Smart Routing Setup and Usage Guide


The Parlevel VMS offers a Smart Routing feature, which will allow you to plan and schedule multiple routes according to customized priority planning tiers. If you decide to test or use this feature, you must enable it by navigating to Company Settings > Route Planning > Smart Routing (Beta), where you can click Edit and toggle the feature to On, seen below.

Enabling Smart Routing will cause the Auto Collect feature to appear on the right side of the page. You can enter an amount here (e.g. 100) to indicate that any machine with that amount or more in expected collections will be automatically planned for service as Service & Collect.

Please note that any testing or setup of Smart Routing should take place after the day's routes are finished and cleared out. Enabling the feature will change the Routes menu and will make it more difficult to access any currently-planned routes.

 (You can switch the feature back off to revert back to the normal routing menu without causing any problems.)


Setup

The first step in setting up Smart Routing takes place under Settings > Routing > Planning Tiers. A planning tier is a set of custom rules made for the VMS to follow or prioritize when you go to plan a route. These rules are based upon your personal priorities when refilling machines.


On the Planning Tiers page, click New Planning Tier in the top right corner to get started.

Begin by naming your tier in the Planning Tier Name field. The tier can be named according to the rules you will make, which route it is intended for, etc., according to your preference.

Click Add Rule . Below the image are explanations of each page feature.



1. Priority - The priority of each rule is what determines its level of importance to the VMS when planning. Machines falling under Priority 1 will be planned before machines falling under Priority 2, and so on. Click the arrows to the right of each Priority to adjust its priority level.


2. Exclude Offline - Check this box if you would like offline machines to be exempt for the particular rule. Leave the box unchecked if you would prefer them included in the rule.


3. Select Machine Types - Click the dropdown to select a specific Machine Type(s) (snack, glassfront, carousel, etc.) to which the rule can be applied to. Leave the dropdown as-is to have the rule apply to all types.


4. Attribute Dropdown - Select the attribute you would like the rule to be based upon. The attributes available are similar to the machine statistics viewable when planning a route. These are the options available:

  • PSO (Projected Sold Outs) PSO signifies how many selections are expected to sell out between now and the day you plan on servicing the machine, but only for machines with prior historical sales data.

  • SO (Sold Outs) SO can be used to prioritize machines that have any current Sold Out selections.

  • DNSO (Days Until Next Sold Out) is the number of days until the next selection is expected to sell out. 

  • To Collect - This attribute can be used to prioritize machines with the highest Expected Collections.

  • DSLS (Days Since Last Service) is the number of days since this machine was last serviced in the VMS. This attribute can be used to prioritize machines that have had the most days since they've been serviced.

  • PL Percent (Parlevel Percentage) represents how full the machine is. This attribute can be used to prioritize machines that fall below a certain fill percentage.

  • Units Sold - This attribute can be used to prioritize machines with a selected number of units sold.


The second dropdown can be used to select if you want the rule to go into effect when the attribute is more than, less than, or equal to a specified number, which will be set in the third field. 

For example, if you prefer that no machine has more than 3 Sold Outs at any time, you can set up the rule like the image below:


This rule will be activated or triggered when a machine's current Sold Outs go over 3. 


5. You can click the to the right to add a second condition for the rule. This second condition functions according to Boolean logic, which means that both conditions must be met in order for the rule to be activated. According to the example in the image below, in order for a machine to meet the requirements for the rule, the machine must have more than 3 Sold Outs and its expected collections must be more than $50.00. The more specific you make the rule, the fewer the machines that will meet that rule.




No matter how many rules you make for your Planning Tier, when planning the route you will indicate the minimum and maximum number of machines to plan. The system will run through the list of rules in order of priority, adding machines to the route until it reaches the indicated maximum.


6. Finally, checking off Prioritize Locations will indicate to the system that when planning a route, planning more machines at one location will take priority over locations with machines of lesser overall priority, up until the machine max. 


For example: Assume Location A has three machines total, with one machine that has the greatest priority according to the Tier rules, and two machines that do not meet the threshold. Location B has three machines with two machines that meet the threshold of the same rule, but with less priority than the former. The route planner indicates that the route should have a four machine maximum. The system will plan Location A's 3 machines and only the highest priority machine from Location B (meeting the four machine max). This setting is intended to help drivers travel to fewer locations per route while still servicing machines according to Tier priorities.


The customization of the Planning Tiers affords a large amount of creativity and flexibility when creating your rules, and is entirely up to your operation and preferences. In the image below, we have provided a helpful default Planning Tier as an example of applicable rules.



According to this Planning Tier, machines will be planned according to the following rules, in order of priority:

  • Machines with expected collections greater than $100
  • Machines with their parlevel fill percentage at 60% or less.
  • Machines that have not been serviced in over 3 weeks.

Once you have saved a Planning Tier, you can set it as the default Planning Tier for a route by going to > Routes, clicking for the appropriate route, and selecting the Planning tab. You may use the Planning Tier dropdown to select the default tier from your saved tiers.


