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Building a Community with Online Route Optimization

February 15, 2018

Creating a sense of community in a large metropolitan area is not without its challenges. Congregation Beth Am, a Reform Synagogue in Los Altos Hills, California, decided to try something new to bring their members together, despite geographical differences.

The Purim Mitzvah Project combined community building with fundraising by sending goodie bags and greetings to everyone in the synagogue. People could spend $5 to personalize these greetings, and recipients could receive multiple greetings with their goodie bag. The money that was raised funded numerous other synagogue activities.

Located in the California’s Bay Area, Congregation Beth Am needed to deliver more than 1500 bags to congregants spread across about 20 cities. And Sandi Spector, a delivery team volunteer, needed to coordinate these deliveries over the course of just five days.

To make the delivery process as efficient as possible, Sandi needed to figure out how many drivers she needed and the best routes for each of them to take. She looked at other routing systems, but eventually found MyRouteOnline after a recommendation from another synagogue.

MyRouteOnline route optimization software, allowed Sandi to create 139 routes—one for each driver. Each route included about 10 stops, although some had as many as 20 stops. Sandi used Excel to import the addresses and then customized the exported routes.

“I loved that I could add or delete people, because I needed to redo routes up to 25 times each as people told me they were out of town, moved, staying with parents, etc.,” she said.

Sandi created a “Driver Sheet” by cutting each route into strips and taping them onto a large envelope for the driver to deliver the individualized greetings.

“Driver volunteers commented how much they liked having the routes easily printed out and getting the maps,” she said.

This was Congregation Beth Am’s first time using MyRouteOnline, and Sandi has already recommended it to other synagogues. She feels that one of the biggest benefits is MyRouteOnline’s customer service.

“They were outstanding,” she said.