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Mapping Pizza Delivery with Microsoft Streets and Trips
wwwursa
I design Point of Sales (POS) systems for the hospitality industry including pizza delivery.

1. I am wondering if anyone uses Microsoft Streets and Trips in this sort of application.
2. Can I click on a address in a database and have it appear in the MS Streets and Trips map on a computer screen?
3. Any info on this subject would be appreciated.

Thanks
Ken in Regina
We would need more specific details to answer fully.

In Streets&Trips you can enter an address, Streets&Trips will search its address database and pinpoint the location on the map for you.

If you want to create a route from somewhere to that location there are a couple of ways you can do it. You can click an icon that puts you into a Trip Planner. In the trip planner you can enter addresses one at a time and if Streets&Trips can find a match in its address database you can add it to the list of addresses in the "trip" being planned. Once you have all the addresses in the list that you want, you can have Streets&Trips create a route that includes them all.

You can shift the addresses up and down in the list to match whatever order you want. Or you can have Streets&trips create an optimized route for you.

You can save the file with the route in it so that you can load it again and use it any time you want.

You can bulk load addresses into Streets&Trips from an Excel spreadsheet and use them in a similar fashion as above.

So, you can probably do what you want but without knowing exactly how you want to be able to work with it it's impossible to say for sure. The devil is always in the details.

...ken...
wwwursa
I have had time to sleep on it to clarify my thoughts.

Let's assume I have 20 pizza orders to be delivered to 20 locations within a 7 mile radius.

I want to click on a box called MAP on my computer.
I want the locations of the 20 orders to appear on a map on my touch monitor; preferably as little circles without the locations written to keep the map "clean".
I want the manager to be able to touch the screen and select the locations (let say 5 locations) he wants a driver to deliver.
Then I want the manager to press a box on the screen that says ROUTE.
The pizza store location will always be the starting point of the trip.
The system will then print out the shortest route to deliver the pizzas and as an option to print out a map showing the route.
At that point

MISC. QUESTIONS:

1. Can I get the 20 addresses from a database and have them transferred to the map on the computer touch monitor?
2. Can I customize the directions (reduce some of the irrelevant information) so it will print out on a receipt printer that prints on 3 inch wide paper.
t1d
As Ken has mentioned, MS Streets & Trips has the ability to import addresses from a spreadsheet. It also has the ability to print (separte)directions. You will face a few interFace questions:

With pizza delivery, I would think that your POS register is pulling up the customer by their phone number, including their address. Your register will need the ability to export the names and addresses to an Excel spreadsheet. I doubt it has this function, but maybe the developer could write an application for a small fee.

If this function can not be obtained, then the cashier would have to manually build the address list on a separate program. If you are using a computer as a register, then everything could be run off the same machine. And, for the increased efficiency, it would likely be worth the manual effort. However, extreme accuracy in writting the list would be needed. And, this might be hard to maintain in rush hours.

Once the address list is built, it would be imported into S&T. S&T would then be used to "Optimize the Route." That is, S&T has a function to find the best route to connect all the delivery locations. After this function is completed, the "Get Directions" function will provide written directions for the delivery stops and place them on the map as individual icons.

As for using the credit card printer to print (just) the directions, this would just be a matter of finding a printer driver for the credit card printer. However, a separate full page printer would be worth the investment. It could print the map (a picture is worth a 1,000 wrong turns) and the directions large enough to read in a [stopped] dark car. Additionally, experienced drivers may know quicker routes (due to traffic or construction zones, etc.) or areas to be avoided (ganglands), just by looking at the map.

Ken and I reserve the right to charge consulting fees in arrears, if you are a national mega pizza company

Tom
SpadesFlush
This task does not make any sense to me.

If I call up and order a pizza, I want it cooked and dispatched immediately; I don't want it hanging around waiting for another 19 orders so delivery routes can be optimized.
wwwursa
First, My example showed 19 deliveries to go but only 5 orders were being delivered by this particular driver.


Do actually think that they send out just one delivery order at a time? They would have to charge you an extra $2.00 just for gas and labor.

