls and young boys who are our potential customers of tomorrow”.

How%20to%20From%20an%20idea%20to%20the%20implementation%202898e4dd2d21419994e753ad4424e322/1611821395150.jpg
We need an idea to have a good definition of scope

It is likely that if we don't have a good definition of what the limits of the solution are, the initial value proposition will be blurred.

This doesn't mean that ideas are immutable, quite the contrary. But to carry out a value analysis we need to know What is and What is it not what we are proposing.

Valor

In the conceptualization section, we must also consider the potential value of the solution based on our experience. This calculation is speculative, but certainly, as the company's maturity in the area grows and the user base grows, it is easier to estimate it more realistically.

The points to be taken into account when calculating the value may vary depending on the environment in which the proposal is developed. In our case and for the product part we use the following elements:

  1. Target audience: Who is the proposal aimed at? What percentage of users does it affect? What processes does it affect?
  2. Technical Assessment: What infrastructure is needed to develop the proposal? Do you need to add new elements? What is the estimated development time?
  3. Return on investment: What is the cost of implementation (Time/Headcounts/Marketing/€)? What benefits are expected (upsales/new customers/landing visits)?

This time our hammer-maker friends, guided by their support team, have decided that it is necessary to design a hammer for left-handed people. Let's evaluate the value proposition:

  1. Target audience: All the left-handed masons in Spain (the country where we are currently selling) who are 10% of the existing 3M masons, or 300,000 potential users. It's a new product so it doesn't affect users who already have a hammer at home.
  2. Technical Assessment: New handles would have to be manufactured. All the necessary machinery is available and the implementation time would be two to four weeks since only a new mold would have to be manufactured.
  3. Return on investment: 4 operators and a project manager to make the new mold for 2 weeks 15000€, marketing campaign to promote the hammer 15000€. If you sell the hammer with a 10€ profit margin, you would need to sell 3000 hammers to cover costs.

The output of the conceptualization phase is a document containing the development of the Scope of the solution And the worth estimated.

From idea to implementation
In this pill, you'll learn how to customize services using custom fields and dynamic forms.
Information pills
Training pills — Ep 15. — Custom fields and dynamic forms

We know how hard your day to day is. Planning routes is a tedious job that requires a lot of concentration and experience. From Routal.com we want to help you. For this reason, we launched a series of training pills that will help you improve every day. Our goal is for you to plan better, faster and more successfully.

Shall we start?

In this pill we are going to show you how they work dynamic forms 💎

and all its potential.

Our Mission is to improve the last mile experience, for this we must achieve an ultra flexible solution capable of adapting to all types of areas. We have customers who use it for the ecommerce delivery, traditional B2B logistics, technical maintenance services, we even have several hospitals that use it for organize the visits of your medical teams at home.

Information is power.
Power comes with great responsibility

Stan Lee

Information, we always want more. We found that more and more delivery/technicians/doctors need more details of services, every second counts. In turn, each time, being able to capture more information from each of the services allows us to improve the service, to be more agile and proactive. But we only had one free text field, hitherto.

Dynamic forms allow us to have absolute flexibility when it comes to managing our data model for both customers, vehicles/routes and services. What does this mean? Well, now you can create as many custom fields as you want in these three elements.

This development will allow you to characterize with your own data what a route means, what parameters are important for your operations. In the same way, you can dynamically manage the Proof of Delivery form, to capture any important information for your business, as well as important information about the service that the delivery person may need.

Below we'll show you how it works. In the end, we will talk about some projects that we are working on based on this development that allow us to further exploit the potential of the tool.

How does it work?

This functionality can be found in the configuration panel of our project. To do this, we are going to click on the project name (Square upper left corner) > Manage projects > Configure (on the desired project) > Fields (side menu)

ezgif.com gif maker

In this menu we find a selector that allows us to select which element we want to manage (Vehicles/Routes — Customers/Services — Webapp — Service Report/Accepted/ Not Accepted)

ezgif.com gif maker 1

Right now we can go to the bottom of the page and in the custom fields section we can create our field and select between different types: Text, Selector, Numeric or Multiple Selector.

ezgif.com gif maker 2

Now we simply need to define a name for the field, a unique identifier and a description. This data is what the application will use to identify the headers, internally to store the data as well as for uploading/exporting data using XLSX.

