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Getting Started Getting Started

In this tutorial we take a look at the SmartRoutes platform for those who are just getting started. We will take a look at the main navigation items and the purpose of each tab on the platform.

Once you have taken a free trial of SmartRoutes you will be brought to the web application and will have access to all functionality. The steps you might consider in order to get started are:

  1. Import a stops/customers list using our simple Import Tool on the Plan a Route tab
  2. Invite your administrators and drivers to the platform using the Users tab
  3. Get your team members to download the free SmartRoutes app on either iOS [App Store] or Android [PlayStore]
  4. Plan your first route based on the addresses you have imported and hit the Optimize button on the Plan a Route tab
  5. Assign or dispatch this route to one of your drivers
  6. Set up your automatic customer notifications on our Settings page
  7. Upload your company logo on the Settings tab so your customers receive a branded experience in all communications with them
How To Plan How to plan a route

One of the first things you're going to want to do is plan a route.
We walk you through the steps below;

How to get started planning a route

Planning a route couldn't be simpler. Just drop in your addresses of customers or stops and SmartRoutes will geocode them so you can see them on your Plan a Route tab. You are now ready to hit the Optimize button to get the best possible route for your driver.

Your business's advanced routing settings

In advance of this though you might want to review your Routing Settings in the Settings tab to set up things like Vehicle Capacities, Priority stops, Time Windows or Load Balancing between drivers. These factors will then be taken into account by the SmartRoutes algorithm as well as things like average travel times for these routes and, of course, the fastest way to navigate multiple stops.

Territory management

Other things to consider for anyone starting out with SmartRoutes' intelligent route optimizer is the Zones feature (again to be found on the Settings tab) which will allow you to set up territories for drivers and automatically assign stops to drivers based on the territory that they fall into.

Integration with your existing software

If you have a third party software that you use to capture orders, for example, an ecommerce platform or an ERP system then you might want to talk to us first about integrating this with SmartRoutes so the information is automatically pulled into SmartRoutes and creates routes automatically.

Live Route Adjustments Live routes adjustment and reoptimization

Now that you're up and running with your first routes and you've sent them to your drivers, you're going to want to track the progress of the routes.

If you want to make changes to an optimized live route you can learn how to do so in the following video.

Delivery routes are, by their nature, subject to constant change. Some of the more common changes you will come up against include:

Delivery is cancelled by the customer
Delivery is rescheduled by the customer
Drastically changed traffic conditions
Drivers are out sick
Driver wants to change start or end location for the daily route
Making these changes within SmartRoutes' platform couldn't be simpler. Just use the Vehicles dropdown menu in the Plan a Route page to adjust start and end locations or make changes to drivers assigned to a route.
And use the Stops dropdown menu to take out a delivery stop. Hit the Optimize button again and you have very simply changed the route for the day.

Of course, if there are significant changes required to a route you may want to scrap the route completely and reupload your stops. This might be in the event of a number of changes to stops or additions to the stops list.

Live Tracking Live vehicle tracking

In this tutorial we take a look at the SmartRoutes live fleet tracking and how to gain insights into how your vehicles are navigating their workload on any particular day.

What is the purpose of fleet tracking?

The purpose of Fleet Tracking is to help companies understand where each of their vehicles and/or drivers is at any given time.

The 3 main reasons for this are:

  1. Tracking vehicles and quickly retrieving them in the event of a theft
  2. Oversight of drivers and vehicles while out on the road
  3. Giving accurate locations of goods and ETA’s to customers awaiting drivers
Territory Management Territory management

In this video we look at territory management for delivery teams and how to use SmartRoutes zones to divide workloads between your delivery drivers.

Territory management means taking geographical areas and assigning them to delivery drivers or to specific depots in order to break up delivery workloads. It makes far more sense for any delivery team with more than a handful of vehicles to begin to use territories to break up workloads. The alternative is to put all of your drivers and stops into one big pile and assign work based on what your routing algorithm says. This can be a poor experience for everybody as drivers might be asked to deliver to places far from their home and drivers will not become familiar with a subset area of the wider delivery catchment.

