Formerly called Orbit, MasterRouter is a strategic sales planning platform and product of Opsi Systems, a world leader in transport planning and fleet optimisation. This document outlines Opsi Systems as a company, and explains how MasterRouter fits into its mix of products.
Opsi Systems was founded in 1997 by David Lubinsky, an academic with a PhD in Computer Science from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Statistics from the University of the Witwatersrand. David’s passion is to solve difficult mathematical problems and it seemed an optimum time, due to the lack of competition in the market, to branch out into transport planning and fleet optimisation software.
From consulting to product development
Headquartered in South Africa, this software development and consulting house set out to assist the transport sector with its vehicle logistics optimisation. From early days in consulting, they moved swiftly into product development when the desktop-based FLO was initiated just one year later. This scheduling and route optimisation platform was developed for the secondary distribution sector i.e. routing and scheduling from primary distributors to smaller distribution centres, supermarkets, retailers or directly to homes.
Next up, in 2004, PLATO was built, which comprises a suite of enterprise-level software modules in a well-rounded transportation management system. Still highly in demand today, PLATO is Opsi System’s most prevalent product. It functions across both primary and secondary distribution environments, and features sophisticated administrative modules – from dynamic multi-day planning and scheduling for complex transport operations; to financial management of third-party transporters bidding for trips and loads; and detailed execution management with planned versus actual analysis.
Award-winning in its niche
Rapidly making a name for themselves in the transport and logistics field, for their commitment to innovation, service quality and product excellence in route optimisation and fleet-management methodology, Opsi Systems has been an often-times winner in the Logistics Achiever Awards categories – both when entering directly via their own submissions and indirectly via their many clients who have entered.
By 2012, it was time for Opsi Systems to embrace the development of a web-based product, which was when ZENO was born. ZENO also incorporated a mobile app which has been instrumental in the platform’s success and popularity. In a nutshell, ZENO is an online web scheduler for same- and next-day planning of deliveries, servicing and home visits, with a built-in workflow management component. So Opsi Systems has succeeded in creating an impressive suite of products that are being used successfully by top-tier brands to this day. The team is constantly monitoring the pulse of the industry, including technology trends, and is persistent in getting feedback from its customers. This information gathering has indicated a need for a shift in the transportation management industry towards single sign-on, cloud-based, SaaS platforms that incorporate new technologies such as Machine Learning and AI, and that allow customers to easily integrate and choose the specific features that they need.
Integration via the Cloud
This extensive research led, in 2019, to the management team making the strategic decision to take all of the learnings of the past 22 years, plus the industry and technology trends at hand, and to incorporate them into one product, called Opsi Cloud. MasterRouter, which has been around since about 2010, allows the pre-planning of sales and distribution routes a long way ahead – a month, even six months. It is the only Opsi Systems software offering that has not, to date, been incorporated into Opsi Cloud, as the intention is for MasterRouter to act – for now – as a standalone product and data source for Opsi Cloud.
Opsi Systems has a footprint that includes its active headquarters of South Africa, other sites elsewhere in Africa, clients in Europe, India, North America, Australia and the Middle East. Impressive statistics include the company’s 20+ years in the niche, the way it has optimised more than 50 000 moving assets to date and how it has succeeded in saving customers over US$500-million by providing optimised route schedules and resource utilisation.