How To Remove Time From Date In Excel Using Formula Route Optimization Using Microsoft Excel and MapPoint

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Route Optimization Using Microsoft Excel and MapPoint

Route optimization involves determining the best sequence of stops along a driving route to achieve the shortest possible travel time or distance. Optimizing routes (product delivery, service and sales calls, mobile healthcare, etc.) can significantly save time, money and fuel. Fortunately, it is possible to look beyond traditional, expensive route optimization software and use custom functions in Microsoft Excel to perform the same calculations.

Microsoft Excel custom functions, also called UDFs or “user-defined functions,” work within a formula in a worksheet cell to perform a variety of tasks and are used just like standard Excel functions such as LOOKUP or AVERAGE. To optimize the route of an Excel address list, a custom function works with Microsoft MapPoint to automatically return the reordered optimized list directly on the worksheet. MapPoint is route planning and mapping software that integrates with Microsoft Office products such as Excel. Through the use of custom functions, all interaction with MapPoint takes place in the background; there is no need to learn a new application because you only need to work in the familiar Excel environment.

Let’s say you have a list of addresses in Excel that represent the daily route of customer service calls. To determine the optimal driving order, a custom function would be used in an Excel formula like this: “= CustomFunction (AddressList)” where the address list is the worksheet cell range containing the addresses. For example, the formula “=CustomFunction(A1:A15)” returns an optimized list of all addresses in cells A1 through A15. Microsoft MapPoint (running in the background) determines the best order based on the shortest travel time, assuming that the first and last addresses are fixed and do not change in order.

As a spreadsheet application, Microsoft Excel is particularly well-suited to managing large amounts of data and can optimize a route for multiple sets of routes typical of delivery service and other business-related driving.

Other route optimization calculation results can also be returned to the worksheet, such as total trip duration (including stopovers at each address), fuel consumption, travel time and distance, route map and even step. – step by step instructions.

Route optimization is just one example of how custom features in Excel can leverage the power of other applications, such as Microsoft MapPoint, while allowing the user to work in the familiar Excel environment.

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