Blog Updates

Check out the latest updates from EnGraph Software

Google features EnGraph in 2013 Economic Report

18 July

Kyle 2013 ks

This week, Google released their 2013 Economic Report and EnGraph was highlighted as a featured business in Kansas! Google products, especially Google AdWords, have been a huge part of our recent growth. We really enjoyed working with Wendy at Google during this process and couldn’t be happier with the final result.

As a bonus, Lenexa (the city of our headquarters) was chosen as 2013 eCity. We are proud to be part of the strongest online business community in Kansas.

EnGraph is in good company with some really neat businesses also featured in this report from other states. Dayton Children’s Hospital in Ohio and University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota were also highlighted. AmpleHarvest.org from New Jersey is working to supply food pantries with local produce. Lyman Orchards from Connecticut is the twelfth-oldest family owned business in the US (since 1741).

We are proud to be part of this group and we look forward to working with Google for a very long time.

Geo-fence scheduling with ParaPlan

09 June

Routeann

 

Geo-fencing is a powerful tool in scheduling trips. ParaPlan uses geo-fences called zones to label specific geographic areas. Recently, we talked about how to create zones from GPX files and how to create zones from a city name. Today, we are going to talk about how zones can be used during autoschedule to keep vehicles working in a specific region of the service area.

As a recap, zones restrict routes to only perform trips that start and stop in that zone. A route labeled North that is set up around downtown and northern suburbs would not be eligible to perform a trip for Mrs. Jones on the south side of the city. Eligible means that ParaPlan will not auto schedule Mrs. Jones to a route in the North zone. It also means that the reservation for Mrs. Jones will not include North routes on the quick trip assignment. Only routes that contain south side zones OR no zone at all will be in the route drop down list on the reservation screen. This is a new feature in ParaPlan and will greatly reduce scheduling errors during the reservation intake phase.

We typically see three different types of trips, geographically speaking. Service-based trips, needs-based trips and out of town trips.

Service

Servicebased

Service-based trips would cover trips to the grocery store, bank, or the drugstore. These trips are short in distance and short in duration. Usually they occur within the bounds of a single city. Quite frequently, it makes the most the sense for the driver to wait for the client to finish their business, then take them back home. When setting up a zone to perform service-based trips, a good design would encompass the residential and commercial areas of a city or suburban area.

Needs

Need based

Needs-based trips typically transport a client to a specialized facility. This could be a daycare or dialysis center. Generally, these places are centrally located and serve individuals from a large region. To set up zones to service these trips, include several known residential areas and the central downtown district.

Out of town

Out of town trips can have zones if the situation calls for it. If there are frequent trips to a facility over 50 miles away then creating a zone that encompasses both areas would make sense. Otherwise, just don’t assign a zone to a route. This will make the route eligible to perform any trip.

Smarter scheduling

By knowing the kinds of trips being performed, users can set up a medley of service-based and needs-based routes to efficiently schedule a large batch of trips. This will keep vehicles working in a very specific region. It is much better for drivers to stay in familiar areas. If they are comfortable driving the bus and appear relaxed, the passengers will also feel more comfortable. We understand how important this is for special needs transportation.

EnGraph ready for CTAA Expo 2014

06 June

expo_2014_blue

We are very excited to see what this year’s CTAA Expo at the Saint Paul RiverCentre has to offer next week!  We will again be joining our partner, Radio Engineering Industries (REI) in the exhibit hall, so please stop by.

For more on the CTAA Expo 2014 next week, please visit… http://www.ctaa.org/expo

For current updates from the show:  #CTAAExpo

We are also on twitter at @EnGraphSoftware

How to get APN device token from ParaPlan iOS

01 June

2014 06 01 22 12 14

Every iOS device that runs ParaPlan has a device token that we use to directly communicate with that device. This is how we send out push notifications to a specific driver when they have changes to their manifest.

Sometimes, we need to be sure that a device is correctly configured, so we may ask you to send us the device token. To accomplish this, go to the Settings tab, then long press on the logout button. After a few seconds, the share sheet will be displayed and the device token can be emailed directly to EnGraph.

Add PO numbers to Invoices

29 May

Amazon WorkSpaces

Invoices often have purchase orders or billing codes that the recipient needs to record when processing the invoice. We have just added support for this in ParaPlan Billing.

When generating a new invoice, enter the billing code or PO into the Reference field and we will display that value on the invoice. We will also remember this Reference and associated it with the funding source. This means the next time an invoice is generated for that funding source, the Reference field will be pre-populated.

Happy invoicing!

Create simple geofences based on city

21 May

 

Screenshot 2014 05 21 22 34 43

In our last post, we talked about creating complex geofences by drawing on a map and how that will keep routes working in a specific location. As a simpler alternative we also support geofences based on a city.

