PlanVidia Organizes Mobile Service Teams for Complex Planning & Operations, Ensuring the Right Resource is at the Right Place at the Right Time!

PlanVidia provides a simple solution for the planning of mobile service resources operating in complex field environment. The PlanVidia system has been designed to focus on large and complex mobile service organizations operating in widely spread geographic areas.

 

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PlanVidia Automatically Determines the Minimum Required
Planning Resources

The PlanVidia system automatically determines the minimum required resources like technicians, vehicles, and material for daily service point operations. These operations may involve hundreds of service points that require specific resources. PlanVidia takes into account geographic locations, opening hours, technician skill level, appointment specifics, customer preferences, legal working hours and compliances with Service Level Agreements.

PlanVidia supports your Operations Dispatcher with an easy to use graphical user interface that presents solution options defining constraints and available resources for optimal sourcing.

Geo-coding

The geo-coding automatically converts an address (e.g., 1000 Rue Royale 15) into a uniquely defined point on a digital map (North 50°50’52”, East 4°21’46”). The geo-coding algorithm automatically resolves address definition inconsistencies as spelling errors and missing house number information.

The manual geo-coding is fully interactive through a graphical interface using drag and drop operations. The geo-coding module correctly locates thousands of clients on a digital map within sheer minutes.

geo-coding from PlanVidia

Graphics Engine

PlanVidia's graphical engine is using the latest .NET technology providing flexibility and optimal performance on local and distributed system configurations. The vector-based graphics ensures clear and sharp visualization independent from the map scale and amount of details. The graphical information is organized in thematic layers and visualized using a scale sensitive concept for the optimal display readability. Each graphical object can include both static and dynamic attributes.

  • Fast, scalable and detailed graphics
  • Multilayer visualization
  • Access to object properties with simple mouse click
  • Dual monitor support
  • Customizable user interface
  • Scalable to PDAs and portable devices

graphics engine from PlanVidia

Optimization Solvers

The heart of the PlanVidia system is the multi-parameter optimization engine. The optimal solution is sought globally using the real network of roads (MultiNet Tele Atlas) considering time constraints and business logics defining the operation. The optimization is performed in global sense in the three domains simultaneously:

  • Time domain (respecting appointments, opening hours, working hours, breaks, etc.)
  • Space domain (directly on the network of roads including all traffic regulations)
  • Business domain (legal and operational constraints)

The optimization process starts from the description of the service operation This process is called parameterization. We use attributes to describe service points (clients), technicians (agents) and constraints of the operation (business logics). E.g., the available human resource will be defined as number of technicians, each having the following attributes:

  • ID / Name
  • Start location (address)
  • End location (address)
  • Skills (all skills technician can perform)
  • Working hours (start, end, lunch, etc.)

A similar parameterization is used to describe clients (service points). The information is entered into the system using standard XML templates.


Optimization Criteria

The optimization criteria are defined as hard and soft constraints controlling the solver:

  • Minimization of global resource
  • Minimization of total route length (km's)
  • Minimization of global operational cost
  • Balanced work load
  • Limited overtime
  • User-specific optimization function

Constraints - hard and soft

  • Operation constrained by legal working hours
  • Optimal number of depots (starting points)
  • Equal workload distribution
  • Loading capacity
  • Maximum number of clients
  • User-specific constraints

PlanVidia optimization solvers

Daily operations can be planned within just a few minutes and re-planned (dynamic planning) every 1-2 hours to adjust the operation to possible delays (traffic), to include new service calls and other unpredictable parameters not considered in the original planning.

Dynamic Planning (integration with track & trace)

With PlanVidia dynamic planning, you Plan -> Communicate -> Monitor and Plan again. Dynamic planning allows to consider last minute changes and unpredictable factors such as traffic jams and delays impacting your operation. The PlanVidia system supports communication with standard track & trace systems providing information about the mobile resource position (GPS location) and status of the operation (GPRS based messaging).