It is very common for a driver to take a group of deliveries at one time; especially independently owned establishments who usually deliver to a greater mileage radius then Dominoes who usually is in concentrated housing areas..
wwwursa
To follow up on my previous email a delivery establishment could easily get 20 pizza delivery orders in each half hour for several hours on a busy night.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by t1dunn
Ken and I reserve the right to charge consulting fees in arrears, if you are a national mega pizza company
Or at least get free pizza.

...ken...
wwwursa
No mega pizza company; just a small independent software designer.
Ken in Regina
As mentioned above, the devil is in the details and there are still not enough details. At this point I'm not sure I want any more because, as Tom mentioned, the next steps put us into full-blown consultant mode. That is, you need someone familiar with Streets&Trips (or possibly Mappoint) to look at what you are currently using (equipment, software) to assess what it can do about providing the addresses and see how it could be made to interface with Streets&Trips (or Mappoint) to pass the addresses.

If the addresses always have to be input manually for each order (which I doubt), it gets rather easy. If most of them come up with the incoming caller ID delivery then you have an issue of how to get them passed to Streets&Trips.

Once in Streets&Trips it's pretty simple. They do not need to go in as a route. They just need to go in as pushpins (Streets&Trips terminology).

Pushpins display as symbols of your choice on a map. They are refered to as pushpins because a big red pushpin is the default display symbol.

It's simple to select a few of the pushpins, have Streets&Trips generate a route and print the driving directions.

But again, devil/details. Streets&Trips does not have any touchscreen ability. And without knowing the technical details of your receipt printer it's impossible to know how easy or difficult it might be to use it.

I'm not trying to dodge anything, but the major issues at this point no longer revolve around the features and functions of Streets&Trips (or possibly Mappoint) but are almost totally dependent upon your current equipment setup and what could be done to connect the nav program into it effectively.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwwursa
No mega pizza company; just a small independent software designer.
Ooops. That changes the context. Ignore what I said above about getting yourself a consultant. As the consultant you need to get a copy of Streets&Trips and make yourself familiar with what it can and cannot do.

We'll be happy to help with that.

Optionally, if you need something with a full-blown API you could take a look at Mappoint. It has the same nav functions and user interface as Streets&Trips but adds full integration with MS Office and a documented API for programmatic interaction with it.

There are better places to get help with Mappoint's Office integration and API than here.

...ken...
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwwursa
...
Do actually think that they send out just one delivery order at a time? They would have to charge you an extra $2.00 just for gas and labor.

...
Well, you got me stumped with that one. I only consume, not deliver.

If you had done a simple search on this forum for the word "pizza," you might have come across this page http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/2565-review-microsoft-streets-trips-2009-a that contains an entry from a guy who actually delivers pizza. You might get in touch with him rather than mucking around with us amateurs.

Here's hoping you make a million with your product.
wwwursa
First, thank you very much for every ones help on this proposed idea.

Based on your information it may be easier then I thought. Here is how I think it will work.

1. I will have a list of about 20 pizza deliveries to be made. The relevant customer information (address, city, zip, customer name) is in the database.
2. I have a driver available who can handle about 5 deliveries.
3. My software will create an excel list of the 20 possible deliveries from the data base. I think I can also download directly the info from my database.
4. I believe at this point streets and maps or mappoint can download the 20 locations as pinpoints onto the 15 inch computer screen. I also will have as one of the deliveries the pizza delivery store location so I can use that as my starting point.
5. I am a novice about streets and maps (1 hour of viewing) and here is where I wonder if S&M can take the next steps.
5a. I want to use my mouse and click on the 5 deliveries out of the 20 on the map plus the location of the pizza delivery store as the starting point.
6. At this point, I want to press some tabs on S&M and want S&M to create the fastest route directions.

I can do steps 1 through 4.
Can S&M do 5 and 6?
If not, can MapPoint do 5 and 6?

Sincerely,

Bill Miller
t1d
It would be easier to clean up the Excel list and then to only import the needed addresses. Where do i send the consultation bill for Ken (in Regina) and me?
Marvin Hlavac
5a. You can right-click each pushpin, and then select "Add to route"
6. Click the "Optimize route" button on the bottom of the Route Planner pane
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