Simply create a new zone called “City of Gaffney” and that will keep any routes that are assigned to that zone working only in that city. A common workflow would be to have several routes assigned to the “City of Gaffney” zone that would do all the in-city trips and then several additional routes that are not assigned to any zone that would be eligible to perform the trips that go out of the city limits.

A slightly more complicated example would be the Greenville metro where there are urban and suburban cities. For these cases, we support zones with multiple cities. An agency in this area would have zones that looked like:

“City of Greenville, Mauldin,Simpsonville, Fountain Inn” – This would take people from the south side to downtown.
“City of Greenville, Powdersville, Easley” – This would bring people in from the west side.
“City of Greenville, Taylors, Greer”  - This would cover all the east side trips.
“City of Greenville, Travelers Rest” – This would be for trips to and from the north side of town.

This feature is an easy way to keep vehicles working in the same place, where they are most familiar, instead of spreading them all over the service area. This is good for the drivers and a good way to save on gas. 

How to create a geofence from GPX

21 May

Addgeofence

We are almost done with a feature in ParaPlan Desktop that will allow route planners to set up geofences around their routes to keep them working in a specific area of town. In preparation for that, we have added support for direct importing of GPX files to create the geofences.

Here is a quick tutorial:

  1. On the sidebar, click All Elements, then Zones.
  2. In the Zone Finder, click New Zone. A blank zone window will open up.
  3. Open a web browser and navigate to http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/draw/
  4. Click the Track button on the right-side toolbox.
  5. Click on the map to create the geofence. Be sure to circle back to the first point and click it to complete the shape.
  6. Click the GPX button on the right-side toolbox. This will generate a link to a GPX file that can be downloaded to the computer.
  7. Back to ParaPlan and the new Zone window, click Bulk Lat/Long insert, then click Import GPX file. Select the file that was downloaded in step 6.
  8. Label the new Zone.
  9. Click Save and Close.

Route planners can now assign routes to the Zone, and ParaPlan will only schedule trips in that area to that route.

Smarter batch autoscheduling with ParaPlan

13 May

20140513-223501.jpg

We released a new feature in ParaPlan Desktop that makes it easier to selectively automatically assign trips to routes. This means that if there is a route that is reserved for performing callbacks or just for long runs, you can prevent trips from being automatically scheduled to that route.

To prevent a route from being eligible for autoschedule, simply minimize the route and it will become hidden from the main view and will not have any trips autoscheduled to it.

Single-trip autoscheduling will continue to show all routes that could be used even if they are minimized.

New Invoicing features for ParaPlan Desktop

01 May

 

Amazon WorkSpaces

We have added two new features to our billing and invoicing system that make it more powerful than ever. 

Export to Excel

Data portability is so important. Information moves faster than ever these days. Removing manual data entry means that you can work more quickly and with fewer mistakes. ParaPlan already supports automatic importing of trips from popular trip brokerage providers like LogistiCare, Southeastrans, MTM and others. We also support exporting to Excel for all of our custom queries and many of our 100+ custom reports. This means that you can print a nicely formatted report that displays your ridership statistics or you can export a data-only file to feed into other systems.

We extended this Excel functionality to Invoices today. This is very exciting as it allows our clients to create raw Excel files that can be uploaded into 3rd party systems for quicker and more accurate payments.

Automation gets us giddy. Now our clients can perform the following workflow for trips from acceptance to payment without entering a single piece of data!

-Dispatcher Claire downloads new batch trip import file from brokerage.

-Claire imports trips into ParaPlan. Not a single name, address nor time has to be typed.

-Claire uses ParaPlan Autoschedule to determine the best routes for the new imported trips.

-Driver Joe gets an alert on his iPad that he has new trips to perform and starts his route.

-As Joe performs his trips, he swipes on his iPad to mark that he picked up and dropped off his clients. ParaPlan Mobile automatically keeps track of his odometer and the times that he performed the trips. Now Joe doesn’t have to write anything down, so he can focus on getting to his stops safely and on time. If a client isn’t there, he can No-Show them directly from his iPad.

-At the end of the day, Claire opens up ParaPlan Invoicing. She can select all the trips that were done today (and the No-Shows if she desires) and generate an Excel file of the actual times, odometers and any other information the brokerage may request for payments. We can even capture a client signature for Claire.

-The Excel file is uploaded to the broker for quick and easy payments.

Multiple Invoice Templates

Previously, users had to go through the hassle of changing the default system Invoice template if they wanted to generate differently formatted invoices. Now it is as simple as selecting the template you’d like to use before clicking the print button. Of course, your default template is pre-selected, so no extra clicks are needed to perform normal invoicing. 

Find out more

Today, we made our software easier and removed manual steps in our client’s workflow. If you would like to learn more about how EnGraph can simplify your Paratransit or NEMT operation, contact us or call Kyle at 913-735-6651.