Our optimization module will get your people from point A to B to C and so on saving time, gas, and frustration.
However sometimes when you run the optimization tool you may think to yourself what is it doing? Why is that job over there when the others are right here?
I hope this article brings a little bit of light to the mystery.
I will also cover some common error “pop-ups” you might see due to settings or addresses.
Our application links to google to get traffic, weather, distance types of roads, etc. It then uses all of this information gathered to plan the best route for your technician. Sometimes to the human eye, this might look incorrect when we are looking at the map that it has laid out. The biggest example is when you see these numbers in your map view.
When you look at this map, you may see jobs 3 and 4 (in red as the small flags are a bit hard to read) look like they are right there by jobs 6 and 7. Why is it sending the driver down to jobs 8 and 9 instead? This is where that trick of the eye comes in. If you see this on your map, go to google maps and put in the 2 addresses, it will show you the mileage between the 2. It is simply a number-crunching event.
In this case, going from job 4 is actually 1/10th of a mile closer to job 5 than it is to job 6. Again, our logarithm calculates distance and drive time so if your tech is at point 4, it is going to do the calculation of which job is closer and send him in that direction.
If you see that the optimization tool has your driver going down one side of the street showing some jobs, into a neighborhood, and then back down that street for some other jobs, click on the satellite view and zoom in. From the regular map view, you may not see that there is a grass median, or in some cities, it may be a fully landscaped median with flowers, bushes, and trees. Obviously, your truck is not going to be able to go through that. If it is a busy, high-traffic street, the optimization tool is going to keep you going with the flow of traffic and not jumping back and forth across the busy road potentially causing an accident. Sometimes a close look will tell you why the system is doing something that seems strange. In the end, you still have full control, once you have accepted the optimized route, click on the driver’s name and you will see the job list expand under him. Simply drag and drop those jobs into the order you want them to be in. This will override the system’s optimized route.
Let’s cover some of the pop ups you may see when trying to work with optimization. Most of the time the pop-ups are warning you about things like zone and skill issues as well as time crunches
Zone, Zone what Zone?
The jobs are in the company default zone, while your tech is assigned to an unassigned zone or, you have jobs that have been put in the unassigned zone, and your tech is in the company default zone, or any other zone where the jobs are not.
The solution for this is to head to your schedule board, and change the zone drop-down, the jobs in the wrong zone will pop out pretty quickly.
Skills, your tech needs some skills:
If you see this error pop up, it’s a little vague but it basically means that the person or persons you have picked have no skills for the jobs selected.
This one is fixed simply as well, go into configuration settings > admin > and Company users. Select the pencil icon to edit your professional. Click on the Skills tab and you will see a box that is labeled “Serves all Products”
Make sure that box is checked and retry your optimization. ServiceWorks will not assign a driver/tech to jobs they are not qualified to handle.
Why is my technician’s job in the middle of the lake?
This item usually happens when you have imported customers, such as using the import tool or coming in from ServiceBench or ServicePower. When a customer and their address are entered manually by you when you click save a latitude and longitude are captured.
When a customer is imported that step sometimes does not happen. If you notice your technician is being sent WAY out somewhere unexpected. Do this.
Open google, and type in the customer address once that red marker is shown, right click on that to bring up a sub-menu. At the top of the sub menu, you will see a set of numbers, those are the latitude and longitude of that address
Simply copy and paste or type those numbers into the fields in ServiceWorks mentioned above. You would be surprised how one digit can have your tech working in a nice house on Palm Beach, or 17 miles off shore playing with dolphins.
AM, PM and ALL Day
Three job times work well with optimization. AM, PM and All Day. On the optimization screen, after the optimization routine has run, click on the technician’s name. It will then display all the jobs that technician has assigned for that particular day. We have color coded the job numbers to help with this. Yellow = AM, Blue is PM, and Gray is All Day.
To tweak your professional’s route if needed you can click on one of the jobs and drag it to where you would prefer it in the lineup. Some things to remember:
Blue (PM) cannot be dragged up into the Yellow (AM) area
Yellow (AM) cannot be dragged down into the Blue (PM) area
Yellow (AM) jobs can be re-arranged in the yellow and Blue (PM) can be dragged around in the blue area.
Gray (All Day) can be dragged up into the yellow (AM) and down into the blue (PM) All Day jobs are wild cards that can be put into the lineup anywhere.
If you need to have a job moved from the PM to AM area, you will need to go into the job details and change the time in the scheduled area and save. It can then be moved in the job list order.
Not enough hours in the day
Are you seeing this message?
This is to let you know that you should check your hours on the jobs. In this instance, the tech has 11 hours available in his day, but there are 11 hours worth of jobs to do. However, the drive time between jobs is now being considered as well. The system is now telling you the tech is not going to be able to complete all of these jobs. You will need to reschedule a couple jobs to another day or assign a few jobs to another tech.