Blog > Field service
Blog > Field service
11 February 2022 | 5 min read
To help your company achieve the best performance, the route optimization software, such as AntsRoute, gathers raw information, called data, and processes it through a series of pre-programmed calculations, known as algorithms.
Are you interested in understanding how this process works to efficiently use this data for your environmental or financial strategies? Let’s go, AntsRoute opens the bonnet!
The route optimization software does not just schedule the different steps of the route to ensure that none are missed. This system goes beyond that! The mission of AntsRoute is rather to provide you with an optimal route scenario using artificial intelligence. In other words, the optimized route can be defined as the route that is closest to your objectives, while taking into account the operational constraints and resources.
First, it is essential to provide AntsRoute with the most accurate information possible, by entering the most relevant data about your industry. In concrete terms, here are the main categories of variables used by our software.
This includes all the information determining the identity or geographical location of the customer, as well as the constraints required by the customer, such as :
Good to know! This data import can often be done automatically, thanks to the connections between AntsRoute and several CRMs or applications such as Hubspot, Shopify, Quickbooks, Google Sheets, etc.
In this category, we include all the settings that change with each visit. These may include, for example:
You can also choose to enter a deadline, if the field service must be completed by a given day, or force an emergency delivery that must be completed regardless of the cost.
The expenses related to vehicles often account for the largest part of costs for companies using route management software. To achieve maximum savings, you can provide our system with a wide range of data on each vehicle in the fleet, such as:
The AntsRoute software is designed to enable in-depth management of your teams, whether the objective is to build employee loyalty or to provide smart service to your customers. AntsRoute takes into account the following constraints:
In accordance with your wage or work welfare policy, you can choose to either strictly keep the end time of service to the set time slot, or to allow overtime.
Our customers are not the only ones who send information to the AntsRoute system. The navigation applications embedded in AntsRoute such as Google Maps or Waze also provide valuable data:
Once these variables are set, our system computes them to make multiple calculations using algorithms. These algorithms, which are essential for understanding the route optimization process, are defined as a series of instructions given to a computer until it reaches a result.
Although the algorithms used in AntsRoute are very sophisticated, the idea of algorithms should not impress you. A cooking recipe can also be considered as an algorithm. For example, there are many recipes for making a chocolate cake. Depending on the ingredients used and the instructions to follow, your cake will be more or less fluffy, light, sweet, etc. AntsRoute uses a similar process to “dose” and “mix” the steps of your route… although the calculations involved are obviously much more complex.
This carefully balanced cooking is what we call optimization under constraints in our jargon.
Thanks to these many calculations, unmanageable for a human brain, AntsRoute determines one or more scenarios consistent with your objectives, whether financial, commercial or environmental. In some cases, the system determines perfectly optimized routes. Sometimes, the software lets you decide between 2 or 3 similar scenarios, based on the internal scoring system.
In concrete terms, here are 3 data-driven methods for designing optimal routes according to the objectives and business model of your company.
This strategy concerns, for example, hauliers who work extensively with subcontractors, for regular customers or with contracts from freight exchanges. In this industry, where margins are very low, it is essential to optimize each trip to remain profitable.
AntsRoute offers several complementary features to maximize the loading rate of vehicles, while managing exceptions and specificities:
In some cases, the rapid visit of a field worker can be critical. Some companies have implemented premium services, with a promise of a rapid response for customers who have subscribed to this option.
In this type of scenario, you can prioritize tasks by type of service. To meet your service commitments without sacrificing profitability, the system completes the routes of field workers with tasks from the basket, which are necessary, but less urgent: maintenance, overhaul, etc.
The best mile is the one you don’t drive. This maxim, inspired by the zero waste philosophy, inspired the development of many of our algorithms. For the remaining kilometres, those that still need to be driven, AntsRoute offers several possibilities to reduce the consumption of vehicles, and therefore your carbon footprint.
Thanks to the work of our developers, it’s possible to:
Do you have specific questions for our team about the data used by our route optimization software? Contact us.