Case Study

Let's work on a practical example. Our objective will be to identify the picking location in the warehouse, define a customized type of delivery error and control the number of packages delivered to each customer.

To do this, the first thing we will do is create a custom field. We select in the drop-down menu of Customers/Services and we added a field called:

  • Text type field and we're going to call it: Warehouse position

Then we will select in the drop-down menu at Accepted service:

  • Numerical type field and we will call you: Packages delivered

Then in the drop-down menu at Service not accepted:

  • Options type field and we're going to call it: Reasons for rejection
    • We will define different options: No one at home, wrong address, Rejected by the customer and damaged shipment.

With this we will ensure that when making the delivery, you ask us how many packages we have delivered and if we cannot make the delivery, define the reason why they have not been delivered.

Now we only have to upload an XLSX file with a specific column with the positions of the services to carry out the preparation that we are going to assign to the Warehouse Position column.

Let's see the full example on video in just 4 minutes!

This advanced functionality is only available to licensed users Gorilla

or higher. This update brings many performance improvements to the application as well as usability improvements. It is no longer necessary to scroll when we reopen a route on the mobile phone 😉 among many more details.

We hope it was useful and we look forward to seeing you next week with more pills to improve your daily efficiency!

Training pills — Ep 15. — Custom fields and dynamic forms
You will find our way of working, why we are a product company and how we face the future of our product.
RoutalMinds
MonkeyMinds — How do we work at the product level?

In this series of articles we will talk about how the equipment of Routal.com internally at the level of the team, product, customers, processes, etc. What do we hope to achieve? Transparency, trust, growth, support, ideas, recruitment, and so on. Sharing will help others, and I am convinced that it will help us to improve.

Shall we start?

In this article, we'll talk about product development. For a company like Routal, the product is a very important part of the company. The product is the tool we developed and that helps our customers to improve their processes and achieve a shared mission:”Improve the delivery experience”. For this reason, we have defined some pillars on which all development must be maintained and the entire team must work to ensure that they are respected: (the temptations that await us will be great...)

  1. The team decides, the customers suggest
  2. If it is urgent, it is created. Outside.
  3. Feedback, feedback, feedback
  4. The user makes decisions, the machines solve problems

1. The team decides, the customers suggest

This point is key to having a coherent, consistent product that maintains a long-term vision. As much as we are a startup and each client brings you closer to the dream Break Even, if you are not very clear about your long-term product vision, you will end up filling the product with “mandatory” customized features to be able to close “the contract of the year” that could possibly affect the future of your product and company.

In my opinion, it's usually a really bad idea to do this kind of thing if what you want is to be a product company. If you're a consultant, you make a living from it. Being clear about it is important. We have made this mistake in the past, and surprise, it doesn't work 😅

. There's nothing worse than being a product company that does “consulting stuff”. (You can learn from everything...) With this I don't want to despise the business of consulting firms, on the contrary, it's their business, a different business, and we rely on it, but we don't try to compete against it. On the contrary, together we can do better things for our customers. That's the goal!

What value does it give us to be clear that we are a product company? Sometimes it's better to say, no to a customer. You are going to consume less commercial resources (tons) of technical resources in something that may not provide value to other customers. Our point of view, is that you will value suggestions to enter the roadmap if you really detect a clear alignment with your long-term vision and mission (”Improve the delivery experience“). What do we achieve with this? Really assess if that “key” functionality is really essential for the customer to make decisions (AKA). Buy/Don't Buy). This information will allow us to assess the importance of that requirement. Above all, letting ideas rest allows us to evaluate the repetitiveness of that request. That's the key to identifying the importance in many other customers.

Hint: A lot of times customers want things, which they don't really need. The best way to know if they really need it, is to put a price on it, (oh surprise!) In many cases it's not usually that important... It's like buying a car, everyone wants a Maseratti, but to go to work with a more modest one you can get there, (and it even has air conditioning! 😉)

The people at 37Signals wrote a great book ReWork from which we have learned and applied several things, although it boils down to saying no to a customer can bring a lot of value.

