Case Study   Real Time Routing Software As A Tool For Strategic Advantage
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  • 1. Re a l t im e Rout ing Soft w a r e a s a t ool for st r a t e gic a dva nt a ge By Ja v ie r Be ba nz PLG M a na ge r a nd Ju a n Scha ff ne r I T M a n a ge r of D UCSA. D UCSA de cide d t o e nt e r t h e ga s in t a nk s m a r k e t . But t o do so, it h a d t o pr e se nt som e t h ing ne w t o a sa t isfie d m a r k e t . H ow did w e do it ? By de ve loping a ve h icle r out ing sy st e m ba se d on ESRI Te ch nology. DUCSA is t he dist ribut or of t he Uruguayan st at e oil com pany ANCAP. I t is a com pany wit h rev enue of 800 m illion dollars per y ear . DUCSA in 2004 accept ed t he challenge of ent ering t he Liquefied Pet r oleum Gas ( LPG) dist ribut ion m arket which had so far been led by t wo com panies wit h high rat ings of cust om er sat isfact ion. For t his purpose a plan was prepared wit h t wo basic elem ent s. First , DUCSA was clear about t he fact t hat a low and fast dist ribut ion net work was a st rat egic advant age. Second, t hey needed t he right t echnology. I ngenier os Consult ores Asociados ( I CA) , specialized in ESRI GI S Technology and Vehicle Rout ing, was r esponsible for developing t his t echnology. The goal of t he syst em is t o r educe t he overall cost s and at t he sam e t im e, im prov e cust om er service assigning t he incom ing phone order s t o best . So in 2005 t he Aut om at ed Recept ion and Dispat ch Syst em ar e cr eat ed. The solut ion is developed wit h GeneXus, ArcGI S Technology. For t he input and opt im al dispat ch of LPG order s in real t im e fwLogist ic a product dev eloped by I CA is used. I n a peak hour, dem and riches 3.000 order s. Every call is received by an operat or at DUCSA’s call cent er . Once t he order is ent er ed, t he Opt im izat ion Engine dev eloped in fwLogist ic t akes ov er ret urning t o t he operat or t he est im at ed visit t im e and dispat ching aut om at ically t he best ( t hat wit h t he lowest ar rival t im e) vehicle. D UCSA st a t us. DUCSA has a call cent er wit h 24 operat or s, 2 dispat ch sit es and over 120 vehicles of differ ent capacit ies, t o at t end m ore t han 250.000 regist er ed cust om er s in Mont evideo´ s Met r opolit an Area. H ow it w or k s The obj ect ive was t o build an aut om at ed r ecept ion and dispat ch syst em on- line ( in real t im e) . This syst em allows DUCSA t o provide a high qualit y service m inim izing t he difference bet ween t he t im e a service r equest is m ade and t he arrival of t his service. This is done at lowest operat ive cost ( m inim um t ot al t ravel t im e) and subj ect t o t he cur rent load of t he syst em .
  • 2. The r ecept ion of t he call is carried out by an operat or . The call cent er soft war e det erm ines t he m ost adequat e operat or and act ivat es t he syst em for t he input of LPG orders. I f t he det ect ed phone num ber is regist ered in t he syst em , t he addr ess of delivery is confirm ed and t he ser vice order is request ed, displaying t he cust om er previous hist ory . Should it be a non- regist er ed cust om er, t hen t he pert inent dat a is required t o com ply wit h t he delivery. At t his m om ent t he order is locat ed by t he address m at ching feat ure. Once t he order is confirm ed by t he user, t he opt im izat ion engine ret urns t he t im e window in which t he delivery will be effect ed. According t o all t he input inform at ion of t he syst em ( cust om er , service r equest , vehicles, drivers, et c) , t he dispat cher can det er m ine t he assignm ent of t he services t o t he v ehicle. The assignm ent is done aut om at ically but it can be subj ect t o super visor’s m odificat ion. The geolocat e engine is a web ser vice t hat allows carr ying out address m at ching t he order s individually at t he rat e t hat t hey’re r eceived. I t ’s short ens t he t im e of request and at t he sam e t im e im prov es qualit y of infor m at ion. The opt im izat ion engine is always act ive receiving LPG ser vice r equest s ( dem and) and m ust r esolve t he best assignm ent of order s t o vehicles t aking int o t he dem and and t he available resour ces.
