Case Study

Swap, Repower and Relay Assistant

Overview

Maverick Transportation is a Little Rock–Arkansas based transportation and logistics company. Maverick operates over 1500 trucks coast-to-coast, in Canada and to Mexico providing customized logistics solutions. Logistics solutions are provided through variety of trucks such as Flatbed, Pneumatic, Temperature Control, etc.

Maverick has a mission to deliver the highest quality services by selecting, training and supporting the best drivers in the industry. It has a program which aims at having drivers at home on weekend. Maverick needed a system which can help the Fleet Managers to achieve the aim of this program.

Background and Objectives

The Maverick Fleet Managers have to balance customer demands, equipment and promises to the drivers to “get them home on time”. One of the ways to balance these needs is load swap among the drivers. The process of changing drivers (known as ‘Swap’) involves multiple steps of identification, selection and cost benefit analysis to make the right decision for the customer, the driver and for Maverick. Also, to ensure highest quality of service to their customers, Fleet Managers needed plan for Repower (dispatch the load through another truck) and Relay (ensure the load keeps on moving continuously through sequence of drivers).

The whole process requires experience and expertise about the geography, routes, loads, drivers, etc. In order to streamline the process, Maverick wanted Decision Support System to make a good decision.

Some of the objectives of this project were –

  • Map-based interface to visualize the current location of drivers and loads
  • Completely remove dependency on multiple tools for calculation, analysis, etc.
  • Define approach for identification of swap need and to aid decision making
  • Provide all related information such as current location, truck type, current load, etc. through single platform to help in quick decision
  • Provide ability to perform cost analysis for various combinations of swap candidates and locations
  • Maverick wanted to have minimal capital expenditure on platform.

CyberTech Solution

CyberTech implemented GeoServeTM as a decision support system to help the Fleet Managers in making quick and precise decision. The solution is a web-based system which provides intuitive visual interface for the identification of swap candidates. This system makes it easier for a Fleet Manager to find out which driver requires swap, identify good candidates for swap, perform what-if analysis to understand cost-benefit analysis, identify possibilities to repower and ensure relay of the load.

Solution was built in two parts –

  • A server-side application which ensures the system gets the latest data of the truck locations, routes, and decisions by Fleet Managers
  • A web front-end application to visualize and retrieve route & driver information, identify candidates for swap, repower or relay and analyze the cost associated with the decision

Reference data such as truck terminals and drivers’ home location was set-up in ArcGIS Online. The web-based front-end performed complex geo-spatial analysis to identify and suggest the best candidates for swap, repower and relay.

Key benefits provided by the system are –

  • Provide map based visualization of the routes, driver home locations, etc.
  • Integrated view of truck locations captured through GPS (AVL feeds)
  • Defined approach to identify and prioritize the drivers at highest risk, that may be unlikely to reach home on a defined date
  • Complex geo-spatial analysis to identify the suitable candidates for swap
  • Analysis and calculation of the cost associated with different strategies
  • What-if analysis of the different possibilities based on swap candidates and swap locations
  • Spatial analysis to identify the quickest available repower possibility
  • Help Fleet Managers in ensuring timely delivery through relay of the load using series of drivers

Esri Technologies Used

The solution used ArcGIS Online services as one-stop shop for all GIS needs. ArcGIS Online was used to store all the GIS data related to routes, driver home, etc. ArcGIS Online routing service was used to generate the route and to calculate the extra miles required to be travelled in each option available for the driver.

ArcGIS for WPF based application ensured that the routes (line features) are available for analysis based on the latest route plans.

GeoCivic for Economic Development – Implementation at US County

Overview

One of the US County’s Office of Economic Development (OED) had a business goal to attract new businesses in the county. CyberTech implemented its GeoCivic product to achieve OED’s vision. GeoCivic’s web-portal aims at helping the businesses to find viable locations within the county by considering various factors including economic zones, transit routes, demographics and competition.

Background

The County is located in United States and is the second most populated county in the state. This County has a population of more than 800,000 spread over 322 sq. miles of area.

This County is blessed with various advantages including freight train lines, access to ocean ports, waterfront and easy access to major cities. Additionally, county has varied incentive zones, existing built-out spaces, educated local workforce, parks and open spaces and great public transit including regional lines. Despite these advantages and opportunities available in county, the challenges for any business to start, expand or re-locate to this County were –

  • Varied incentive zones specific to the different towns
  • The data was not consolidated
  • Define approach for identification of swap need and to aid decision making
  • OED had minimal ways for helping the new business
  • Local realtor information was not available at a central location

The County’s Office of Economic Development had a primary mission of encouraging businesses to invest in the county by moving into vacant space and taking advantage of economic incentives.

CyberTech Solution

CyberTech implemented GeoCivic, an extremely powerful, visually intuitive, web-enabled, map-based solution, to address OED’s challenges. GeoCivic leverages ArcGIS platform, integrates with external data-sources such as Business Analyst Online, ArcGIS online, real estate websites, external databases, etc. and provides a web-based portal for ease of site selection.

