In fact, some of us with a certain – ahem – level of experience, may even recall the dreaded 11 plus!!?
You know, the questions that got progressively harder to the point where rapidly diminishing time, building pressure and brain melt-down clouded your thinking to the point where you just wanted it ALL to end?
Consider then Fixed vs Dynamic Routing in a fleet-based environment.
Fixed routing is easy isn’t it, nothing changes much? But for dispatchers handling service engineers or express deliveries in ever changing dynamic markets with a paper-based management process, it can be like a GCSE maths exam paper every hour of the day.
So what really is the difference?
Tom services office photocopiers. He receives a fixed daily schedule that never changes throughout the day.
Jonny also services photocopiers, a specialist in Canon and Xerox brands. He leaves the depot in his van at 07:41am to repair ABC Ltd’s printer. It should take him 38 minutes to get there, but after only 12 minutes into his journey, his supervisor calls on his hands-free and directs him to be at the CBSH Bank by 8.45am to fulfil an urgent SLA repair. Nearly finished, he receives a notification regarding another urgent job in Watford because he is the nearest engineer with the right skills. After completing that he is directed to St Albans then back to ABC Ltd because a colleague, who was sent there to fulfill that non-urgent job, did not have a particular spare part, which Jonny has. He has only gone a mile when he is gridlocked in traffic. How long does it take Jonny to get to ABC Ltd and what time does he get back to the yard?
Based upon the “exam” question above, are the differences between fixed and dynamic routing still as acute as they were, or is there an increasing need to be more prepared for increasing service expectations from customers, influenced by their experiences as a consumer?
Within an ever-changing workplace, where the day’s schedule typically doesn’t remain intact much beyond 9.30am each morning then a dynamic route scheduling solution is clearly essential for success.
In fleet-based organisations with standardised routes that barely change from day to day, a dispatcher’s job can be relatively easy. There is no need to spend much time building new routes, staff know the order details in advance and their areas well. But what about the unexpected, what if something DOES change?
Today, with customers (both business and consumer) expecting more, even fixed route operations should not be complacent. What happens if the volumes for a route are much lower one day; a customer changes the time window or requests an urgent service, but the employee who usually works with this client is far from the address; or a customer is added or removed from the schedule unexpectedly? These unpredictable changes can cause real disruption within organisations where fixed routes are (or were) the usual everyday norm.
So what is the answer?
Maxoptra’s dynamic, real-time scheduling and route optimisation software platform has been designed to deliver customer service excellence. It means that whatever happens, Maxoptra will enable planners to make fast and efficient decisions in seconds, with just the click of a mouse, allowing you to:
Maxoptra can solve every routing and scheduling problem, ultimately delivering rapid operational efficiencies, cost savings, higher profitability and a great customer service – no fuss, no stress, the best results every time.