Optrak4 Planner is the core Optrak4 module providing integrated vehicle routing, loading
and scheduling system for planning your
Integrating with your ERP, Sales Order or Warehouse
Management System on a daily basis it takes your order
data, your resources – vehicles, drivers, depots – and by
using mathematical optimisation techniques, produces
a plan that can be used to make your
deliveries (or collections).
A key differentiator, Optrak4 Planner combines the specific dimension/element aspects of each order with a detailed mapping of customer vehicles (whether standard or multi-compartment) to optimise the loading of the vehicle for maximum capacity. This loading is fully integrated into the routing solution, ensuring that loading and unloading is sequential for the trip, speeding up time at client site.
Optrak’s data model includes detail such as order lines and products, not found in other VRS systems (which tend to work at an aggregate level). This provides the customer with more accurate modelling which in turn leads to more realistic resource utilisation. It is also a critical factor for the loading algorithms.
Optrak combines the input of multiple data sources, such as historical road-speeds and detailed geographical information with a rich GUI – including custom map-layers, manual editing and variable setting for the optimisers, such as time window manipulation.
Optrak4 Planner makes use of a detailed time-model, both for driving (using historic road speeds to give highly precise modelling of rush-hour and other journeys) and for loading and unloading – where timings can be based on customer site facilities, vehicle facilities (e.g. tail lifts or pumps) and product types. Optrak’s schedules match EU and UK drivers’ hours legislation including full or split breaks and overnights.
Optrak4 Planner creates a detailed loading diagram of all customer vehicles (whether standard or multi-compartment) to optimise the loading of the vehicle for maximum capacity. This loading is fully integrated into the routing solution, taking into the account the specific dimension/element aspects of each order with the trip optimisation process to ensure that loading and unloading is sequential for the trip and utilises vehicles at close to 100% capacity, leading to significant vehicle utilisation. Loaders are available for both packaged goods (boxes, pallets, roll-cages etc.) and bulk handling – such as oil or chemical delivery in multi- compartment tankers.
Optrak4 Planner uses detailed street maps, able to cope with the most stringent requirements – such as planning delivery of 2,500 parcels into just 2 London postcodes (SE1 and SW1).
Users can view and apply multiple layers on the map, as well as deselecting/selecting trips to view specific routing aspects or delivery issues.
Optrak4 Planner uses a variety of route construction techniques and local search operations to produced optimised trips. We are actively involved with the academic research community and are continually looking at how the latest research techniques for solving the VRP (Vehicle Routing Problem) can be transferred into real-world problems.
Users can interact with the system manually to calibrate the optimising process – activating and deactivating resources and orders and freezing specific trips/orders whilst optimising other areas of the same solution.
Optrak4 Planner works with external carrier rate tables to help the planner decide whether to route goods on own fleet, bring in (and plan) external resources or use 3rd party delivery services such as parcel or pallet networks.
Optrak4 Planner displays the solution for planners via tables, maps and the timeline functionality, as well as overview layers displaying your trips in one-line summary form, giving the vehicle, driver, distance, number of deliveries and utilisation.
Utilising the Timeline feature, Driver and vehicle activity can be shown either spatially on the map or in a Gantt-style view, including mandated rest periods, planned loading times (integrated with the loading plans) and delivery requirements.
Optrak4’s powerful filtering gives you the ability to view your imported order data at granular level and can highlight particular orders for special consideration – such as those which can be delivered by parcel carrier.
From the Trip table you can drill down to see details of the trip – the arrival and departure times at each visit together with a summary of what is delivered or collected.
In Optrak4 Planner, you can manually edit trips following optimisation to test the impact of breaking certain parameters (such as individual time-windows) in order to make a better solution. Optrak4 has a rich set of tools for trip editing, including:-
– Creating new trips
– Drag and drop from un-routed orders to trips and between trips
– Reversing trips or sections of trips.
– Inserting an order or set of orders at “best position”.
– Optimising an individual trip after manual editing.
Optrak4 Planner can produce reports on any of the data and in formats including Excel spreadsheets, PDF printable reports, CSV files or database tables. The flexible report writer allows us to customise reports to your needs. Common report types include:
– Printable loading diagrams.
– A driver’s manifest, detailing expected times at each location and including space for customer signature.
– A one-line per trip report with summary of places visited for each driver.
– Spreadsheet reports used for management reporting.
Optrak4 Planner also supports multiple downloads and uploads, for example to permit planning of distant out bases for early picking
and trunking. You can “freeze” trips that have already been sent to the warehouse or mark them as picked, so the
optimiser does not modify them. You can also set them up for additions only – so the optimiser may add new
orders but won’t remove anything.
Optrak4 Planner connects with a customer’s ERP/TMS/OMS system to extract customer order details and associated data (such as geographical location, order components and customer site details).
Route planners are then able to optimise the orders to derive the most cost efficient routes for its fleet – taking into account the exact quality of the goods being delivered, the load-out and design of each vehicle utilised and environmental/traffic factors which impact the speed of delivery – utilising Optrak4’s rich data model, integrated loading functionality and external data inputs (such as historical road speeds).
These routes are then uploaded to the ERP/TMS/OMS system to be processed and sent to PoD systems, warehouse managers (for loading purposes) and transport managers.
Optrak4 Planner integrates with your other computer systems in the way that best suits those system, whether by database
transfer, files or web services. Both download and upload processes are programmed and tested as part of the
Optrak4 Planner can also upload data to Optrak4 Publisher and to PoD systems, dependent on your requirements.
For operational use, Optrak4 Planner is designed to be embedded in your order processing and logistics systems.
It is important to establish tested and reliable interfaces between systems to ensure that your traffic planners
are not faced with unexpected problems when producing plans.
From Host to Optrak
Optrak4 Planner will normally hold data, such as vehicle and driver details, which are not on the host, but we normally
recommend a daily download of the customer delivery site data to avoid the problem of having to maintain
information on two different systems – ideally, your SOP/ERP system should always have
the “master data”.