TerriTool Route Optimisation

About

TerriTool is a route optimisation tool for territory sales teams that was initially built for EDI express in an effort to automate the 20 – 30 hour excruciating route creation task each salesmen had to do every month for their monthly accounts. This solution quickly evolved in to a product called ‘TerriTool’ that is currently being sold to territory sales teams as a solution to reduce the amount of time spent creating territory based routes and also manage their day-day sales activities within the product.

Problem

Spencer of EDI express would spend around 20 -30 hours per month creating an optimised route for his monthly accounts, his manual process consisted of manually pining each account on a map and then circling each cluster, drawing a line between each account on the map for what he imagined would be an optimised route and then in the same order the line was drawn, he would write down each account on a sheet, from which he would tackle his route. He would process around 400 – 600 accounts per month.

Long story short, he wanted to automate that.

Process

We first started off with a solutions assessment for this and after defining the user persona’s, understanding and discussing user stories we were stuck because there was no route optimisation API that we could use to generate an optimised route above 50 waypoints. Google had a limit for 10, TomTom had a limit for 40, Here Maps had a limit for 50, and Garmin had a limit for 50 as well. Knowing that the average amount of accounts (waypoints) Spencer was expecting to generate per month would be much larger than the limits provided by the third party systems, we decided that we would have to build our own in-house TSP route generation system. This is the beauty of a solutions assessment, it’s objective is to analyse how a smart automation project is possible and if it is possible.

Once we had determined how the in-house TSP route generation system would work (For NDA reasons this cannot be disclosed), we carried on to the prototyping stage of the project, where we prototyped, tested, refined, prototyped, tested, refined, prototyped, tested, refined… until we and Spencer felt that we nailed the flow of creating a route.


Once the solutions assessment was complete, we were then ready to start development of TerriTool and the TerriTool in-house TSP route generation system. Our Solutions assessment ensured that we were on the right step before we started development and had no hiccups during the development stage of TerriTool and the TerriTool in-house TSP route generation system.

Fast forward 6 months, TerriTool decided to bring Artificial Intelligence to their route generation system, click here to learn more.

Solution

With out in-house route generation system there was no limit on how many waypoints in one route could be generated. We were able to achieve routes of 500-1,000 waypoints generated within 5-10 minutes and extremely high accuracy in terms of time it would take to complete the route on the road. Our solution for the TerriTool system turned a 20-30 hour task in to a 5-10 minute task, which meant that Spencer could spend more time on the field making sales and less time on non-revenue generating tasks like this. Shortly after the completion of this project, the TerriTool system was rolled out to the entire team of EDI express.

Fast forward 6 months, TerriTool decided to bring Artificial Intelligence to their route generation system, click here to learn more.