In future articles we will talk about Lead Tech Map a methodology (which I helped create 😄) for the formation of high-performance teams and you'll see why it's so important and how it affected the company without being aware of it... (stay tuned)

2. If it is urgent, it is created. outta

Sometimes, there are certain features that are essential for customers. This type of moment is when you need to have a couple of consultants you can trust to create those features that your client needs. The thing is that you don't believe them, they are created outside. Look for a team dedicated to satisfying the smallest detail of your customer. Adapting the solution specifically to your business and processes. The benefits are many, you work on a standard product with its own customization. The customer has exactly what they need in that specific part they are asking for, which perhaps your product is not able to offer a solution. Another important benefit is the velocity. A product team always has an endless list of things to do. Getting to climb something on that list is difficult. Someone from outside will be more willing to start earlier and achieve results in less time. El opportunity cost, is not despicable in any sector...

At the product level, very intensive work has been done to facilitate this type of integrations through a Very complete and easy to integrate API. This architecture facilitates the integration of third parties and allows our team to scale horizontally and in an orderly manner tomorrow. What is being said so often, having good foundations helps you to have a good house.

3. Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

In other words, ask your customers what they think of the new features. There are several ways, the most effective one is to ask directly 😯. In some strategic clients, we even have recurring meetings that allow us to evaluate different aspects:

  1. Satisfac: To know firsthand if something isn't right. It is critical to be able to provide a solution and above all not to lose that customer.
  2. Functionality: A strategic customer is usually one who uses your product very intensively. Who better than him to make new suggestions? (Remember the First point)
  3. Vision of the future: Sharing your future new features allows you to evaluate them even before you start working on them. This allows us to validate if that great idea will bring value to customers or not.

Another way to evaluate if something is working or not is to monitor its use. We have tracking systems in place (Thank you Mixpanel!) of the use of certain system actions that allow us to identify what each user does. If he completes certain steps and manages to follow the ideal path that we have designed for him, we measure how many are left on the way. This helps us identify those users with the greatest potential and direct our customer success team to them to further improve their experience.

Hint: If you want to get more support, just use the tool a lot, I'm sure they'll contact you to help 😉

The feedback comes not only from strategic customers, but also from users who have just entered the tool. Talking to the more users the better allows us to improve our User Persona, improve our internal feedback (in future episodes we will talk about our roadmap meetings) and especially the perception that users have about our product. You're not alone in front of the screen! 😇

It is key that they see that there is a team of people behind them to help them improve their knowledge of the tool and to get the most out of it. It all comes back to your experience and the return from using it. ¡Or is it that someone is considering abandoning WhatsApp?! It's so embedded in our lives that we don't consider getting out of there.

Experience is everything. If our mission is to improve your delivery experience, we must make the user experience of our tool as easy, friendly and simple as possible that you will see in a few minutes how we are going to help you in The mission we share. “Improve the delivery experience” (Overcommunicated...)

4. User makes decisions, the machine solves problems

Something simple and basic to understand. The product has to solve problems, the decisions are made by the user. This means that by understanding the process in which the tool helps, we cannot generate more problems than we come to solve. For this reason, the ease of use of the tool is one of the most important pillars of Routal. The time of our users is precious, every second we can save them is time that they will be able to dedicate to other tasks and thus improve their productivity.

Another reason that led us to this principle is that in logistics processes there are no two people who make the same decision. Especially in the area of route planning. The flexibility of the tool should allow that, after our suggestion, the user can decide at all times to make changes, to be “master, owner and lord” of your process, that you get paid for something, right? Having the power to decide creates great responsibility. Having no decision-making power makes you a slave to the product. This generates tension, rejection and distrust about the tool and in the face of any case not foreseen by the tool... everything becomes hell 😤

(A little humor is always welcome with machines... Computer says no)

We hope it was useful, entertaining and if you were able to learn something from us 🐒

will make leaps of joy! Any feedback, comments that make us better will be welcome!

PS: This article wants to make our organization more transparent, to help us understand our decisions, even if sometimes we can make mistakes...

MonkeyMinds — How do we work at the product level?
In this pill you will learn to manage different projects for companies that have different delegations or business units.
Information pills
Training pills — Ep 14. — Managing different projects

We know how hard your day to day is. Planning routes is a tedious job that requires a lot of concentration and experience. From Routal.com we want to help you. For this reason, we launched a series of training pills that will help you improve every day. Our goal is for you to plan better, faster and more successfully.

Shall we start?