GeoCivic consists of multiple components, which work in tandem to provide business benefits as follow:

  • GeoCivic database
  • GeoCivic data utilities
  • GeoCivic spatial analysis tools
  • GeoCivic integration component
  • GeoCivic web-portal

GeoCivic data-base is designed to leverage ArcGIS for Local Government (AG4LG) data-model. AG4LG data-model is known as the industry best practice for GIS data management. Various data utilities available with GeoCivic helped in easy set-up, refresh and management of data. GeoCivic consists of spatial analysis tools (GP tools) which perform analysis such as proximity to nearest transportation facility and make it readily available for on-demand visualization. GeoCivic web-portal provides a map-based web-interface for searching the sites, viewing the analysis results, comparing different sites, understanding factors critical to identification of site such as various incentive zones, site details, transit points, demographics, property-listing, etc.

Benefits

GeoCivic web-portal enables business users to easily search for properties and vacant spaces within the county. County staff can extract reports and analyze the usage of the web-portal, location of web-site users and specific areas of users’ interests. Various features provided by the GeoCivic include –

  • Simple interface for user registration and management
  • Easy 4-step process to search and analyze and identify the most suitable site
  • Map-based interface displaying various incentive zones, county assets and municipal profiles
  • Analyze parcels based on incentive zones, county data, nearby transport, etc.
  • Provision to display geographic features such as rail lines, highways, ports, etc.
  • Interface with the external real estate websites to find properties
  • Various reports on demographics, retail potential and traffic counts from Business Analyst Online
  • Advanced tools for county staff to resolve queries from business users
  • Visitor statistics report for county admin to analyze website usage, area of interest, source location of users, etc.

Predictive Analysis and Notification System

Overview

Fastenal is an industrial supply company based in Winona, Minnesota. Fastenal distributes industrial, safety and construction supplies and also offers third-party logistics and inventory management services. Company has a nationwide network of 2600 retail stores.

The distribution process is monitored and managed by Fastenal’s Ground Traffic Control (GTC) group. Distribution is managed through more than 400 trucks dispatching supplies on 250+ routes throughout USA and Canada. There was a need for a system which efficiently monitors the trucks and also alerts about possible delays.

Background and Challenges

Fastenal’s primary business depends on efficient and timely distribution of product to customers. GTC defines routes, dispatches drivers, supports decision making about dispatch, and monitors deliveries. Much of the product moves over night to meet target delivery dates at each store early in the morning. To improve communication, reduce wait time, and reduce the need to staff, Fastenal wanted a system that will automatically monitor the delivery fleet and notify GTC operations, regional managers, store managers and sales staff about product delivery, current fleet traffic, known delays and known hazard conditions.

Some of the challenges faced were –

  • Lack of single interface to visualize multiple stock locations such as warehouses and their details
  • Absence of map-based interface to determine distribution routes and current position of dispatches
  • Monitoring of dispatches and truck movements
  • Ability to identifying the impact of delay on downstream stops on the route
  • Prediction of delays due to traffic congestions, unfavorable weather conditions, etc.
  • Notification system to alert the store personnel about possible delays

To address these business challenges Fastenal wanted the system to be implemented with --

  • Minimal capital expenditure
  • Minimal or no in-house infrastructure thereby avoiding maintenance liabilities
  • Limited platform set-up

CyberTech Solution

CyberTech implemented GeoServeTM cloud offering which provides combination of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The solution was hosted on cloud-server and used ArcGIS Online to satisfy all the GIS data & service needs.

The proposed solution was built in two parts –

  • A web front-end to manage stops and routes, visualize and retrieve route & truck position information and view dashboard for the status of operations
  • A server-side application which continuously monitors the trucks, predicts possible delays due to adverse weather conditions, calculates the delay based on actual truck position and notifies the relevant personnel through e-mail.

Key benefits provided by the system are –

  • Provided map based visualization of the stops and routes
  • Route can be planned to repeat after defined interval such as daily or weekly
  • Integrated view of truck locations captured through GPS (AVL feeds)
  • Intuitive visualization of active & inactive routes
  • Thematic view identifying the stops impacted due to delay
  • Complex geo-spatial calculations to identify the possible delay to downstream stops
  • Predictive analysis of the impact of adverse weather conditions on the route
  • Notification to relevant personnel about the predicted delays

Esri Technologies Used

In order to avoid capital expenditure, the solution was based on ArcGIS Online services. ArcGIS Online was used to store all the GIS data related to stops and routes. Web-interface provided ability to upload the routes as sequence of stops. ArcGIS Online routing service was used to generate the route to be adopted by the trucks to service the required stops. This route was used for calculation of delay.

ArcGIS for WPF based application was installed for continuous monitoring of the trucks, identification of delays and predictive analysis based on weather forecast services from Esri and NOAA. This application interacted with the third party services to provide the GPS locations of the trucks at regular intervals.

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