Three types of Routing Algorithms

Automated routing is making an impact in IT companies that has substantive employee transport operations as it not only saves time in generating routes but also produces more optimized routes. The routing typically runs on a general algorithm, however the same algorithm may not be the most optimized in different geographies and scenarios. Hence, there is a need for multiple types of algorithms, each of which can run best on a certain city demographics and preferences.Below are few routing algorithms developed by Safetrax which has helped maximize optimization and minimize manual interventions.

Distance Based Routing Algorithm

  • How it works: Takes farthest employees and clubs more employees on the way as much as possible while adhering to distance deviation and trip time constraints provided
  • Suited for: Organizations of all shapes and sizes
  • Benefits: Reduction in number of trips and better seating utilization

Cluster Based Routing Algorithm

  • How it works: Creates specific-sized cluster of employees as per their proximity from each other and creates trips that can carry maximum number of employees from same cluster
  • Suited for: Organizations that have large number of Employees logging in or logging out in the same shift
  • Benefits: Most pickups and drops are configured to happen within a limited radius that ensures that drivers do not have to cover multiple locations. Employees are at ease since the pickup or drop is in the vicinity without too much deviation.

Zone Based Routing Algorithm

  • How it works: This is a variant of Cluster Based Routing Algorithm with the difference that here the Zones are manually defined by the Admin team and employees are assigned to the zones. The routing algorithm picks employees who are assigned to the same zones and then creates optimized trips as per Cluster Based Routing Algorithm.
  • Suited for: Organizations that have large number of Employees logging in or logging out in the same shift.
  • Benefits: Helps in cases where billing is based on zones and drivers do not have pickup/drop employees in two different zones.

10 things that can go wrong in Employee Transportation and how to deal with them?

1. New cabs inducted at short notice without detailed background checks and GPS

Adhoc induction of cabs poses serious safety risk as vehicles ply without GPS. This problem can be solved by – 1. Vendors need to be notified that adhoc cabs should mandatorily carry a GPS device failing which billing for that vehicle will be void. 2. Vendors should be provided with a Smartphone or PlugnPlay GPS device to enable immediate vehicle tracking. The vehicle/driver details need to be entered in the transport management system and should be mapped with GPS device for accurate tracking.

2. Rains, strikes, bandhs cause traffic chaos leading to delayed On-Time arrivals

A robust technology-driven operation can be the saviour as it helps companies communicate the right information to the employees, drivers and vendors and ensure minimal disruption to business. Companies can immediately trigger SMS’s or App notifications to employees regarding potential delays. With GPS in vehicles, companies have visibility on all vehicles which can help in quickly rerouting drivers and enabling them to reach office with minimal delays.

3. No Show from employees

Employees sometimes take transport operations for granted and do not provide prior information regarding No shows / Leaves. This hurts the transport operation as it not only results in completely avoidable back & forth calls, running Kms and time but also costs money. This can be avoided by providing periodic orientation to employees and by introducing policies such as More than Two No Shows, employee will be automatically removed from Rostering. Subsequently, employee will have to raise a request and receive approval from manager to be rostered again.

4. Driver Phones run out of battery

To prevent Phones from running out of battery, Driver App installed on the phones should remind drivers about connecting to the charger when the battery falls below 40% and continue to remind for every 5% drop. If the phone reaches 10% battery and still not connected to the charger, the system will automatically not consider the vehicle for trip deployments. The potential loss of revenue will force drivers to always have their phones charged.

5. Defective RFID reader

If the RFID readers are defective, the employees can confirm boarding/deboarding thru the Employee app. In addition, an IVR call can be triggered to the employees in the cab to capture boarding/deboarding.

6. GPS does not send coordinates due to congestion in data traffic

This is mostly due to telecom network. In such cases, Safetrax GPS device will continue to track the vehicle and store location co-ordinates in the built-in memory. When network connectivity resumes, the locations are sent to the server so the route and KMs are accurately captured in reports.

7. Drivers disconnect GPS over weekends to stay out of tracking

Penalizing the drivers for turning off / tampering with the GPS wiring can prevent such incidents from happening.

8. Inaccurate billing - variation between Actual Odometer and GPS KMs

In our experience, we have observed a 2 – 10% variation between the GPS and Odometer readings. The variation could be due to various factors such as tyre conditions - size, pressure, alignment, etc and in general overall condition of the vehicle. Hence, it is prudent to discuss with vendor about potential variance and agree upon a GPS Kms + 2 – 5% extra KMs so vendors do not feel a huge pinch in their monthly revenues.

9. Distress to Employees

Distress to employees can vary from something minor as delayed drop to as major as harassment/misbehaviour from drivers. Therefore, it is important to equip all vehicles with physical panic buttons and in addition employees should have the Employee app handy to report panic situations. In intelligent SOS panel in the Admin application will help transport supervisors to take quick control of the situation and deliver swift help.

10. Rash driving by Drivers

In addition to overspeeding, and idling, advanced GPS devices can record more data about the driving behaviour such as harsh braking, harsh cornering, sudden acceleration, etc. These metrics can be used to generate a driver scorecard which when shared with drivers will help them correct their driving patterns and behaviours.