More responsive and flexible real-world vehicle routing and scheduling optimisation with latest version of Truckstops from MapmechanicsOctober 24th, 2017
Mapmechanics has today launched the latest version of the widely-used vehicle routing and scheduling optimization solution, Truckstops. Version 21 includes a number of new features and enhancements that address the real-world challenges arising in today’s transport and logistics operations.
Version 21 also includes Truckstops Web, an interactive online solution that allows routes and schedules to be viewed across a business through a web browser. Organizations can plan centrally and then shared with depot managers, local transport managers, customer service departments, sales teams, drivers and more. Routes can be viewed together or in isolation and a live view of routes and stops can be displayed by means of vehicle tracking.
Integration with third-party solutions, which has long been a key feature of Truckstops, has been extended in version 21. For instance, actual routes travelled can be imported from the TomTom Webfleet interface for comparison with planned routes, more information can now be sent to the Teletrac Navman vehicle tracking system, including vehicle check forms as well as route information. And more data can be shared with Plant Partner, an ERP system used widely by US growers, helping with multi-day scheduling.
Truckstops 21 can be configured to reflect vehicle checks, pre-departure loading and other activities at the depot. Users can now add deliveries or collections at the last minute without having to re-optimize the entire schedule. Loads can now be split automatically across more than one vehicle to produce more efficient schedules and achieve better vehicle utilization.
“The release of Truckstops 21 demonstrates how we listen to our customers and develop functionality that addresses real-world challenges,” said Paul Dawsey, Logistics Solutions Director at Mapmechanics. “For instance, many delivery journeys start with a range of depot activities such as vehicle checks, manifest reconciliation, loading and unloading, and securing goods. Truckstops now allows these activities to be factored in much more precisely and the outcome is a more finely-tuned schedule that reflects the daily incidentals of transport life more accurately.”
In the current era of ever later order cut-off times, last-minute additions to delivery runs are increasingly common, but can be problematic. There may not be enough time to re-optimize the entire schedule, even with a fast-running solution such as Truckstops; and in any case, re-optimization might generate an entirely new schedule – not practicable if product has already been loaded on vehicles according to the original plan. “With Truckstops 21 this problem is solved. There is now provision to quickly and easily schedule extra stops without disrupting the previously optimized plan,” explains Dawsey.
“Stop splitting” is an invaluable new feature that helps Truckstops 21 to handle consignments that are too large to fit in a single vehicle. Users can now tell Truckstops to divide such loads automatically as required. Usefully, this feature can produce more efficient schedules even with consignments of less than a load, since it can allow better overall use of fleet capacity, saving cost.
Among the multitude of performance enhancements and new features, Truckstops 21 extends the functions that can be included in batch processing. Multiple instances of batch scheduling can now be run at the same time, and during processing, stop files can be output in a range of different formats such as spreadsheet, CSV and text.
“We are continually investing in the development of Truckstops,” said Dawsey. “Helping our customers to streamline complex planning, improve customer service, increase efficiency and reduce operational costs.”
Truckstops routing and scheduling optimisation solution offers multi-drop, multi-route planning, and is equally effective in dynamic day-to-day scheduling and longer-term fixed-route scheduling. It has numerous users in the UK, continental Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand and around the world.