In the section Scheduling parameters, you define whether and how the customer should be taken into account by portatour® for sales-route scheduling if you do not provide differing parameters as shown above under Next call or New appointment.
These settings can be changed in portatour® Anywhere by clicking the edit icon . The editing page opens:
If you want to use the specifications which are set in the portatour® Options (see section Scheduling parameters of customers ) (= 'Default' values) for individual scheduling parameters, select in the selection boxes the entry Default.
Specify your customers' call frequency with acall interval in days. You can either select one of the intervals suggested in the drop-down menu or enter a value between 7 and 730 days (i.e. between weekly and once every two years). If you cannot find your desired interval, select Custom at the bottom of the drop-down menu. Now, you can manually enter the interval in days:
If you do not want to call a customer regularly but only when necessary, set the call interval to None. Use reservations or appointments to manually include the customer in the schedule in case you have to visit him.
If automatically calculated call intervals are provided through the integration with other systems – e.g. according to the sales performance of customers – switch to calculated to use them.
Schedule calls automatically / manually
Customers can be Automatically scheduled by portatour® according to their call urgency. Call urgency is determined by portatour® by looking at the period between the last call and the current date, and comparing it with the specified call interval.
If the schedule is set to Manually, customers will only be scheduled if customer appointments have been created (see section Customer details) or if customers are included in the schedule by means of reservations (see section Reservations).
The setting Normal works well if your territory has the right dimensions, i.e. it is realistic to visit all customers during your working days at the desired call interval and taking into account travel times.
If your territory is too big (i.e. you have too many customers or call intervals are too short) it will no longer be possible to adhere to the customers' call intervals. Calls will take place too late. However, portatour® will keep the proportions right, i.e. a 30-day customer will still be visited twice as often as a 60-day customer, however not every 30 days but later.
The setting Preferred helps you to avoid that the call interval is exceeded - even when your territory is too big. portatour® takes care of the creation of an 'internal reservation' once the call interval has expired.
Two important hints for this setting:
- Use it sparingly! Use the Preferred setting only for your most important customers for whom you do not tolerate any delayed calls. As a rule of thumb we recommend a maximum of 20 % of your regularly called customers. If you set too many customers as preferred, the desired effect will vanish as too many reservations cannot be accommodated in the schedule. In addition, route optimization will be pushed into the background.
- Make sure in advance that your territory has the right dimensions. Request the portatour® report for that purpose. The section 'Structure of customers' shows the 'Necessary calls per day to satisfy call interval'. If this value does not comply with reality, you have to adjust the number of customers or the call intervals.
Here you can select the estimated duration of a call at this customer. The manual input is analogous to the call interval. The value must be between 1 and 480 minutes. Do not only take into account the duration of the call itself but also time for finding a parking lot, preparing the call, walking distances from the car to the customer, possible registration and check-out formalities and waiting times.
Enter the next vacation period of the customer here. Despite any configured call urgency, portatour® does not schedule any calls during this period. You can either use the drop-down menu to select a date within the next 30 days, or click the Calendar symbol to select from a scrollable calendar view, where you can select a date which lies further ahead in the future. To delete the vacation, select the top entry (=empty) in both drop-down menus.
Press Save to apply your changes, which will be included immediately upon the next schedule calculation.