In this article, you will learn how to optimize tasks based on Onfleet's powerful route optimization tool.
- Select Tasks to Optimize
- Configure Optimization Options
- Predictive ETA
- Error And Warning Handling
First, click here to confirm all necessary setup has been completed before choosing to optimize tasks.
Take a look at this quick video to get you started with the basics of our powerful route optimization tool:
Select Tasks to Optimize
To begin, multi-select tasks you would like to optimize from the Unassigned section of the sidebar. You can use standard selection behavior including ⇧ Shift and Ctrl (⌘ Cmd or ⌘ Cmd + A in Apple) to select your tasks. Currently, a maximum of 2000 tasks can be considered in a single optimization request.
Note: If you use Linked Tasks, the optimization engine can only be used with pickup/dropoff pairs.
Then, right-click and select optimize tasks...
Configure Optimization Options
Date: Choose a date to optimize. By default, your current dashboard filter date will be used. If your routes cross a day boundary, the date shown will be the first day in the route.
Timezone: Timezone defaults to the dispatcher's current timezone. Dispatchers can edit the timezone for the Route Optimization by selecting the drop-down option for the timezone located beside "Date".
Drivers: Select one or more drivers for whom to create routes. If drivers have individual schedules, they will be used in the routing solution. If individual schedules have not been defined, the driver will be considered using the default schedule (when enabled). If you wish to update a driver's schedule before optimization, click the pencil icon and adjust in the resulting window (see Update Driver Schedule).
Note: a maximum of 100 drivers can be selected for a single optimization.
Next, specify max tasks per driver (which sets an upper limit to the number of tasks assigned to each driver) and the global service time (which adds the time that the driver is expected to spend on-site at the pickup/delivery location). If you have any per-task Service Times, the global service time will be overridden during route calculation.
Next, define the start from and end at points of the route. The following options are available:
- Team's hub
- Driver's address
- Another team's hub (pending availability to dispatcher running the optimization)
Note: A route cannot both start 'Anywhere' and end 'Anywhere'. These options will influence the shape of the resulting optimized routes that are generated. To start from 'hub' and end at 'another hub', at least 2 hubs are required for the dispatcher operating the optimization.
Finally, choose between three optimization modes:
Always arrive on time: Routes are created which strictly adhere to a task's Complete After and Complete Before times. Tasks that cannot be added to a route without violating times will not be included in the returned route solution. You will need to re-optimize or assign these tasks to a driver manually. Note that there may be other solutions with shorter drive time, but this mode strictly adheres to the delivery window limitations.
Balance driving time and arrival times: Routes are created balancing the other two options. This mode doesn't necessarily return the route with the shortest drive time and does not guarantee that every task completes without violations in your delivery window, but both factors were taken into consideration in the optimization.
Minimize drive time: Routes are created which minimize the total number of miles driven by your workers. This will reduce the overall cost to complete the route, however, it allows for violations in your Complete Before and Complete After windows.
When you are finished configuring your optimization options, click.
Create Optimal Routes and Assign to Drivers
If there are no errors, the routes will be optimized across your selected drivers. This might take some time, depending on the number of tasks you are optimizing.
Once the optimization has been completed you will be able to view a summary of the route that includes:
- Total tasks assigned to drivers.
- A total number of tasks.
- Total distance of the route.
- Total time on duty for the driver.
If you would like to retry the optimization, select "Edit Optimization Selection" to return to the Route Optimization modal and make changes.
Once the route optimization is completed, tasks are automatically assigned to the Drivers.
If your drivers had assigned tasks before the optimization, the newly optimized tasks will be appended to the end of their existing route.
The completion date of the route is considered when the tasks are added to a driver's task list. For example, if your team optimizes routes for future dates, the tasks are assigned based on the completion date and not the day of optimization.
Predictive ETA is generated for optimized tasks, even if the driver is off-duty at the time of optimization. The Predictive ETA will use an offline driver's schedule to determine the time to start the route.
If you are finding that no Predictive ETA is being generated for your optimized tasks, then it may be due to the following conditions all being met:
- The worker's scheduled start time for the day has already passed.
- The worker is not on duty at the time of optimization.
- The optimized tasks are scheduled to be completed the same day you have run the optimization.
Error and Warning Handling
If there are errors and/or warnings discovered after configuration, you may fix them in-line by clicking on the Fix button to the right of each remark. Errors must all be corrected before proceeding. Warnings should be reviewed, but will not block you from proceeding.