Routing



By clicking Routes > Smart Routing, you can view and plan your routes using the Smart Routing feature. If a truck icon appears next to the selection, like in the image on the right, then that means that there are routes currently planned.



By default, the routes displayed are routes planned for the current day. You can select a different day by clicking the icon, or, if you are on a different day and would like to return to the current day, you can do so by clicking . The yellow button will show you all Pending/unfinished routes.

Note: When viewing dates past, the Progress tab is available to view, but the Planning tab is not.


The dropdown in the top left corner allows you to specify one or multiple routes, or leave empty to access all routes. Previously-specified routes will remain selected in the dropdown even when you navigate away from the page and return. Unless you add or remove more routes, these routes will be selected by default for your VMS user.



You can select the Planning tab to plan a route. By default, today's date is selected, but you can select a future date with . If there are not currently services planned for a route, then the route will appear in the Unplanned section. If there is already an instance of the route planned, then it will be listed under Already Pending Service, but you can click the button on the right to plan another (after making sure the fields are correct, covered below).


You will specify these details for the route: the driver, the warehouse, the truck, the minimum and maximum number of machines to plan, and the Planning Tier you would like to use. When you've confirmed these, you can click the green Plan button to the right of the route.

If you would like to plan all the routes at once, you can confirm their details and then hit Plan All in the top right corner.

NOTE: The indicated maximum number of machines can be overridden by machines that are on a static schedule. Static Schedules take precedence over Planning Tiers. For example, if you set the machine maximum to 15, but you have 20 machines statically set to be serviced that day, then all 20 machines will be planned for service. 




Once you've planned the route(s), they will appear in a new section, Ready for Review. The route has not been finalized yet at this point. In the new section, you can see the following information about the pending route:

  • Route -The name of the route
  • In Progress - Indicates if any other instances of the route are planned
  • Driver - The name of the driver
  • Warehouse - The name of the warehouse
  • Truck - The name of the truck
  • Machines - How many of the machines were planned out of all machines on the route
  • Stations - How many of the OCS stations were planned out of all stations on the route
  • Locations - How many of the locations were planned out of all locations on the route
  • SO - How many total Sold Out selections there are for the planned machines
  • PSO - How many total Projected Sold Out selections there are for the planned machines 
  • Avg Fill % - The average fill percentage for the planned machines
  • Avg. Collect - The average amount of expected collections for the planned machines
  • Total Collect - The total amount of expected collections for the planned machines
  • Min Met - Indicates whether the planned minimum of machines was met
  • Max Met - Indicates whether the planned maximum of machines was met

Under Actions, you can use (Undo) to undo the pending route, (Finalize)to finalize and plan the route, or (Details) to view the details. Go ahead and click Details to review the route before finalizing.


The top of the Details page lists the route details, seen below. 




The route name, driver, warehouse, and truck are listed on top. 

  • indicates how many machines were planned out of those available.
  • indicates how many OCS Stations were planned out of those available.
  • indicates how many locations were planned out of those available. 

The information on the bottom matches the information in the Ready to Review section. If you need a refresher for any of the terms, you can hover your mouse cursor over it to bring up an expanded term.

Note: When reviewing, the VMS cannot take into account if a location is closed or expecting more or less business than usual. Any unusual instances like these should be checked by the person planning the route.




In the top left corner, you can select whether to view All planned instances (machines, markets, & OCS stations), just the Points of Sale, just the OCS stations/orders, or click to view the Planned Summary, which will be covered in a moment. 

By clicking or , the Toggle Columns dropdown will appear (and is different for each), allowing you to select which informational columns you would like to view.


You can hover over most column headers here in order to view expanded terms. 


Note: You can enter more than or less than statements in the filters. For example, entering ">=3" in the SO column will filter for all machines that have 3 or more Sold Outs.



In the top right corner of every location, you can view All, only Points of Sale, or only OCS stations/orders.


All machines in a location will be displayed, regardless of whether they met the Planning Tier rule thresholds.

Under Action, you can select your servicing action for a machine/market. 

If you have Auto Collect enabled in Company Settings>Route Planning, then any POS that meets this threshold will have its Action set as Service & Collect by default.


If audits are enabled, an Audit column will appear to the left of Plan. You can check it off in order to have the machine's service include an inventory audit.


will appear in the Plan column when a POS was auto-planned because it met the threshold rule in your Planning Tier.

  

Any Points of Sale where the row is blue means the POS is an Offline Machine. If the row is red, the POS has a Breakdown Alert. If the row is yellow, then the POS is already planned for service in another pending route.

 

Clicking Planned Summary will allow you to review the machines in a more compact way.


By default, the machines are listed in order of Priority, but you can click each column header to sort by it.

The columns on the right will directly reflect the conditions indicated in the Planning Tier's rules. Any values listed in green indicates that it met the threshold of the condition. 



Once you are finished reviewing, you can return to the top of the page or return to the Planning Summary page and click Finalize. If you are planning all routes at once, you can click Plan All. Finalizing the route will move it to the Progress tab and calculate the necessary prekitting. From the Progress tab, you can click View Details, which will allow you to access the regular Route Progress page, as well as prekitting options.