  • 3. I t ’s im port ant t o highlight t hat fut ure ser vice dem and is unknown, neit her t he Geographic locat ion nor t he m om ent a new ser vice r equest can be for eseen. At t he sam e t im e t he exact locat ion of t he vehicle is known, whet her in act ive o passive service, t hrough t he last address of ser vice and/ or st op ( depot ) in which it is wait ing. The best v ehicle is considered t hat which can sat isfy t he service dem and arriving sooner t ravelling t he short est possible dist ance ( on t he real st r eet net w ork) . The dispat cher funct ion ( Syst em ) is t o respond t he ser vice request e.g., t o det erm ine t he best Vehicle t o serv e t he ser vice dem and ( t o r ealize t he assignm ent ) , as w ell as t o est im at e t he delay of t he v ehicle t o arrive at t he cust om er geogr aphic locat ion ( rout ing) . As t he dem and is unknown, t he assignm ent can be r ev ok ed as long as t he v ehicle has not arrived at dest iny, because a solut ion can be opt im al at t he m om ent but can lose qualit y wit h t he t im e, depending of t he dat a ar riving in real t im e. The sy st em m anages t he fleet of vehicles and available t echnicians for service com pliance. Each vehicle has a st ock of gas t anks and m at erials for r epairs and in case of on t he st ock out t he v ehicle should ret urn t o cent ral depot for r efill. When r ealizing t he generat ion of rout ing, t he sy st em is t aking int o account t he vehicle locat ion. This locat ion is det erm ined discr et ely, according t o t he last cust om er ser ved, or t he place where t he v ehicle is at halt . The m om ent at which a vehicle will be available is t he est im at ed dat e and t im e of release t o com ply wit h t he following work order, if it has confirm ed t he order or t he m om ent it will be begin t he working day. The GI S is t he Syst em Monit or t hat allows t he user t o int eract wit h t he syst em ’s geographical feat ures. For exam ple, visualizat ion of t hem at ic layers t o locat e in t he cit y m ap, visualizat ion of pending service request , visualizat ion each vehicle locat ions, inquires of request and vehicle, visualizat ion of accom plished vehicle rout es and planned rout es. The GI S pr ovides t he user in charged of planning a pow erful t ool of decision support t o cor rect or im prove t he service according t o t he r eal sit uat ion.
  • 4. Once it is det erm ined which vehicle will com ply which request s, a wor k order is generat ed t hat m ust be sent t o it . The m anagem ent of service or der s, delivery, recept ion and relat ed ev ent s is done in m odule design for t his purpose. Com m unicat ion wit h t he vehicle is t hrough wireless t echnologies, GSM/ GPRS, t hat allows direct int eract ion wit h t he syst em .
  • 5. Be n e fit s This solut ion helped DUCSA t o successfully ent er a new m ar ket and t o increase m ark et share up t o 20% . Working wit h breakt hrough t echnologies and t oget her wit h I CA for t he im plem ent at ion of t he syst em , allowed cost and ser vice t im e savings providing at t he sam e t im e a first class ser vice t o t he cust om er s. Today , aft er 2 y ear s of t he im plem ent at ion and inst allat ion of t he sy st em , we can assur e t hat t he invest m ent has been widely ret urned. The decision t aken at t hat m om ent was fit t ing. Cont a ct s For m or e inform at ion please cont act t o DUCSA, www.ducsa.com .uy, Javier Bebanz j bebanz@ducsa.com .uy LPG Manager , Juan Schaffner j schaffner@ducsa.com .uy I T Manager .