SmartRoutes Zones is a territory management tool that overlays your mapped data and allows you to:
Assign territories to drivers or vehicles
Auto-create routes from API integration with ordering system
Gain insights from territory comparisons
Auto-complete deliveries or customer visits based on GPS location of driver
Divide workloads based on zonal averages of stops and time taken
Help drivers to complete their deliveries more efficiently
To use the territory management functionality on SmartRoutes first go to the Settings at the top centre of the Plan a Route page. Toggle Zones to ON and turn on Display Labels. Now you will see a polygon icon next to a hand icon in the top left of the map screen. Once you click this you will be able to use the lasoo tool to create a territory, name it and assign it to a vehicle.

You now have a situation in which all stops that are in this territory will be automatically assigned to that vehicle. This is especially useful when automating orders from, for example, your ecommerce site or your ERP system.

Territory Management Routing settings

In this video we look at the various routing settings within SmartRoutes to manage zones, load balancing, priorities and time windows.

Navigate to Account Settings in the left hand navigation and then go to Routing.

In this section you will find a number of important settings that will tailor your operations. Let's go through them from top to bottom.

Zones

The Zones toggle manages the SmartRoutes territory manager and allows you to:

  • Assign territories to drivers or vehicles
  • Auto-create routes from API integration with ordering system
  • Gain insights from territory comparisons
  • Auto-complete deliveries or customer visits based on GPS location of driver
  • Divide workloads based on zonal averages of stops and time taken
  • Help drivers to complete their deliveries more efficiently
  • Toggle Zones to ON and turn on Display Labels. Now when you go to the Plan a Route page you will see a polygon icon next to a hand icon in the top left of the map screen. Once you click this you will be able to use the lasso tool to create a territory, name it and assign it to a vehicle.

You now have a situation in which all stops that are in this territory will be automatically assigned to that vehicle. This is especially useful when automating orders from, for example, your ecommerce site or your ERP system.

Capacity

The Capacity toggle manages capacities related to either your vehicles or your driver. You can reset the capacity of vehicles depending on their size.
The default is number of stops, so if you put 10 in as a value, it will default to 10 stops. To change this you just need to include a value in your import spreadsheet, for example if you add a column called Quantity, then the system will use that value instead of assuming its per stop.

Load Balancing

The Load Balancing toggle is a really helpful setting that simply balances out the workload between your drivers and routes so everyone is given a similar amount of work and should return to depot or finish shift at the same time.

Priorities

The Priorities toggle allows you to nominate certain stops to be prioritized. This will need to be done at the Import stage with a priority column inserted into the file. This is very useful for ensuring certain items or customers get delivered first.

Maintain Upload Sequence

Maintain Upload Sequence is a way to override the route optimization algorithm and stick with the sequence of stops that your import file has created. This might be a sequence you have worked on in your other softwares and you do not wish to have it altered, even if that means a slower route.

Default Duration

The Default Duration relates to the assumed amount of time a driver will need to complete their stop. This can be changed to reflect if installation is required or if it is a field service call instead of a delivery for example. Time windows can be split to reflect the different needs of different routes if necessary and you can contact the support team to implement this on your account.

Distance

Distance units can be set to miles or kilometers depending on what you are used to.

Country

Country location should be set to the country where routes are being done.

Depot

Depot location can be changed at any time and is an important address as it is used as a start and end location for routes by default.

Territory Management Manage your customers

In this tutorial we look at how to manage your customers within SmartRoutes. When you have regular customers that you have to:

  • Deliver to
  • Do sales calls to
  • Do service calls to

With SmartRoutes you can upload these customers separately from once-off delivery addresses and manage them using tags and automatic notifications.

Importing and managing customers

If you have a set group of customers that you regularly call to with deliveries or for sales or service calls then it is best to manage them as Customers.

  • Simply import your list of customers and their addresses using the Import button on the Customers page.
  • Once you have uploaded your customers you will see them populate on your map as dots. You can add tags to your customers on the Customers page and you can add your color coding to them.
  • You can turn your customers' view ON/OFF on the map page by clicking the three dots menu next to the Optimize button. In Filters there is an option to toggle them on or off.
  • On the Customers page you can tick the box next to a customer/s or all customers. Once you have done this you will see the option to Add to Route so they are put in as pin drops on the map page ready for optimizing and sending to drivers.

Automatic notifications to customers

Your customers can receive automatic notifications in advance of or after delivery is due. Set up your email and SMS templates in the Account Settings - Templates sections. Now, when you are assigning a route to your drivers you can simply add one of these templates and nominate a time for this SMS to go out. No need to call customers or worry that they will miss delivery as they have notifications and a live delivery tracker available to them to coordinate being able to receive the delivery.

