Frequently Asked Questions About Route Planning with Route4Me
How many routes can I optimize per month?
- The number of routes per month and the maximum number of addresses per route depends on your subscription level. In terms of capacity, the Route4Me platform dynamically
scales up to accomodate any number of routes or stops per route with no practical limitations or delays.
Is Route4Me just for deliveries or can I use it for pick-ups, service stops, and sales calls?
- Route4Me can be used for almost anything. So you can plan routes for waste management, school buses, or other pickup type businesses. We provide you with a general purpose route planning and scheduling system. You can use it for any type of delivery, field-service, or field-sales business. Our unique Route Wizard helps you decide which constraints you need to improve your particular business case.
I operate a seasonal business, why should I pay for Route4Me throughout the entire year?
- While your business may be seasonal, you manage your customers year round. Between seasons, you may need to add customers due to a successful marketing campaign, or remove them due to a new competitor in town. You might also need to determine which neighborhoods are most popular, in order to familiarize or train new employees when growing your business.
- When your account stays active, all of your customer data, routes, route maps, visitation history, notes, e-signatures, and employee tracking history are accessible for you to review. However, if you choose to terminate your membership, all of this valuable data is erased due to our ongoing costs of storing your data, as well as the security requirements associated with your request to terminate the account.
- Enterprise feature: If you upload your entire customer list, you never have to plan another route again. Route4Me automatically re-balances your customer list, so that you don’t waste any time when the season starts on route planning.
What countries does Route4Me work in?
- USA, Canada, UK, all of Europe, Australia, and any other country you can access through Google or Microsoft maps.
How do you determine the optimal sequence of my route?
- The quickest sequencing strategy uses straight-line distance between each stop on the route. This is very good to generate a rough-draft or a route over long distances.
- If your customers are in a densely populated city, then there is an option called "Big City" optimization, which adapts to city streets and the one-way streets you encounter driving in the "grid pattern" found in most large cities.
- Enterprise feature: Our premium routing and sequencing engine supports "Actual Time"-based route sequencing. With this feature enabled, the sequence between all the customers will be calculated by the road-network travel time.
What is the best way for me to plan a new route?
- If you’re planning a new route to different customers each day, enter the addresses manually into our Smart Form.
- If you’re planning a new route to existing customers, you can select them from the Address Book or from the Address Book Map.
- If you have many new orders per day, you can upload these directly into our planner by browsing for a CSV file - which is simply a type of file (.csv) you can choose when you "Save As" using Microsoft Excel.
How do I send my route to my iPad, iPhone or Android Smartphone?
- You can download our Route4Me Mobile Apps for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play.
- Register for a Route4Me Website account on www.route4me.com while you are at your computer and have your mobile device handy.
- Each time you plan a route on your mobile device, it will then appear inside your Route4Me Website account, and each time you plan a route on our website, it will appear within your Route4Me Mobile App.
- If you want to send the route to anyone simply verify that recipient has access to that e-mail address on his mobile device.
If I have other people on my team, how can create routes for them?
- You can create an unlimited number of drivers inside your Route4Me Website account.
- Each time a new route is planned, select the driver that should go on this route from the dropdown on the plan route screen.
- The driver automatically receives a notification on his phone and opens his Route4Me app and begins the route.
- Enterprise feature: Route4Me can split a route of almost any size into smaller groups, so that your team has an equal workload.
Does your software let me enter the specific time when I have to be at a customer’s location?
- Yes. Just upload a file that contains the beginning and ending time window for each customer that you would like to visit. Our system will automatically create the smallest number of necessary routes for you to service your customers in the time-slots they requested.
When planning a route, can I restrict how many hours per day my drivers can work?
- Yes. We recommend setting a valid start time for all the routes that you plan. If your driver should only work a certain number of hours per day, you can set the Route End time, and all the generated optimized routes will make sure that customers are serviced before the end of the driver’s work day.
I know that I can optimize routes by time and distance, but what about weight or capacity constraints?
- Yes, we support route optimization and balancing by weight constraints. For example, if you have 5 vans of the same size, and each van can safely carry 24 cakes, and you have to deliver 173 cakes to different customers at different times throughout the day, then our system will automatically optimize your routes to make sure that a single van will never exceed the 24 cake capacity. It’s easy! All you need to do is set the number of cakes each vehicle can carry, and how many cakes you’re delivering to each stop on your route. This same example applies to delivering flowers, kegs of beer, or thousands of pounds of butter to bake the cakes.
Can I plan a route by entering or uploading an exact list of geo-coordinates?
- Yes. In order to do this, make sure that you open the "Advanced Options" button and click "Disable Validation." By disabling validation, your route will be planned using the exact geo-coordinates you provided. Your geo-coordinates should be in the address field, or in two separate latitude and longitude fields that we describe in our sample CSV file available for download.
Does Route4Me have a voice-guidance, turn-by-turn navigation system?
- Yes. Our turn-by-turn navigation system is available on the iPhone and iPad. It supports routes having up to 50 destinations. This means that you can plan a route, send it to your driver, and our mobile app will automatically guide the driver to make a delivery to every stop on the route.
What formats can I export my route into?
- The most popular export format is CSV, which is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Excel and Numbers. The CSV file contains every column associated with your address, such as its sequence number, geo-coordinates, customer alias, and order number. Other export formats are available and support popular GPS devices such as Garmin, TomTom, and Magellan.
What types of routing restrictions and constraints do you support?
- Delivery-Time Windows:
This constraint lets you define the time-window that a customer has requested. The system will optimize your entire route to make sure that you or your employees can visit all the customers between the hours they are available. If the time constraints are realistic, then Route4Me will create the lowest number of routes possible to visit all your customers. This minimization reduces the number of drivers you need to service the same number of clients.
- Maximum Hours per Route:
- When uploading a batch of many orders for the day, you might want to specify the maximum number of hours you or your employee can work on each route. By enabling this constraint (in Minutes and Hours) our system will not generate a route that is greater than the maximum number of hours per day that you specify. Route4Me achieves this by creating additional routes that should be assigned to new or existing drivers.
- Maximum Distance per Route:
- When uploading a batch of many orders for the day, you might want to specify the maximum distance (in KM or MI) that you or your employee may work. When enabled, the generated routes will not exceed this distance. Route4Me achieves this by creating additional routes that you should assign to new or existing drivers.
- Maximum Capacity per Vehicle and/or per Route:
- If your vehicle has a fixed amount of cargo space, or can only handle a certain maximum weight, then you can specify these values when planning a new route. Our optimizer will then generate the minimum number of routes required to fulfil your orders.
- Round Trip, Open Route, Lock Last Stop:
- Round Trip:
- You specify that your route and sub-routes must start and end at your distribution facility or office, and our optimizer will sequence every stop in between.
- Open Route:
- Our optimizer sequences each stop on the route and sub-route to end at the most efficient location.
- Lock Last Stop:
- Our optimizer sequences each stop on the route and sub-route so that the last stop is "locked" in place.