Organisations planning home deliveries and collections on foot or by vehicle in high-density urban areas can now take advantage of enhancements to MapMechanics’ StreetServicer, already one of the most advanced and configurable products in this field.
StreetServicer combines powerful scheduling and mapping features to enable users to plan complex multi-call journeys made by people involved in tasks such as door-drop deliveries, meter-reading, milk and newspaper deliveries, charity collections and refuse collection. Among its biggest users is Sud Ouest, one of France’s leading regional newspaper groups, which has used it to improve the efficiency of its newspaper home delivery operation.
The new version of StreetServicer benefits from an updated and streamlined user interface that makes it even more accessible and intuitive to use, ensuring that users can get to grips with automatic route and territory creation as quickly as possible.
Using a clear, self-explanatory toolbar, users can now quickly add new routes to the plan, run the calculation and view the results. It is now also easier to change the sequence of visits on a route, simply by selecting a stop interactively and moving it up or down the schedule.
The new route planning box displays routes in a clear, easily understood colour-coded manner. For instance, blue denotes a "linking road" (one that has no stops, but forms an integral part of the journey since it is needed to provide access to roads with stops). Red denotes a delivery road or a delivery segment, and yellow shows any selected road that contains delivery stops.
To help make individual routes stand out on the screen map, they can be made to flash, and an auto-zoom feature allows the system to zoom out so that an entire route is visible on the screen.
For anyone needing further help with the new features, MapMechanics has produced a set of video presentations detailing them and explaining the new functionality. StreetServicer works hand in hand with Geoconcept, the powerful geographic information system that is also supplied and supported by MapMechanics. StreetServicer is unusual for its high degree of configurability, and for its ability to take account of users’ precise objectives and constraints.
For instance, the system considers each side of the road separately, and can avoid excessive crossing of the road, balancing safety of staff with sound economic operation. It can respect the maximum weight that a vehicle can hold or an individual can carry, and will avoid creating long, cumbersome routes. It can even be set to maintain existing routes where a change might disrupt good customer relations.
Priority can be given to fastest or shortest routes (or a combination of the two), and costs can be allocated either per unit or per visit. The system avoids overlaps between routes and "break-away" areas not logically connected to the rest of a route. Users can either set the start and end points of routes themselves or allow the system to set them.