Geofenced auto-messages

If you wish for an automatic message to be sent to customers based on the driver's location in relation to a delivery stop we can do that also. If, for example, you want an automatic SMS to be sent to the customer when the driver is, say, 30 minutes away, then this can be done. Contact our support team to implement this on your account. This functionality is currently only available for drivers using the Android app but it will be available for iOS driver apps in January 2022.

Territory Management Manage your users

In this tutorial we look at User Management in SmartRoutes including adding new drivers.

Managing Users

First things first, "Users", means anyone who is using your system whether that is the web app platform or the mobile driver app. Users can be segmented into, Administrator or Driver depending on whether they are in office managing or in the field driving and delivering. You can add a user very simply using the +Add New User button on the User page. You can decide at this point what role they will have. You will need a valid Name, Email and Phone number for each user. These will be used to inform them automatically that they have been invited to your account.

Driver app downloading

Drivers will need to download the SmartRoutes app and login with their email and the password they are prompted to create in order to use the mobile app. Make sure your driver searches for "SmartRoutes" on the App Store / Play Store and download the mobile app with our green pin drop icon. Your drivers can download the SmartRoutes Mobile App by searching for SmartRoutes in the Play Store / App Store.

Or, they can click on one of the links below;

Android Phones

iPhones

Once a driver is invited and has accepted the invite you will be able to assign routes to them from the Plan a Route page.

Territory Management Driver mobile app

In this tutorial we take a look at the SmartRoutes driver app and how to navigate and complete deliveries successfully.

SmartRoutes is a total delivery management software for anyone from small businesses to large logistics teams. It allows you to plan and optimize your routes while tracking drivers and capturing proof-of-delivery. SmartRoutes keeps recipients informed of their delivery with up-to-the-minute notifications and a delivery tracking portal.

Implementing a smart solution for delivery management saves logistics teams time and money with increased efficiency and reduced fuel costs. You will also increase control and insights into last-mile operations.

Driver mobile app

The SmartRoutes mobile app is a simple-to-use tool for drivers that automatically syncs across routes to drivers.

It allows them to navigate their routes easily using the route map that is built in and whichever navigation app that is available on their phone such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze or others.

  • Clicking into Today's Route on the left hand navigation shows a list of stops for them to visit and gives them the option to view this route in a map format if they prefer that.
  • Clicking on a stop opens up options for the driver. They can mark the stop as being completed or undeliverable.
  • Clicking on the information icon shows them a map view of the stop now with options to capture proof of delivery by photo or esignature.
  • They can click on the information icon at the bottom to open Driver Notes.
  • Finally, they can click on the Go icon to automatically open their preferred navigation app like Google Maps.
  • There are other options for the driver contained in the three dots icon in the top right hand corner of the screen including things like manually ordering stops, optimizing stops and starting the route.

Your drivers can download the SmartRoutes Mobile App by searching for SmartRoutes in the Play Store / App Store.

Or, they can click on one of the links below;

Android Phones

iPhones

Territory Management Proof of delivery

In this tutorial we look at proof of delivery functionality using SmartRoutes mobile app. See how to set it up, what it looks like for delivery drivers and how you can pull reports on PODs captured in the field.

Proof of delivery settings

Navigating on the web platform to the Account Settings - Proof of Delivery you will see a number of options for your account. You will be able to toggle ON/OFF:

  • Photo proof of delivery
  • E-signature proof of delivery
  • Barcode scan
  • GPS timestamp
  • Customer notification on delivery

Depending on which of these are toggled on, they will become available on the mobile app for your delivery drivers. Customer notification on delivery can include the GPS timestamp of when the delivery was made.

Proof of delivery on the mobile app
Clicking into Today's Route on the left hand navigation shows a list of stops for them to visit and gives them the option to view this route in a map format if they prefer that.
Clicking on a stop opens up options for the driver.
Clicking on the information icon shows them a map view of the stop now with options to capture proof of delivery by photo or e-signature.
Finally, there is the option on the left hand nav of the mobile app to go to Barcode scanner which opens the photo application to scan.

