When it comes to assessing the hidden costs of a free route planner, “free” really isn’t free because there are hidden costs associated with free route planners.
The Top 4 Hidden Costs of a Free Route Planner
While it’s exciting to find a route planner that’s free, the excitement ebbs once the hidden costs start to crop up. The bottom line is that free route planners have significant limitations which can end up costing time which equates to money. Here’s a look at the top 4 hidden costs of a free route planner.
Hidden Costs of a Free Route Planner 1: Extra Time Spent Optimizing Routes
There are significant functional limitations to free route planners. Here are some examples of the limitations of these free route planners:
- Multi-stop Route Optimization Not Available At All: Some free route planners only optimize a route from point A to point B. So, if you have more than one stop, a route planner would have to manually optimize each leg of a multi-stop route.
- Multi-vehicle Optimization Not Available: Many free route planners can handle optimizing routes for more than one vehicle. Businesses & organizations with more than one delivery truck or service call vehicle in the fleet would have to manually optimize routes.
- Minimal Stops Allowed: If the typical workload for a day includes more stops than the free route planner can accommodate, then route planners or fleet managers have to manually separate the list of stops and create multiple optimized routes.
All this adds up to more time spent optimizing routes for fleet managers at the office or depot. Time equals money. So, the free route planner actually costs MORE than an affordable, paid route planner.
Hidden Costs of a Free Route Planner – 2: Extra IT Security Needed
Many free route planners are written on open source code, which is not as secure. This can result in a need for IT security consulting, dealing with potential breaches into the company or non-profit’s network, firewalls or more aggressive firewalls, and more. The cost of IT security consulting typically is $100/hour or more. It doesn’t make financial sense to choose a free route planner, and then have to spend extra money to secure it.
Hidden Costs of a Free Route Planner – 3: Extra Tech Support Needed
The interfaces of free route planners are not always well-designed, easy to use, or easy to learn, but typically don’t offer tech support. In those instances when tech support is needed but not available, companies & non-profits would have to pay a tech consultant to help them figure out how to use the route planner in the most efficient manner.
Hidden Costs of a Free Route Planner – 4: Software Drivers Often Needed
Since free route planners often are based on open source code, they often require a special software driver to make them work. In those cases, fleet managers would have to spend time researching, downloading & installing software drivers. This scenario often requires an IT consultant to find the right drivers, download & install them, which again requires that money be spent on paid consultants to make the free route planner work.
The Hidden Costs of a Free Route Planner Often Cost More Than Paid Route Optimization Software
When you add up the hidden costs of a free route planner, an affordable paid route planner like RouteSavvy ends up costing less, and offering more functionality and return on investment. For example: An affordable paid route planner like RouteSavvy offers:
- Ability to handle multi-stop routes
- Ability to handle stops up to 300
- Advanced functions like managing routes by territory
- Free tech support
- Massive return on investment
Net Net: If you’re researching route planners and you think a free route planner is the way to go, think again. The free route planners typically don’t meet the needs of businesses & non-profits with small to mid-sized fleets, and often cost more than an affordable paid route planner like RouteSavvy.
Are you research free route planners? Consider RouteSavvy route optimization software instead. At just $300 a year, RouteSavvy typically generate 10 times its cost in savings. Take a test drive of RouteSavvy with our Free, 14-day Trial.