The Swiss Post services vastly different geographic areas, ranging from the country’s lowlands, to the mountains, to large cosmopolitan cities like Geneva and Zürich. The verification of their route sequences was initially manually completed on paper, then moved to Microsoft Excel and color coded maps. As Switzerland grew, the buildings, related traffic, and mail volume increased. Using an Oracle Database, new delivery points were added manually at the apparent best sequence based on information from the mail sorting centers. The process was not ideal because new points were added where routes had capacity, causing the routes to become less geographically compact, and increasing travel times. Realizing the inefficiencies of this system, they sought a tool that would set them on the road to improvement.
Swiss Post looked to automate the routing process. RouteSmart was a great match for them because they already depended on Esri’s ArcGIS platform. They set up a competency center with three routing specialists that would oversee 9,000 routes. In 2012, they added two more specialists to manage the workload. They now use RouteSmart for larger reorganization projects on demand and make everything as automated as possible.
Working closely with postal carriers, Swiss Post harnessed RouteSmart for ArcGIS to benchmark delivery times for 2,300 routes throughout Switzerland. They then optimized the routes to save over 1.3 million CHF in 2013, significantly decreasing the carriers’ individual delivery times.