VRAS: Virtual Resource Allocation System; Configuration and Use
Virtual Resource Allocation System
The Hudson Group Virtual Resource Allocation System (VRAS) provides an Agent, Dispatcher or Operations Manager the ability to graphically view total fleet capacity, Driver Capacity, Employee Capacity and booked reservations. By using this tool for Capacity Planning, it is possible to simulate different scenarios by assigning reservations to different vehicles or different drivers to maximize vehicle or driver capacity. The system can also be used to schedule employees. If necessary, it is possible to change lead times (travel times to pick-up), and lag times (travel times between pick-ups on a route) on a trip directly from the VRAS display. It is also possible to assign trips to vehicles and/or drivers from within the VRAS system.
This tool is very useful for the dispatcher, as it provides a visual means for allocating and distributing equipment and driver capacity.
Hudson Software requirements: Version 1.85b, Data Base release level 77.
Preliminary Setup and Configuration
Driver Resource Configuration
· If displaying Driver Resources – All Drivers must be setup and established in Tools Configuration Drivers. The Start Shifts On date must be set (found on MISC tab) for each driver to be displayed on the VRAS grid.
· If Displaying Driver Capacity – Driver Schedules must first be configured. Tools Configuration Driver Schedules – Create a schedule for each vehicle you wish to display on the VRAS capacity grid.
· If Displaying Driver Capacity – Driver Shifts must be generated. Go to Tools Configuration Driver Shifts – Click the Driver you wish to generate shifts for. Set the Start and end Date. If desired you can also specify driver group or shift type. Then click Generate Shifts. After generated, you may click Display Shifts to view the shifts created.
Employee Resource Configuration
· If displaying Employee Resources – All Employees must be setup and established in Tools Configuration Employees. The Start Shifts On date must be set (found on MISC tab) for each Employee to be displayed on the VRAS grid.
· If Displaying Employee Capacity – Employee Schedules must first be configured. Tools Configuration Employee Schedules – Create a schedule for each vehicle you wish to display on the VRAS capacity grid.
· If Displaying Employee Capacity – Employee Shifts must be generated. Go to Tools Configuration Employee Shifts – Click the Employee you wish to generate shifts for. Set the Start and end Date. If desired you can also specify Employee group or shift type. Then click Generate Shifts. After generated, you may click Display Shifts to view the shifts created.
Vehicle Resource Configuration
· If displaying Vehicle Resources – Vehicles must be setup and established in Tools Configuration Vehicles. The Start Shifts On date must be set (found on MISC tab) for each vehicle to be displayed on the VRAS grid.
· If displaying Vehicle Capacity – First Create Vehicle Shift Types (Tools - Configuration - Vehicles tab - Vehicle Shift Types). Click the new button (white paper button), add a code (no more than 2 characters), give the type a description, change the shift generate type to Generate, check off the Auto route VRAS trips to,and click Update and Save changes to DB. Some examples of type are N - Normal, AM - AM schedule, PM - PM schedule, WD - weekday schedule, WK - weekend schedule, etc. This can also be done by importing the shift types from the codes table by going to Tools - Transfer Shift Types from codes table. Then create the vehicle schedules (Tools - Configuration - Vehicles tab - Vehicle Schedules – Create a schedule for each vehicle you wish to display on the VRAS capacity grid.
· If displaying Vehicle Capacity – Vehicle Shifts must be generated. Go to Tools Configuration Vehicle Shifts - Click the Vehicle you wish to generate shifts for. Set the Start and end Date. If desired you can also specify vehicle group or shift type. Then click Generate Shifts. After generated, you may click Display Shifts to view the shifts created.
· Copy VRAS_TRIP_DETAIL.rtf and VRAS_VEHICLEDETAIL.rtf into the HWebTemplates directory on the server. Both documents are available for download in the attachments section in the upper right hand side.
· Go to Tools Configuration Templates. Create two new templates with the aliases: VRAS-Trip and VRAS-Vehicle respectively. The Template Type will be: Dispatcher Detail. The primary files will be the VRAS_TRIP_DETAIL.rtf and VRAS_VEHICLEDETAIL.rtf previously imported.
· Tools Configuration Advanced Features VRAS tab.
oUse Routing Driver ID & Use Routing Vehicle ID
1. UNCHECKED - If you wish to use the VRAS system to actually assign trips to a specific Driver and or Vehicle, then leave these items blank (unchecked). This means that as you move a trip on the VRAS screen and assign a trip to a vehicle/driver, that Vehicle/Driver assignment will be displayed on all dispatcher grids which include a vehicle or driver field.
2. CHECKED - If you wish to use the VRAS system as a general planning tool only, then place a check mark in one or both blanks. Vehicle/Driver assignments will not be made and will not be displayed to Dispatchers.
o VRAS Trip Template: (enter the corresponding alias created above) VRAS-Trip
o VRAS Vehicle Template: (enter the corresponding alias created above) VRAS-Vehicle
· Tools Configuration Fare and Services Services Tab - Scroll 2/3 of the way to the right and locate:
o Trip AutoRoute – Set to Always or Vehicle Capacity
o Enforce Strict Capacity Limits – Set to Always
o Est trip start adjustment type
1. None – No adjustment made to trip start time
2. Fixed – Add fixed number of minutes to start of trips to allow travel time to pickup location from base office. Number of minutes set in next column…
3. Location adjustment – Add number of minutes to start of trips to allow travel time to pickup location from base office. Number of minutes set in fare.csv file for each location. Value is listed in column Y (Est. trip adjust time (minutes))
o Est trip start adjustment – Number of additional minutes to add to all trip start times to allow for travel. This may differ for different service/vehicle types. Example: a sedan may have a fixed time of 15 minutes, and a bus may have a fixed time of 25 minutes.
o Est trip end adjustment type – same as #2 above, but this is time added to the end of a trip.
o Est trip end adjustment - Same as #3 above, but this is added to end of a trip.