In this pill we are going to teach you how to manage different PROJECTS 💎

or separate workspaces within a single account. This functionality is very useful when in your company you want to differentiate work environments, users and roles.

For example, if your company operates in different cities and you don't want to mix plans from one region to another. Another example, users who work with subcontracted/outsourced fleets and they give contractors access so they can track only their fleet. Even, a test environment, one of simulation and another one from production.

Order is a virtue, and it's proven to help you be more efficient, so we're convinced you'll like it.

A good teacher

How does it work?

IHGsRXBHclNTij6o8ugd ezgif 2 2c671fa82aaf

By clicking on the top left you can access all the projects, the menu to manage them and a direct access to create new ones.

When you create a new project, you can manage how many licenses you assign to each one so that you can optimize with more or fewer vehicles.

BspMmHK4vHf48wKciSTk ezgif 2 6faf1d733789

USERS 👥

At the user level, you can manage different types of profiles:

  • Administrator: He is the user with visibility to work on all projects, in addition, the only one with the capacity to manage billing.
  • Manager: User able to manage one or more projects, add vehicles, customers, plan and manage the entire project.
  • User: This role allows you to do everything related to the product, create, edit routes, except for the project management, licensing and billing parts.

This advanced functionality is only available to licensed users Gorilla 🦍

or higher. Monkeys always run loose, but gorillas like order better 😄

I'll leave you a video explaining how it works in just 3 minutes. Enjoy it!

AND MUCH MORE... 🎉

This update brings many performance improvements to the application as well as usability improvements. We've reordered all the configuration options to make it much easier to find.

We hope it was useful and we look forward to seeing you next week with more pills to improve your daily efficiency!

Training pills — Ep 14. — Managing different projects
In this pill you will learn the basic configuration parameters of the tool.
Information pills
Training pills — Ep 13. — How to configure Highway parameters?

We know how hard your day to day is. Planning routes is a tedious job that requires a lot of concentration and experience. From Routal.com we want to help you, that's why we launched a series of training pills to help you improve day by day. Our goal is for you to plan better, faster and more successfully.

Shall we start?

In this pill we are going to show you what each of the parameters of the example XLS means in a quick and simple way. The first thing is to list each and every one of the configuration parameters that the tool allows us.

NOMBRE DE CLIENTE	NOMBRE DE CLIENTE (obligatorio): Nombre que define el servicio
DIRECCION 1	DIRECCION 1 (obligatorio): Dirección o coordenadas del punto a visitar.
Formato de dirección recomendado: Vía nombre, número, código postal, localidad.
Formato coordenadas: Latitud, longitud.
DIRECCION 2	DIRECCION 2: (opcional) Campo de texto libre para ser usado como detalles de la dirección. Por ejemplo: «Entrada por el callejón»
HORAS DE RECEPCION	HORAS DE RECEPCION (opcional): Franjas horarias en las que se puede visitar un punto. Se pueden añadir diferentes franjas durante un día separadas por punto y coma.
Por ejemplo «8:00-9:00;11:00-12:00» significa que los vehículos pueden visitar entre las 8 y 9h de la mañana y entre las 11 y 12h.
DURACION	DURACION (opcional): El tiempo aproximado de la visita en minutos.
PESO
VOLUMEN	PESO y VOLUMEN (opcional): Las dimensiones definen unidades de reparto para este servicio. Se puede usar para diferentes unidades (litros, toneladas, palés). Estos valores se deben corresponder con las capacidades de los vehículos.
Por ejemplo un servicio puede definirse con un peso de 20Kg.
REQUISITOS	REQUISITOS (opcional): Lista de requerimientos para la parada. Si un servicio tiene un Require solo podrán parar los vehículos que tengan el mismo Provide en la lista.
Los Requires se separan por punto y coma. Por ejemplo: «beer,wine»
COMENTARIOS	COMENTARIOS (opcional): Campo de texto libre para su comunicar información relevante al repartidor.
PERSONA DE CONTACTO	PERSONA DE CONTACTO (opcional): Nombre de la persona de contacto (Texto libre)
TELEFONO	TELEFONO (opcional): Teléfono de contacto. En la App se mostrará con un link para agilizar la llamada.
ID EXTERNO	ID Externo: Identificador del cliente o identificador único del servicio.
E-MAIL	EMAIL (opcional): Email de contacto.
PAGINA WEB	PAGINA WEB (opcional): Página web del contacto.

