Truckstops truck routing and scheduling integrates with VeriLocation tracking systemFebruary 28th, 2014
Vehicle fleet operators planning their routes with the TRUCKSTOPS VRS (vehicle routing and scheduling system) from MAPMECHANICS can now integrate the scheduling function directly with the VeriLocation vehicle tracking and telematics system, gaining instant feedback on their vehicles’ progress and any delays or changes to their journeys.
Optimized schedules are exported to VeriLocation’s Transport Management System directly from within the TRUCKSTOPS application. Users simply select an output option from the TRUCKSTOPS interface’s built-in menu structure.
In effect, this means the TRUCKSTOPS VRS application and VeriLocation system between them can take on a more central role in the task of transport planning and management.
The integration is especially effective in helping operators to compare the intended fleet schedule with what actually happens on the road – and to do this in real or near-real time.
One of the first organisations to take advantage of the integration is Cormar Carpets, a long-time user of both TRUCKSTOPS and the VeriLocation system. The integration is now being piloted by Wincanton Logistics, which manages the Cormar truck fleet.
It is particularly valuable to be able to compare planned and actual journey times and delivery windows and identify variances, it means our routing and scheduling will become more accurate, which in turn will improve customer service.
Cormar’s logistics manager, Craig Marshall, comments: “This development has come at just the right time for us. We wanted to forge ahead with the latest technology for efficient fleet management, but were keen to maintain good relationships with our existing best-of-breed suppliers. Now we get the best of both worlds.”
The integration between TRUCKSTOPS and VeriLocation can give operators invaluable help in reacting to issues such as traffic congestion, delays at delivery points, rejected loads and recipients not at home. Customers can be informed of delivery delays; future schedules can be amended to avoid using vehicles that might not after all be available; and failed deliveries can be rescheduled immediately.
In addition, the real-world fleet performance can be measured afterwards in relation to the proposed plan, helping operators to make changes such as allocating drops to different depots, allowing more time for certain deliveries, and fine-tuning assumed journey times in particularly congested areas.
It is also possible to check whether drivers followed prescribed routes, and were in specific places at the times stated.
“It is particularly valuable to be able to compare planned and actual journey times and delivery windows and identify variances,” says Cormar Carpets’ Craig Marshall. “It means our routing and scheduling will become more accurate, which in turn will improve customer service.”
He adds: “People in the transport world increasingly expect a consumer-style ability to track and monitor their deliveries, and we want to stay ahead of the game; but we didn’t want to lose the expertise of proven specialists in scheduling and telematics. Now we don’t have to.”
This development has come at just the right time for us. We wanted to forge ahead with the latest technology for efficient fleet management, but were keen to maintain good relationships with our existing best-of-breed suppliers. Now we get the best of both worlds.
The VeriLocation system allows journeys to be allocated to specific drivers, and journey schedules to be uploaded to their Android-based device or Garmin satellite navigation system. The new TRUCKSTOPS integration streamlines this process further, taking account of VeriLocation’s ability to use the Garmin satnav to guide drivers between each call point.
The integration between TRUCKSTOPS and VeriLocation is achieved by means of web services, a modern technology that enables data to be passed seamlessly between applications over the internet, using commonly recognised protocols.
This is a further example of the way TRUCKSTOPS has been able to harness web services, and reflects a drive by developer MAPMECHANICS to bring TRUCKSTOPS even further to the heart of fleet management operations.
According to MAPMECHANICS’ director and founder Mary Short: “We have demonstrated with this implementation that TRUCKSTOPS can be integrated with a wide range of telematics systems that recognize web services protocols.”
VeriLocation is one of the longer-established tracking and telematics specialists, providing users with a range of tools to optimize their fleet operations. Its integrated solutions aim at improving vehicle utilization and fuel consumption, taking advantage of real-time location data to monitor fleet activity and provide driver behaviour analysis.
Andrew Overton, managing director of VeriLocation, says: “The year 2014 sees us integrating seamlessly with specialist providers of systems within the transport sector, which allows us to concentrate on our core competencies and provide our customers with integrated systems that talk to each other, adding real value and simplifying the whole delivery process. TRUCKSTOPS is a prime example of this, and we are extremely pleased with the initial results.”
TRUCKSTOPS is one of the world’s most widely-used routing and scheduling optimization systems, and is owned, developed and supported by MAPMECHANICS. Version 20, launched last year, introduces a newly intuitive interface and a range of enhancements including easier integration with other systems and more sophisticated reporting features.