In ALK Content Tools, you can create custom Sites—predefined areas such as warehouses, shopping malls and business parks that include site-specific details for generating accurate, safe and efficient deliveries, down to the last mile.
A Site extends a location to include a boundary polygon around its perimeter, entry and exit points (gates), and other valuable information drivers need to avoid getting lost, feeling stressed or wasting time.
Creating a Site
To create a Site, the site location must already be assigned as a Place.
1. Click on Places in the top ribbon menu and select one of your existing Places in the Place Sets panel.
2. At the bottom of the Place's information, click on Manage in the Site Manager.
3. While you can create a Site using any map format, we recommend setting the Map Style in the top ribbon menu to Satellite Map.
TIP: Before creating a Site, it's best to make sure the Place icon is located at the spot within the Site you want vehicles to reach—perhaps a loading dock or main building entrance. This helps ensure the driver is routed to the correct location, especially within larger Sites. You can click and drag the Place icon to change its location, but only before creating the Site.
4. Click anywhere on the map to begin drawing the Site polygon around the Place. You create the polygon by:
- Clicking a spot on the boundary of the Site. Generally, the boundary polygon should be drawn inside of any roads needed to reach the Site. (See note below.)
- Dragging the drawing tool in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction and clicking again on the next spot on the boundary.
- Continuing to drag and click until the boundary polygon surrounds the entire perimeter.
NOTE: Any road the Site polygon crosses over will not be used in routing unless it's explicitly marked as a Site gate. This feature allows you to close off access roads that may not apply to a particular fleet or vehicle type.
4. When the entire Place is within the polygon, double-click to complete the Site.
5. If you need to start over and re-draw the Site, click Clear at the bottom of the Site panel.
TIP: You don't need to create multiple Sites for a single physical location that contains distinct customer or work type locations (e.g. cold vs. dry dock, customer vs. pallet provider, multiple warehouse tenants). You could have any number of custom Places that inherit the Site information from a single Site, as long as they all fall within that Site's boundaries.
Adding Entry and Exit Gates
Once you've created a site, you must now add Entry and Exit gates. A Site must have at least one Entry and one Exit gate, or at least one Entry+Exit gate.
1. Click on the Add Gate button.
2. Click outside of the Site polygon or on its edge to define Entry or Exit gates for the site. It's often best to place a gate on a driveway where the Site connects to the public road network.
3. If necessary, you can drag the gate location to change its placement.
4. To add additional gates, repeats steps 1-3 above.
5. Once you have added gates, you will see a next to each gate in the Site manager. Click that button to expand or contract the information you see about that gate. Once expanded, you can:
Change the Gate Type
Add Gate Restrictions
Add Driver Notes
Driver Notes are short messages (maximum of 60 characters) sent to the driver in CoPilot as he or she approaches that gate. The notification is both audible (text-to-speech) and visual (pop-up text display).
6. Click Save once you have completed gate information. This Place has now been saved as a Site. Places that are defined as Sites will show a blue square in their listing under a Place Set.
Adding a Gate Path
After creating a Gate, you also have the option to add a Gate Path to specify which roads you want drivers to take to approach or to depart a Site. A Gate Path can provide consistency in first- and last-mile routing for Sites that you or your drivers visit regularly.
You can create a Gate Path for each gate in a Site: An Entry Path can be created for an Entry gate; an Exit Path for an Exit gate; or either type of path for an Entry+Exit gate.
1. Under Gate Path, click on Add Entry Path or Add Exit Path. A green (Entry Path) or red (Exit Path) circle will appear behind your cursor in the ALK Content Tools map window.
2. Move the cursor to a nearby road (maximum of five miles away) that you would like your vehicles to use to approach or depart the Site. When you click on that road segment, a suggested route path will automatically be drawn in a color that matches the gate type.
3. If you are happy with the suggested Gate Path, click Finish and then Save. The Gath Path will be saved as part of that Site and used in routing the next time ALK Content Tools is synced with any of your ALK solutions, including CoPilot, PC*MILER, PC*MILER Web and ALK Maps.
NOTE: You can create multiple paths per gate if, say, you want to use different roads depending on the direction from which you are approaching the Site.
4. If you would like to change the route of the Gate Path, you can:
Delete the path and start over. Click on Finish and then the trash can icon.
Modify the path. Hover your cursor anywhere on the path. You will be given the option to click on the path and drag it to a new location.
When finished, always be sure to click Finish and Save to ensure your path is saved.