I'll leave you an excel file as a template so you can save it as a reference and a cutlet (Cheatsheet).

Highway Parameter Information

We hope it was useful and we look forward to seeing you next week with more pills to improve your daily efficiency!

Training pills — Ep 13. — How to configure Highway parameters?
In this pill you will learn to design a last mile distribution from 0. Basic but comprehensive example of where to start in the last mile.
Information pills
Training pills — Ep 12. — How to start with the last mile distribution in the middle of COVID-19 and not die trying

We know how hard your day to day is. Planning routes is a tedious job that requires a lot of concentration and experience. From Routal.com we want to help you, that's why we launched a series of training pills to help you improve day by day. Our goal is for you to plan better, faster and more successfully.

Shall we start?

In this pill we are going to teach you How to start with the last mile distribution in the middle of COVID-19 and not die trying. In short, we'll teach you how to design a distribution unit step by step for a small company that wants to start distributing its products at home. (This article is a quick summary of the video you'll find at the end.)

slide1 1
What experience do we want our customer to have?

This is the first question we must ask ourselves. Since everything will be developed based on this objective. So we have to be ambitious, but maybe then we have to review this premise and see if it's economically viable or simply doesn't make sense.

slide2
Definition of the main premise

In this case we are going to design a next-day delivery experience. A lot of questions will arise, which we will try to answer little by little.

slide3

The first thing we have to do is not want to create a rocket that goes to the moon. For this purpose, the LEAN methodology continuous improvement must help us to design the first operation in a simple and, above all, FAST way. That is the objective, to come up with something that works “more or less” and to learn from it. Because no matter how much we think about it, until we start it, we are not going to really learn how the market will behave. Mike Tyson has a very famous quote: “Everyone has a plan, until I punch them in the face.” Let the market hit you in the face and be able to avoid problems as they appear.

slide4

The main hypothesis that we are going to assume is the number of shipments that we are going to have to make. This data will determine the rest of the exercise, so we have to imagine this data with the utmost precision. The problem is that it is very difficult to specify without experience and in the middle of a situation as abnormal as the current situation may be. So with 99.9% security, we'll be wrong, but this is where we have to be flexible enough to know how far we have to go and correct with the maximum possible speed.

The rest of the questions are necessary deductions based on the premise. How many delivery people do we need to deliver 20 orders in one day? , How are we going to prepare 20 orders a day? , Who is going to manage this new business? , How do we get all 20 orders a day? For me, this last question is the basis of everything, because without customers the rest doesn't make sense. Therefore, it is very important to know how these customers are going to be obtained. Faced with an avalanche of customers, have enough strength to say no and not compromise the experience of others. There are PREMIUM products that use this strategy to value your product or service more. So if you say no, it can be your greatest ally.

slide5
Basic cost analysis

Right now we have to begin to analyze at an economic level what the estimated costs of launching a new business unit in the company are going to be. In this example, we have assumed a market price in Spain for both the costs and the average profit of a fruit and vegetable store. The important conclusion is that in order not to lose money on this new unit, we must be able to sell at least 15 orders a day. That is our minimum objective. So scaling the company to fulfill 20 orders seems reasonable.

slide6
Economic analysis based on the number of orders

Right now we have to analyze the evolution of costs based on the number of deliveries. We can see how the analysis suggests that if we make less than 15 deliveries a day we will lose money. The analysis tries to represent that at a level of orders it is necessary to hire more staff, so one more delivery generates losses due to this need for service. This aspect is important, but as always there is a certain amount of flexibility in this area that must be addressed particularly in each case. Just as not everyone performs the same, plans are those plans, but they give us a rough idea of how reality will behave.

In the following link you can download the excel with which we designed this graph so that you can play with the model, and see how it behaves. Remember that maybe your average ticket is different, or your operating margin per sale is higher, review it and see how it affects your profitability.

Ask us in the chat and we will send it to you immediately

From now on, we will evaluate if our home delivery business can generate profits and how many it will generate.

slide7

Let's get to work, now we have a plan, now all that remains is to execute it. First we'll need a system that allows us to capture orders, and that can be something as simple as a notebook and pen, a WhatsApp message, the phone or an online store. There are many solutions on the market such as Shopify, 20 Bananas, or Hikeup among hundreds or thousands of other solutions.

