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Best way to group customers by truck route?


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I was looking at various ways to group customers by local truck route. We have our own fleet of trucks, and various local routes that service different customers. I would like a way to organize customers based on which truck route they belong to.

It seems that there is a default Ship Via option for Customer Class, but this doesn’t seem like the best way to organize customers by class (for example, the default credit terms for a customer have nothing to do with which truck route they are on).

Maybe there should be a Customer Shipping class added to Acumatica for this purpose? Does anyone have any ideas for how to do what I want without using the Customer Class for this?

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Best answer by Anacarina Calvo 27 April 2022, 19:36

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Hello,

Have you considered the Field Service module?  Field Service provides route management features. It’s designed specifically for businesses that service customers with drivers along specific routes. (Field service works great with or without the Route Management piece.)

Or are you looking specifically for a work around that does not use Acumatica’s Route features?

 

Laura

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Hi Laura-

No, I haven’t used field service yet, but I will check it out now. If it has truck route management, then I’m definitely interested. Does it integrate with the Distribution module (i.e. loading shipments onto trucks, offloading shipments, etc)? Technically, I think of “field service” as the copier technician, etc. I just want to make sure it’s actually suited to this use case and not a kludge to add route management.

 

Thanks,

 

Jonathan

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Hi Jonathan,

I don’t understand kludge but will suggest that you look on YouTube for demos or ask your partner for a demo.

I’ve had three clients using Field Service (electricians, solar power company, and restaurant service company). Only one used the route management to organize drivers, trucks and customers along the routes.  The others, as you suggested, are electrical and solar technicians who keep track of parts on their vehicles and service clients who have power out, etc. 

Good luck.

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In software design, kludge is kind of like a hack, but with a more pejorative meaning. Hacks can be good or bad, but kludge == bad hack.

What I’m trying to say is that I want to make sure that Field Service is designed to be used with the Distribution module for the purpose of delivering products to customers. It’s like if I bought a piece of software designed for ride-share companies, and then used it to route my trucks. That software might have features to do surge pricing, and ride hailing, and all kinds of other features that we would never use and would get in our way. It might also do some things we want it to do (like tracking where each vehicle is), but it wouldn’t align well with the majority of our use cases. So if this module would be similar (i.e. it does truck routing, but also has a bunch of features to track how long a technician is at a job site, and what parts he used while there, etc, then it would have a bunch of features we don’t want that would get in our way).

 

 

Userlevel 4
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Have you considered using customer attributes? I use the customer attributes anytime we need another way to group or filter down customers for reporting or assigning resources that the customer class doesn’t cover.

Since the routes might be tied more to a location than a customer you could look at a quick customization to add text field or combo box to house the information on the Customer Locations screen.

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We have clients who are using the Shipping Zone on the Customer & Customer Location to load their trucks & assign drivers/owners to the shipments. 

The warehouse loads the truck based on the shipping zone.

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@wfilipiak67 It seems like the Shipping Zone isn’t a part of customer class out of the box. Also, it seems like it’s purpose is to calculate freight charges based on the zone, so I’m always a little hesitant to coopt fields for one purpose that are designed for another. Has this approach worked well for you? Have there been any downsides to it?

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@Neil Cantral Customer attributes isn’t a bad idea. I will look into doing it that way.

We aren’t really using Customer Locations. We decided to make dedicated ship-to customers, for a variety of reasons related to how we do business.

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 Hi @rosenjon were you able to resolve your issue? Thank you!

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Hi @rosenjon
Regarding the integration with Route Management, at the moment this module does not integrates with Distribution module so it would not be a fit for your scenario. 

Route Management allows to create appointment visits based on recurring schedules. This appointments will be grouped in Routes. The appointments will allow to perform services or pick-up/deliver materials. In addition, the system allows to create appointments on the fly and assign to a route. 

We do not have the option of creating appointments based on Distribution’s Shipments. 

 

Userlevel 5
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@Anacarina Calvo  Thank you for giving the official answer.

Then my need in the below question is not available at present, neither.
 

 

Can this can considered in the future?

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