PlanVidia Uses Advanced Mapping Technology and
Powerful Algorithms for Accuracy

PlanVidia is powered by unique and powerful algorithms solving large and complex operational problems on the network of digital network of roads providing dispatcher with the information of the minimal operation cost and minimum resource, while meeting all other constrains of the business operation.

PlanVidia is used for three purposes:

  1. Planning of daily work-force operations
  2. Forecasting future operational constraints and requirements
  3. Schedule dynamic planning activities that take into account any immediate changes in operational conditions such as resource relocation in an emergency

  • Workload planning and forecasting (long/short time)
  • Optimal planning (workload distribution, within legal hours, limited over time)
  • Optimal operation planning and scheduling within customer business logistics
  • Wireless field force management (dynamic planning, field feed-back)
  • Support of business decisions (investments, market expansion, variable SLA's)
  • Performance indicators, analysis, monitoring management tools
  • Mobile Service Operations
  • Logistic & Dispatching Operations
  • Planning of Transport & Delivery Operations
  • Planning of Service & Periodic Maintenance Operations
  • Security & Patrolling Operations

The PlanVidia system is modular and can be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructures (Oracle, SAP, Access...) and adapted to specifics of client businesses logics. The PlanVidia system graphics are scalable to PDAs and portable devices allowing transparent operation in distributed environment using different devices and different operating systems.

System Requirements

  • WindowsXP/Vista
  • Intel CoreDuo@2GHz or better, 2GB RAM
  • 5 GB disc space
  • Graphics Card 1280x720 minimal
  • Support for dual monitors (optional)

Input Parameters for PlanVidia

Both clients and technicians/operators are characterized by a number of parameters, which will allow the software to do an optimal allocation of clients to a specific technician.

This allocation will take into account the nature of the job, the skills of the technician, the geographical location and specific business rules, like work-times and opening hours, lunch-hours, priority rules, etc. In this way we can do an optimization that takes into account constraints imposed by business rules, geography and time windows.

Specific Parameters for Clients

Clients, in the software referred to as "service points", are characterized by following parameters:

Name * Name of the client
Icon Number of icon (0-9) to use; permits to visually differentiate different clients, or type of clients on the map
Comment Free comment field
Time window start-time * Start-time * start time and end time: a time window in which the client has to be visited
E.g., office hours, morning only, evenings only…
end-time *
Address postal-code * Address of the customer where the work has to be executed
[can also be specified through GPS coordinates]
street *
house-number
Priority How important is it that this client is served (default 1, a higher number means higher priority)
Volume The volume of the delivery to this customer, default 1
Weight The weight of the delivery, default 1
Duration * Total time needed for this assignment
Tasks task 1 * Task 1..n: TRUE if this task has to be done, FALSE if not
task n

Fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory.
The address can also be specified by a pair of decimal coordinates [latitude, longitude].

Specific Parameters for Technicians/Operators

The technicians or operators, in the software referred to as "agents", are characterized by following parameters:

Name * Name of the agent
Working hours start-time * Start time: when does the agent starts working
End time: when does the agent stops working
end-time *
Lunch hours start-time Earliest moment that lunch can be taken
end-time Time by which lunch has to be finished
Lunch duration How long does the lunch break take
Start address postal-code * Where does the agent start his work (home, company, meeting point...)
[can also be specified through GPS coordinates]
street *
house-number
Stop address postal-code * Where does the agent stop work (home, company, meeting point...)
[can also be specified through GPS coordinates]
street *
house-number
Max volume * The maximum (total) volume this agent can transport in his vehicle
Max weight * The maximum (total) weight this agent can transport in his vehicle
Tasks task 1 * For each task: TRUE if the agent can execute this task ( = has the necessary skill to do this), FALSE if not
task n *

Fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory.

In cases where the tasks are service oriented rather than transport oriented, the parameters Volume and Weight are not relevant and the Max values should be put to the maximum number of clients the agent can visit.

As for the clients, addresses can be specified by the geographic coordinates [latitude, longitude].

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