The next step is to organize the cast, and this is where Routal.com can help you organize daily routes in a simple, fast and efficient way. In the full video you'll see a small demonstration, but if not I'll leave you a few other videos (YouTube) where you can see more details.

slide8
Highway the best route optimizer
Ace of the market

The benefits of using a route optimization tool like Highway are many. For example, the improvement of productivity by more than 27%, the reduction of problems and delays in deliveries (96% success), detecting in real time when problems arise and being able to respond to customers. As well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by more than 30%. All of this on a platform where it will take you less than 30 minutes to master.

slide9
Benefits of using a route optimization tool

In short, this entire article is aimed at improving the delivery experience. It's our vision as a company. Be part of this experience by offering the best tools so that every day we can enjoy better service and make it more efficient. For our customers, the environment and the rest of the inhabitants of our cities.

slide10
Smartmonkey.io vision

We hope it was useful and we look forward to seeing you next week with more pills to improve your daily efficiency!

Training pills — Ep 12. — How to start with the last mile distribution in the middle of COVID-19 and not die trying
In this pill you will learn to plan routes with multiple loads to the warehouse for those cases in which a single trip is not enough.
Information pills
Training pills — Ep 11. — Routes with multiple loads in the warehouse

We know how hard your day to day is. Planning routes is a tedious job that requires a lot of concentration and experience. From Routal.com we want to help you, that's why we launched a series of training pills to help you improve day by day. Our goal is for you to plan better, faster and more successfully.

Shall we start?

In this pill we are going to teach you How to make routes so that your trucks have to return to the warehouse to load more merchandise. To do this, we will use the Pick-up & Delivery concept. You'll see that in less than 4 minutes you will know how to use it and get the most out of it.

The concept Pick-up & Delivery It corresponds to the fact that a service must first be picked up in one place and then delivered to another by the same vehicle. If the service has a capacity associated with it (Weight or volume) it will consume this load when picked up (Pick-up) and once it is delivered it will be released (Delivery) leaving free space in the vehicle.

On our route, the Pick-Up is marked with the (+) cargo symbol and the delivery with a (-).

pickup delivery
Pick-up & Delivery

In the following video I show you the process of defining pick-up and delivery in less than 4 minutes.

If we want to squeeze even more out of this functionality, we can define some services without pick-up, which for the system would be like customers who must leave loaded at the beginning of the warehouse, and only define the pick-up for those who cargo may be available at a time farther away from the truck's departure.

It can also be used to manage the reverse logistics, I need to load merchandise from a customer who must return to the warehouse. To do this, I first need to empty the truck and have enough space. It's as simple as defining a pick-up location (Customer) and a delivery, in this case the warehouse.

Microwarehouses in big cities. In this configuration, we have merchandise that leaves a central warehouse on the outskirts of the city, and small warehouses distributed around the city center. The system will try to load as much as possible from the central warehouse and, as space becomes available, it will be able to load merchandise from the microwarehouses to continue distribution.

Personal mobility. When we have to pick up several people at different points and we have to take them to different places. Each person will be a pickup point (Pick-up) and their destination will be Delivery. In this way, we simply have to define a capacity variable as the number of seats available and the optimizer itself will decide the best route for collecting and delivering passengers.

These have been some examples of how to use this functionality to get the most out of completely different scenarios. In the next pill we will delve into these cases and give more examples.

We hope it was useful and we look forward to seeing you next week with more pills to improve your daily efficiency!

Training pills — Ep 11. — Routes with multiple loads in the warehouse
In this pill you will learn to monitor routes in a faster and easier way. Stay in control of the schedules and let the optimizer do the hard work.
Information pills
Training pills — Ep 9. — Geolocation with Google Maps

We know how hard your day to day is. Planning routes is a tedious job that requires a lot of concentration and experience. From Routal.com we want to help you, that's why we launched a series of training pills to help you improve day by day. Our goal is for you to plan better, faster and more successfully.

Shall we start?

In this pill we are going to teach you How to geolocate addresses of your customers through the map provider Google Maps. To this end, we have developed a add-on for Google Spreadsheet with which you can geolocate up to 3,500 addresses daily in an easy and fast way.

