Vehicle Routing and Scheduling The Next Generation

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Many companies have benefited from cost and resource savings by using computerised vehicle routing and scheduling over the last three decades. However, for several reasons, the majority of companies have not yet taken up this fundamental aid to transport efficiency.

UK company, DPS International, has now created and released the next generation of routing systems an internet or intranet based system which overcomes the reluctance which these companies have shown to employing such a system. This radical new offering is logixcentral.

Paul Palmer, Chairman of DPS International a company he founded almost a quarter of a century ago to develop transport planning and operational systems - is convinced that logixcentral will overcome the perceived problems of companies who have shied away from routing systems in the past.

Mr Palmer said Most providers of scheduling and routing software have been putting their developments into peripheral issues around their solutions. The underlying algorithms have been established for some time and effort has been concentrated on making systems more user friendly, improving mapping capabilities and tweaking parameters. The time has now arrived for a major review of solutions in the lights of some companies reluctance to accept solutions which have a proven track record of resource reduction.

The main reluctance is caused by two issues. Firstly, for smaller companies the cost of an in-house system is perceived as too high; secondly, larger companies found the need to buy multiple licences could be expensive from some companies, while at the same time this approach caused lack of flexibility because some solution suppliers also controlled access with dongles and security keys. These issues are completely overcome by logixcentral Mr Palmer said.

We are providing an ASP (Application Service Provider) service so that the smaller companies, including those with a small number of vehicles, can now access logixcentral via the internet and use the system on a pay-as-you go basis. There is no need for an in-house system and no need for a licence. Because logixcentral is based on our long established market leading LogiX family of routing and scheduling products, the customer can expect a rapid return on investment.

The same product used in a different way can also solve the issues raised by large companies with a need for multiple copies. For these companies, such as logistics service providers and 3PLs with many accounts to manage nationally and even internationally, the obvious solution is for logixcentral to sit on their own intranet. We will reach an agreement for the number of user accounts and these can be accessed from anywhere in the company not tied to one or a few depots he said.

But there is a further application for an intranet version which could assist very small vehicle operators. There are several trade federations representing a large number of small operators, sometimes with just a handful of vehicles. We are talking to some of them to enable them to take logixcentral onto their federation intranet and offer a commercial service directly to their members. This way everyone benefits, but in particular the very small operator, for whom this sort of technology was always beyond their reach, will win.

As far as we are aware we are the only company providing the full range of options for vehicle scheduling and routing he added. The choice we offer includes a range of applications for planning and scheduling, including mapping software for most major industrial countries. The solutions are available as an in-house licence, an ASP pay as you go offering, a corporate intranet version and as a service through trade federations.

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