Yet the manual planning methods that people still use to map out and balance run areas is one of the last areas where the luddites amongst us are still reticent to use new technologies to automate the planning process.
So why change? they say! We’ve always worked it out with a highlighter pen and paper up to now. And in any case, you only have to do it once at the start of a new contract then set and forget for 5 years.
Run planners from the newly appointed contractor would often just inherit old day-of-service areas from the prior contractor or council plan, They might make a stab at marking out map photocopies with yellow highlighters and at best try to balance the loads between the number if trucks quoted in the tender.
By the time you trial the runs and iteratively adjust them then many times, on paper, there goes the 6 months lead time you thought might just be enough to draw up an initial workable plan.
But wait… There’s a faster, better way to do all this! What if you could do several sets or run-plans within one month that had accurate workload projections?