In previous pills we were seeing how to improve the quality of the results (Ep. 3 Address Geocoding) and how to extract coordinates from Google Maps to be able to include them in any service on the platform. Today we will see how extract addresses in bulk to be able to improve the data quality of our service file.

The first thing is to have a free account of Gmail. Once we have the account, we can access to create a new document of Google Sheets. Once we create a new document, we simply have to go to Add-ons > Download Add-ons and in the search engine put: Geocoding by SmartMonkey. The next step is simply to install the add-on and give it the necessary permissions.

With this small process, we will have installed the add-on that we can use very easily and quickly. Let's see how to use it.

The first time we install the plugin, it will create a new page in our document called Geocoding. If we wanted to create this template in any other document, we just have to go to the Spreadsheets options, Add-ons > Geocoding by SmartMonkey > Create Template.

At this point we will have the template created. You will simply have to Fill in the addresses that you want to geolocate in column A (Address) and specify the country. You'll have to follow the naming of domains. Here are some examples:

Spain: es
Mexico: mx
Argentina: ar
Chile: cl
Colombia: co
United States: us

The next step is to geolocate. To do this, we have to click on the menu of Add-ons > Geocode by SmartMonkey > Geocode. In a few seconds, the result will appear in column C with which we can simply copy and paste it into our Excel file to be used in Highway.

In the following video I show you what the entire process is like, from installation to use on Highway.

We hope it was useful and we look forward to seeing you next week with more pills to improve your daily efficiency!

Training pills — Ep 9. — Geolocation with Google Maps
In this pill you will learn to monitor routes in a faster and easier way. Stay in control of the schedules and let the optimizer do the hard work.
Information pills
Training pills — Ep 8. — Advanced route monitoring

We know how hard your day to day is. Planning routes is a tedious job that requires a lot of concentration and experience. From Smartmonkey.io we want to help you, that's why we launched a series of training pills to help you improve day by day. Our goal is for you to plan better, faster and more successfully.

Shall we start?

In this pill we are going to teach you how to monitor schedules in a simpler way. You'll be in control at all times and we're going to let the optimizer do what you want it to do.

Who better than me knows how to do my job?

Anonymous route manager

We will work on the assumption that the company segments its routes by zip codes. As we saw in the Pill 2, we can create zones using the Prove/Requires restriction, but today we're going to do it differently. A little more manual, but very effective when maintaining those areas can be somewhat complicated.

What we are going to do is select groups of services and assign them to a route easily and quickly. Then we'll let the optimizer finish adjusting the order.

The process:

  1. Upload the file with the addresses
  2. Filter by zip code
  3. Assign to the corresponding route
  4. Optimize that particular route
  5. Monitor the route
  6. Block the route
  7. Repeat step 2 until all services are finished

How do we filter services?

Simply in the services section, in the upper right part of the search engine, we filter by the zip code and the system will automatically filter the services with that code. The system searches inside the name of the service and its addresses.

Stunt: You can add more information to the name of the service to allow you to search more quickly for groups of services that don't necessarily share a zip code.

ezgif.com video to gif 2
Filter services by zip code

Assign a service group to a route

Once we have filtered the services we want, we simply have to select those we want and assign them to the route we want.

ezgif.com optimize 1
Assign a service group to a route

Optimize a specific route

To simply return to the routes tab and press the right button or on the three points of the route that we want to optimize. Click on the Reoptimize route option and the optimizer will only plan this specific route.

Important: The optimizer can leave out a service for several reasons: Lack of time, capacity limit, etc. Once optimized, you can monitor the route and edit it to your liking, bypassing some restrictions if necessary.

ezgif.com optimize 2
Reoptimize a specific route

Block a route

Once we have a route to our liking, remember on the map screen we can make whatever manual edits we want, we can block it so that the planner does not modify it. This option will prevent neither the services nor their order from being affected by new planning.

We can use this to our advantage, using the optimizer so that it allows us to gain efficiency until we have all the services assigned.

ezgif.com optimize 3
Block a route

Now all that remains is to repeat this process until all the services to be planned are finished.

Demonstration of the entire process

In the following video we show you this process with a real example:

Step-by-step route monitoring process

We hope it was useful and we look forward to seeing you next week with more pills to improve your daily efficiency!

Training pills — Ep 8. — Advanced route monitoring

Sorry, no blog posts were found for your query.