Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SAP Cloud for Customer (REX) - Routes

In this blog I will tell something about the functionality Routes in Cloud for Customer Retail a previous blog my colleague Marius van Ravenstein highlighted this new functionality in the February 2015 release of SAP Cloud for Customer:
Execution and share my experience with this new functionality. I call this new functionality because the existing functionality Tour became obsolete with the 1502 release. In

With the 1502 release there’s new functionality for route planning making the Tour functionality in the Visit workcenter obsolete. With the route planning you’re able to create route templates which you can copy and automatically generate visits from, before this was basically a manual activity. This is a very useful addition because many companies who are using retail execution are used to execute the same visit planning, for example, every month so with this functionality they can create a master template  and copy it to create the same visit planning for the next few months.  

Let’s go plan some routes………

With Routes it is possible to plan your visit in a route (sequence). This can be done ad-hoc or via a template. Creating a route can be used for a group of customers to visit only once and the template can be used multiple times or for recurring visits. From the template you can then plan your routes on certain dates.

In Visits > Routes you can create a new Route or a new Route Template


Create a route

  1. Under > Visits > Routes , choose New.
  2. In the Type field, select Route.
  3. Enter the details for this route and save your entries.
    • Start time, average prep time, average visit duration. The system pre-calculate these times for you as you add each visit .
    • Days on which you don’t plan to conduct visits.
  4. Open the route and go to More Details, where you can make the following settings:
    • Automatic rescheduling. If you use automatic rescheduling, when you add or move visits within the route, subsequent visits are rescheduled automatically.
  5. Add your accounts that you want to visit to the Route.
  6. Activate the route by choosing   Actions > Activate.
  7. Generate the visits in this route by choosing   Actions > Generate Visits.
Note: A background job is will generate these visits, which runs every eight minutes!

Create a Route Template

As described it is also possible to create a template of a Routes. This can be helpful when you want to plan visits multiple times or when you have recurring visits.
  1. Under > Visits > Routes , choose New.
  2. In the Type field, select Template.
  3. Enter the details for this template and save your entries.
  4. Open the template and go to More Details, where you can make the following settings:
    • Start time, average prep time, average visit duration
    • Automatic rescheduling.
  5. Under Involved Parties, you can define the owner, organizer, and assign this template to sales employees. Employees listed here can see and edit this template, as well as use it to generate routes.
  6. Under Attachments, add any documents that might be useful for these visits.
  7. Go to Overview and add visits. Note: Remember to organize the visits in the sequence you plan to conduct them. Enter the visits you want to make on day one, day two, and so on.
  8. Activate the template by choosing  > Actions > Activate .
  9. The template can now be used to create similar routes by choosing  > Actions > Create Route From Template. 

Visiting hours

Visiting hours (or business hours) can be maintained on accounts on tab Visiting Hours. These date and time ranges are taken into account when you plan site visits using routes.

When you activate a route, the system checks for conflicts, such as visits scheduled outside an account's visiting hours (you will get a warning). You can also trigger this check manually with > Actions > Check Route.

Unfortunately the system only gives a warning and won’t propose any new date or time. Besides that it is not visible what the actual Visiting hours are of customers with a conflict. Because this will be a new requirement for C4C, I posted this requirement as an Idea on the Idea website of SAP. So if you also like my idea, please click on the following link and Like (vote) my Idea:

Go-Ahead and plans some routes!