Routing with grouped stops

Discussion created by nschmidt on Aug 22, 2011
Latest reply on Aug 23, 2011 by jsandhu-esristaff
I am looking to solve a routing problem (optimize order of stops, provide driving directions) where I have 5 groups of 5 to 25 stops.  One driver does all 5 groups of stops.  Each of the 5 groups must be done together (I cannot split up the stops within a single group), but I would like to optimize the order the groups are done in, and would like to optimize the order of the stops in each group.  As far as I can tell this is not supported out of the box, so I was considering doing something like this:

Run 5 routes to optimize the order of routes in each group
Run 1 more route which includes the starting location, the first stop in each optimized group, and the ending location

Has anyone used a better heuristic for this type of problem?