1. Open a VRAS Matrix
From HWeb Agent, Click:
Tools Agent Tools Driver Resource Allocation
Tools Agent Tools Employee Resource Allocation
Tools Agent Tools Vehicle Resource Allocation
From HWeb Dispatcher
Tools Dispatcher Tools Driver Resource Allocation
Tools Dispatcher Tools Employee Resource Allocation
Tools Dispatcher Tools Vehicle Resource Allocation
- Set the Date - Select the date you wish to display resources and reservations for.
- If you wish to see all vehicles/drivers remove the check mark next to SCHEDULED ONLY. If left checked, then only Vehicles/Drivers with Scheduled shifts will display. Trips will only be auto routed to scheduled vehicles/drivers.
- Select Service Type – Choose from the drop down menu to display a single service only. Leave the default to view all Services.
- Select the Direction – or leave the default for all directions.
- Display Trips – by clicking Display Trips button, all current Trips will be imported and displayed on the VRAS matrix. By default, all trips are displayed underneath the list of scheduled or available vehicles/drivers in the left margin.
- Each trip will be displayed in a box with the trip number listed
- Each Box will have blue section – corresponding to the approximate times that clients will be in the vehicle.
- Each box will have an additional “leader” or “trailer” section, corresponding to the EstimatedTripStart and EstimatedTripEnd times, which is additional time at the beginning or end of a trip which allows for travel to or from the point of pickup/drop off. These may be adjusted or modified in the configuration steps described above.
- The leading or trailing sections will be:
i. PINK – if the trip is unscheduled
ii. WHITE – if the trip is scheduled
iii. RED – if the start or end time has been adjusted.
- To manually adjust the EstimatedTripStart or EstimatedTripEnd time on any given trip, place your mouse cursor over the beginning or end of a trip until the cursor changes to a double arrow. Click and hold the left mouse button, and drag the border of the box either left or right, to adjust the start/end time. Note: the Pickup time defined by the larger blue box does not change.
- To manually adjust the dropoff time on any given trip, place your mouse cursor over the end of the trip time until the cursor changes to a double arrow. Hold the shift key, click and hold the left mouse button, drag the border of the box to either left or right to adjust the dropoff time.
- To manually assign any given trip to a specific driver or vehicle, click on the blue box in any one of the trips to select that trip. Hold the left mouse button down and then move the mouse cursor vertically to drag and drop the trip on a different vehicle. Note: you can not accidentally change the time of the trip by moving it horizontally.
- To view the details of a Trip, double click that trip. A display window opens showing basic information about that trip including trip number, Service Type, Vehicle, Driver, Trip Start and end time, etc. Click Print to print the details to paper, or Click Close to close the window and return to the Matrix.
AutoRouting – The VRAS system will evaluate all trips and scheduled driver or vehicle shifts and will AUTOROUTE or assign trips to drivers or vehicles so that the maximum number of trips may be covered by utilizing available resources. The system may not always make the most profitable or logical combinations possible. A dispatcher or capacity planner should review all assignments made by VRAS for additional capacity management options.
Click ToolsAuto Route – All trips that “fit” into the scheduled Vehicles/drivers displayed in the left margin, will be automatically assigned to a vehicle or driver. The lead time/lag time box will change from PINK (unscheduled) to WHITE (scheduled). *
Trips left at the bottom, indicate that the system does not believe there is adequate driver or vehicle coverage and cannot assign or “cover” this trip. This may indicate that additional driver or vehicle resources are needed.
A large horizontal red bar on the left and or the right of a listed Driver or Vehicle, delineates the start or end of the scheduled shift. It is possible to modify the start or end time of a shift from within the VRAS system, by clicking on the extreme end of the shift “bar” and dragging it horizontally to the desired time.
If it is you desire to keep and save the changes you have made to vehicle/driver assignments, and to the EstStartTime and EstEndTime of the trips, then you should click SAVE CHANGES at the bottom of the matrix.
To Clear all AutoRouted assignments and return to the beginning view: Click Tools Clear all Routing Vehicles. All trips will be returned to the bottom part of the matrix and will appear as Unscheduled.
Using VRAS to assign Trips to Vehicles/Drivers
An experienced capacity planner may utilize the VRAS system to actually assign trips to Scheduled Vehicles and/or Scheduled Drivers. To enable this ability, refer back to the configuration section: Tools Configuration Advanced Features VRAS tab (described above under VRAS Configuration). Removing the check mark in either or both boxes will result in drivers or vehicles being assigned while in the VRAS system. Any driver or vehicle assigned to a trip inside the VRAS system will display accordingly in any/all dispatch grids.
The Hudson VRAS System may not make the most logical assignments. For Example – may put two consecutive drop offs together rather than a drop off / pickup combination, but all trips assigned should be logistically possible if all fare files, travel times, lead times and end times have been configured properly.