Territory Management Customer notifications

In this tutorial we look at customer notifications using the SmartRoutes platform. Inform your customers of delivery times and communicate throughout the delivery day by SMS and email. This cuts down on missed deliveries and customer support calls.

Automatic notifications to customers

Your customers can receive automatic notifications in advance of or after delivery is due. Set up your email and SMS templates in the Account Settings - Templates sections.
Now, when you are assigning a route to your drivers you can simply add one of these templates and nominate a time for this SMS to go out. No need to call customers or worry that they will miss delivery as they have notifications and a live delivery tracker available to them to coordinate being able to receive the delivery.

Geofenced auto-messages

If you wish for an automatic message to be sent to customers based on the driver's location in relation to a delivery stop we can do that also. If, for example, you want an automatic SMS to be sent to the customer when the driver is, say, 30 minutes away, then this can be done. Contact our support team to implement this on your account. This functionality is currently only available for drivers using the Android app but it will be available for iOS driver apps in January 2022.

Live tracking portal Live tracking portal

Used by end-customers or recipients of deliveries, the live package tracker gives them a branded experience with the sender that shows their location on a map along with the delivery vehicle's live location.
This helps to avoid missed deliveries by giving real-time information on the delivery and it also avoids the need for customer support on package ETAs.

The live package tracker is triggered when you are creating a template email or SMS to send to your customers. This is because the tracking link needs to be sent to the customers in this way.

How to set up the live package tracking portal

Navigate to the Account Settings - SMS templates or Email templates. When you are creating your template you will see a dropdown menu entitled Add Variable.
Click this and choose Tracking Portal to insert a link to the tracking portal for the customer.
Once the customer clicks on this link either in an SMS or an email they will be brought to the live tracking map showing their location and the live location of the vehicle carrying their package to them.
This tracking link will be the same if it is inserted in multiple template messages or emails.
If you have uploaded your logo on the Account Settings page previously, then this logo will appear on the customer live package tracking portal also, giving a better brand experience for all.

Reporting Reporting in SmartRoutes

In this tutorial we look at reporting and insights on SmartRoutes. Understand what is happening in the field and make operational decisions based on this data. Generate end-of-day reports and see customer notification reports to gain valuable insights.

Your SmartRoutes reports

Navigating to the Reports section of the left hand navigation opens a variety of reports.

  • The Stops Search allows you to search individual stops and see what details have been captured for this. This type of report is also accessible on the Dashboard page.
  • Driver breakdown is an overview of driver activity for internal reporting and can be downloaded and exported as can all of the reports.
  • Notifications report gives you up-to-the-minute reporting on SMS and email messages sent to customers.
  • Customer last visited allows you to see the most recent visited customers and stops.
  • If you would like to integrate reports and data into your existing CRM, ERP or eCommerce systems please contact us on support@smartroutes.io

Power up SmartRoutes by connecting it to the software you use

Connect SmartRoutes with Azyra's world class enterprise logistics platform for a total solution for your business. SmartRoutes connects and handles all of your fleet management and delivery routing requirements easily.

SmartRoutes integrates with ERP system Herbst to give a total routing and management platform for Agri, Engineering, Distribution and Food sectors.

SAP is one of the world's leading enterprise software systems and SmartRoutes integrates seamlessly with it. You can pull information from SAP to create routes automatically and create information fields subsequently in your SAP account.

Microsoft Dynamics connects with SmartRoutes in a two-way sync to provide delivery management in addition to the Dynamics CRM and case manager.

Salesforce is the world's leading business CRM system and now SmartRoutes can connect with it to pull customer details for service calls, sales visits or delivery schedules. For when want to route your team to your customers in the real world efficiently.

WooCommerce is one of the world's largest eCommerce platforms and SmartRoutes integrates to help businesses deliver on shipping and fulfillment in a two-way sync.

SmartRoutes connects simply with your Shopify website to pull orders through and automatically create optimized routes for shipping and fulfillment. When you need a powerful and robust delivery management solution to add to your Shopify website this is the solution.

SmartRoutes API

The SmartRoutes Open API allows any business to plug the power of SmartRoutes into whatever system they are using. SmartRoutes API is organized around REST. Our API has consistently structured resource-oriented URLs, accepts and returns JSON, and uses standard HTTP response codes, authentication, and verbs. Use SmartRoutes API to retrieve or modify data stored in your Humaans account programmatically and to create custom integrations.

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