View Full Version : Small Fleet Optimization Help, Please

01-16-2003, 02:54 PM
Can anybody recommend a product/hosted service which can provide the following? Or is this something easy to program for a web host?

I have a small fleet (2 or 3 vehicles) that need to make scheduled stops at 700 known and static locations (all located in IN, OH and KY). These stops are for regular maintenance on equipment. So I need to be able to use something like the 'Optimize Route' feature in MP2002 to get all the sites in an efficient order. Maintenance stops take 30 minutes.

Now when a storm or something else crops up, I need to have one of the teams visit this emergency site - not immediately - but within a few days. Repairs take 2 hours, on average. Is there a way to programmatically determine when the best time to deviate from the scheduled maintenance route is and go visit the repair site? Is there a software/company that can do this?

I've looked at Locarta.com and ELM Technologies, but they seem to be more focused on GPS location of the vehicles. I don't care so much where exactly Truck#1 is right now, just that he's hitting the sites in the proper order effieciently and I can reroute his as necessary. UPS Logistics is overboard too being about $20K and for many more vehicles.

I've tried to do this manually on my desktop w/MP2002, but trying to optimize over 150 sites crushes my Intel P3-900-384MB RAM WinXP-Pro machine for several hours. I need to be able to recalculate the routes once or twice daily as repair incidents occur.

Of course I'd like to keep cost as low as possible.

Many thanks,

John Meyer
01-16-2003, 05:02 PM
Did you run the "Optimize Route" in MapPoint interactivly or in a VB program using the ActiveX Control?

Running the MapPoint via the ActiveX Control is slower than running the same process interactivily or thru a COM Add-In which runs in-process with MapPoint. Point is you might be able to shave some time off the process if you were using the ActiveX Control...

If cost is of concern you might consider upgrading your hardware insted of other solutions that may cost much more? A P4 2 ghz with a gig or 2 of RAM and a fast SCSI Hard Drive would run it a bit faster!

If you can send your map to me I can let you know how long it takes on a 1.8 Ghz P4 and try to get the code optimized for you.

Eric Frost
01-16-2003, 06:24 PM
You might see if TourSolver has the capability you need: http://www.mp2kmag.com/news.asp?NewsID=44

01-16-2003, 08:09 PM
I'm going to investigate TourSolver and will post back when I have info. I don't know if they cover the USA yet.

I don't have the regions divided up for the teams yet, but thanks for the offer of processing power to determine if a faster machine would improve optimization. (I was running optimization directly in MP2002.)