Last week I was doing a demo with a dry cleaning company that utilizes door to door prospecting to generate business for their route service. As we were going through the demo they asked me if SPOTIO could create a route automatically for their drivers to follow in order to optimize their driving time on pick up days.
At first, I said no we can’t do that because it is not a native SPOTIO feature at this time. However, after thinking about it for a few seconds I came up with an idea, gave it a try and BOOM! we were able to create a Route with directions FOR FREE right from the SPOTIO data.
Below are the steps we took to accomplish this:
Step 1: Assign pick up date in Question.
Each morning the drivers were going to print out their route for the days pickups so we added a custom field labeled “Pickup Day” where they entered the day of the week that the pickup would occur.
From there we created a Report where they could filter down to the “Sold” status and then filter further by the “Pickup Day.” We filter by the Sold status because that means they are current customers.
We saved the report as “Daily Route” so it could be easily pulled up each morning. The Pickup Day filter will have to be modified each morning to show the Pins for that day but that takes only a few seconds.
Here are some support forum posts on how to:
Create a Custom Report
Customize the Questions
For the route planning software you will only need the Address, City, State and Zip.
Step 2: Export the Daily Route report to a .csv document
Once the correct Pins are showing on the screen for the days route you will Export the report to a .csv document.
Once the .csv spreadsheet is saved, make sure you know the location it is stored on your computer so you can locate it for the next step.
Step 3: Importing to the Routing Software
When I did this for the first time I went to google and typed in “free route planning” and a ton of them pulled up. What you are looking for is a tool that allows you to upload a csv file.
MapQuest – has an easy upload feature
RouteXL – specializing in routes
These are the free ones that I found. There are a ton of paid services out there that might be easier but these are free.
Step 4: Create Your Route
You may have to verify some of the addresses but the end result is that it will spit out a list of directions for you to go to in the order that makes the most sense. I don’t think it is necessary to print out all 50 pages of the directions and everything you really just need to know the order and then can use the GPS for turn by turn directions once the driver is in the truck.
We made a conscious decision when we created SPOTIO to ensure that is played nice with others. We did this by integrating the app with Zapier (www.zapier.com) and having an easy to use Exporting and Importing tool. This way you can automate your business processes even more. Time is money!