22. February 2011 02:06
Route optimization is simply determining the most efficient driving route between multiple destinations, and can be applied to complex delivery systems as well as Saturday afternoon errands.
The advantages are pretty obvious. Reductions in fuel use, the savings in employee travel time, and the goodwill created with a truly effective, earth-friendly conservation program are significant. Route optimization provides a truly win-win opportunity for everyone. But the critical question, particularly for small business, is: What's the return on investment?
The cost of optimization software, as well as employee time to learn and run the software, must be weighed against its benefits. That's one of the reasons why we've developed a simple "one-click" Microsoft Excel template for route optimization, which provides no-risk testing of route optimization so organizations of all sizes can see its benefits firsthand before making any investment. The template can be downloaded free from our website, and works with free trials of the software (CDXZipStream supplied by us at CDX Technologies, and Microsoft MapPoint).
The template is very easy to use, and can be run on any PC that has Microsoft Excel. Just enter the addresses in the route, make a selection regarding the preferred optimization type, and the optimized route is calculated. It will even create a file that's compatible with many GPS systems. No outside consulting or special training is required, and just about anyone with basic computer skills can use it. See our YouTube video for a quick demonstration.
18. October 2010 05:39
We'd like to take the opportunity to talk about the CDX Technologies free on-line tool for getting demographic data by zip code. Just input a zip code and specify the report you need – general data about the location, demographics, population gender, or race – and a clear and concise report is returned to the web page. You can also export the data to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or presentation-quality PDF file, which is easy to send as an email attachment or include as part of a larger report.
This tool is currently a work-in-progress; we'll soon be updating it with the latest census information as it becomes available, and would also like to solicit opinions from our clients and readers here for suggestions on how we can make it even better. Drop us a line at support@CDXTech.com and let us know what you think!
We also enthusiastically recommend a web tool called American FactFinder, provided courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau. Not only does it draw on a huge stockpile of demographic data (such as the ten-year census, American Community Survey, and latest Economic Census), it's a pretty quick and reliable source of information when you need data for a small number of geographies. It's especially well-suited for getting very detailed, esoteric data which are not generally available from other free online tools. We don't recommend using it when you need data for many locations (in that case try our Excel add-in CDXZipStream), but for limited data it's a good place to start looking.
Note: Coming in January of 2011, American FactFinder will get a new look and some new functionality, including new table and mapping features. Hopefully the tables will be easier on the eyes and little less crowded with information.
So, with a nod to an old joke – "In God we trust, all others bring data" – consider getting your demographic data (free!) from the great online tools mentioned here.