Driving distance, time, and cost can be calculated in Microsoft Excel using our Excel add-in CDXZipStream. Working in conjunction with Bing Maps or Microsoft Mappoint, it can process large sets of data and even handle routes covering multiple destinations. Getting results is as simple as entering a formula in Excel. A free demo is available making it easy to get started.
Please click on the video below to see a short demonstration of how it works:Calculating Driving Distance in Excel with CDXZipStream and Bing Maps
Driving distance, time and cost can be important parameters in operating a profitable business Although shipping and delivery are obvious areas where driving distance has a direct effect, there are also more industry-specific applications where accurate knowledge of driving distance and time is beneficial. For example, auto insurance carriers need to independently confirm commuting distance claims, and energy providers must schedule in-home service routes based on minimizing driving distance or time. In the real estate industry, providing clients with driving distance information (for driving to work, school, shopping) is becoming part of the standard informational package provided for each sale property. And across all industries, companies that process employee expense accounts that include personal auto use also require independent validation of miles travelled.
Let's review a couple of examples where driving distance calculations are effectively used to support two complementary industries:
real estate sales and home inspection
Example: Driving Distance Calculations in Real Estate Sales
To help provide additional guidance for home buyers, realtors can build a matrix of sale properties versus driving distance to important destinations, such as work, school, shopping, and health care. Using CDXZipStream, the following matrix was developed for a list of properties for a home buyer transferring to the Houston area, who also requested information on access to MD Anderson Cancer Center:
Using Excel's autofilter feature, it is also possible to remove properties from the list that may be outside the buyer's desired commuting area. For example, if the buyer wanted to limit his or her commute to 20 miles or less, properties outside this area can be hidden from view. This is an excellent example of how a realtor can improve the level of information provided to their clients and help make the buying process more streamlined.
Example: Driving Distance Calculations in the Home Inspection Industry
A New York City home inspection firm must visit various sites throughout the city on a daily basis. The site locations change frequently and an optimal route must be calculated each morning for each inspector. Here is an example list of locations that must be visited by an inspector in one day:
A route must be designed to cover these locations that is based on the shortest driving distance.
The route needs to take into account start and end points at the same central office location at 355 Fifth Avenue. There are eight different possibilities for the route that encompass all locations. CDXZipStream is used to calculate the shortest driving distance for each case, showing that three of the cases (2, 4, and 6) have virtually identical driving distance.
It may be possible, with good route planning made possible by this kind of analysis, to add more locations on a daily route or reduce costs associated with overtime when an unoptimized route results in longer work hours. This case effectively illustrates how driving distance calculations using tools like CDXZipStream can have a significant impact on costs and profitability.