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Idea

    Optimising Start Locations during Routing
    Idea posted July 12, 2017 by Stewart LoganRegular, tagged Field Service 
    58 Views, 5 Comments
    Title:
    Optimising Start Locations during Routing
    User Story / Description:

    Most of our work zones have volatile activity/resource volumes. ie. 10 x resources working today with 100 activities but 20 x resources and 200 activities tomorrow. Once the impact of rest days/holidays are factored in, we often get clusters of unassigned activities due to a lack of Start Location coverage.

    We have analysed & changed our routing plans but this issue never goes away completely, especially in larger work zones. We have found a mitigation for this which has resulted in the virtual elimination of unassigned activities(from c.6% before we started) This involves some advance checking of activities & start location to assess whether any 'gaps' exist.

    An example of this is attached - it's a simple one that will hopefully illustrate the concept.

    Is it possible to have similar functionality developed for OFSC - my simplistic view is that if a human can spot the 'gap' within a few seconds, it should be pretty easy for a system to carry out the same task. The added bonus is that OFSC routing configuration can also be 'tightened' to minimise travel etc.

    Thanks

    Picture:

    Comment

     

    • Zsolt Tolgyesi

      Hi Stewart,

      In my mind the Work Zone functionality doesn't directly related to the technicians home address. I tell you why. There is a big territory with many not overlapped WZs. If I give every WZ just for one technician, then I will facing issues every day, because the activities territorial distribution and the technicians availability is vary day-to-day. (And I can't select the new technicians by they home address or transfer them to a new home to decrease they travel...).

      So this is why I will give one WZ to more technicians with different weight (on different days also). Issue is solved, but some playing need to be done first to find the most optimal setup. Routing always try to decrease summarized travel and home addresses are involved (and lots of other things also).

      Or I missed your point...

      Regards,
      Zsolt

    • Pete Coonerty

      Hi Zsolt,

       

      How do you give the work zones different weighting?

      Regards

      Pete

    • Stewart Logan

      Hi Zsolt,

      This particular issue/solution is only relevant to single work zones where there is no overlap. We did try having more granular work zones 3/4 years ago but they presented the same issue. ie. if a gap existed in coverage, you had to either increase the work zone weighting or allocate the work zone with the gap to another technician.

      The solution we have implemented is delivering exactly what we need albeit at the cost of 10-15mins effort per workzone before routing runs.

      If this process could be automated via the optimization of start locations then the same benefits are realized without the manual effort.

      Thanks

      Stewart

    • Zsolt Tolgyesi

      Hi Pete and Stewart,

      @Pete, just assign the WZ to a technician with the necessary "Ratio" filled in. For example I'm the main technician in Zone1 then my ratio will be 100, when this area have more activities than I can handle, then there is a technician who also have Zone1 with ratio 10. Completely different settings for weekends, while workforce is limited on those days. The engine will reduce travel in company (bucket) level, technicians crossing issue exist only in the head, while so much daily values are changing day-by-day.

      @Stewart, thank you for sharing this idea with me, I still believe that, to give a technician a WZ with the highest ratio is resulting a technician who almost always working on the same area which is increasing work efficiency. A limited amount of manual assignments is seems to be necessary anyway.

      So the full area is splitted / covered by WZs. Every technicians have at least one main WZ with ratio 100, and some other with lower ratios. Fine tuning can be made with a report in every half year or so and small refinements needed when a technician changing base or when new areas are merged to the servicing area.

      Regards,
      Zsolt

    • Pete Coonerty

      Hi Zsolt,

      Thank you for this.  I will investigate our Work Zone set up further.  Currently we have 2 teams for our Pilot, but they have the same work Zone.  I will look at splitting as suggested with the Ratios.

      Regards

      Pete