With so many route planners on the market, it’s important to know how to choose the best route planner for your business or non-profit. In this quick guide to choosing route planning software, we’re covering the most important attributes to seek out.
Top 10 Attributes / Functions To Seek In A Route Planner
Attribute 1: Automated Route Planning Capabilities
The first priority of a viable route planner should be automation. Automated route planning software simplifies, streamlines & automates the process of uploading addresses, creating a route, and then optimizing it. This powerful, time-saving capability means that virtually anyone deploying the routing software will be able to generate an optimized route by letting the software do the heavy lifting. For more information, learn how RouteSavvy offers automated route planning.
Attribute 2: Drag-N-Drop Functionality
Another key feature that facilitates ease of use in planning routes is drag-n-drop functionality. You should be able to drag address lists into the software to streamline the address/location upload process. You also should be able to drag-n-drop specific addresses (stops) up and down within an optimized route.
Attribute 3: Ability To Set Default Start & End Locations For Your Routes
Another needed & significant function is the ability to set default locations for the start location and/or end location for your routes. If, for example, your deliveries, pick-ups, sales, or service will always originate in your warehouse, you should be able to set that default start location once, and then let the route planning software calculate optimized routes based on that. The same applies for setting a default end location for routes. If you always want your drivers to come back to the warehouse at the end of the day’s work, you should be able to set that end location preference once, and then forget about it.
Attribute 4: A Route Planning Mobile App
In this day and age of smartphones being used as a key part of work lives, the best route planner will offer the main software plus a mobile app. This is an important function allows the route addresses to be uploaded, with routes generated, and then optimized. Once this has occurred, you still need to be able to migrate the route to a driver’s smartphone or tablet so they can access directions, i.e., turn-by-turn navigation.
Attribute 5: Delivery Management / Service Call Management Features
A route planner worth its salt will offer a variety of delivery management / service call management functions, including:
- Ability to send routes to a mobile device, and receive information back from the mobile device
- Ability to mark a stop (a delivery or a service call) as complete
- Photo capture to prove a delivery made or a service call was completed
- Signature capture to confirm a delivery or service call has been completed.
For more information on RouteSavvy’s powerful delivery management / service call management features, click or tap HERE.
Attribute 6: Affordable GPS Tracking
Every research study conducted on GPS tracking shows significant benefits including improved driver accountability, less miles driven for personal use, and more. It’s wise to ensure that the route planner you choose also allows for affordable GPS vehicle tracking. Top GPS tracking functions that are a must include:
- Software-based GPS Tracking: A software-based approach that doesn’t require the purchase of expensive hardware for each vehicle. RouteSavvy offers innovative GPS fleet tracking using a driver’s smartphone. This eliminates the need to buy expensive GPS tracking hardware and install them on all the vehicles in your fleet.
- Fixed Location Tracking: When you have a delivery, pick-up, or service call at a location that’s not tied to a formal address, it’s critical that you’re able to track a location based on latitude-longitude. Why? Many industries including party rental supply companies & specialty waste / porta-poddy companies often deliver their goods to locations without an exact address, including parks, construction sites, and more. When route planning software offers fixed location tracking, it makes it easier to find assets that need to be picked up.
For more information on this critical function, click or tap HERE.
Attribute 7: Route Cloning
In instances when you need to create a new route that’s very similar to an existing route, it’s important to have a route cloning feature. Route cloning means you’re able to copy an existing route, save it as a new route, and then modify it as needed.
Attribute 8: Auto Address Population
When you’re inputting addresses for pending deliveries, pick-ups, sales, or service calls, it will save tremendous time if you start inputting an address, with the software automatically showing addresses for you to choose.
Attribute 9: Top-notch Technical Support
No matter how easy a software application is to use, it’s still helpful to have plenty of support on hand if you get stuck. Make sure that the route planning software you’re considering offers a range of tech support options. In the case of RouteSavvy, you can access tech support by email, by phone, and you also can schedule a free, one-on-one tutorial with a friendly RouteSavvy expert.
Attribute 10: Free Trial
There’s nothing like real-world experience testing out software before you choose to subscribe to it. Whether you’re considering deploying route planning software for the first time, or switching to a new route planning software, a free trial is the best way to take the software for a test drive. The best routing software options will offer a free trial without requesting a credit card or any payment information.
Not All Route Planners Are Created Equal
When you’re researching how to choose the best route planner, make sure the route planner offers these attributes identified above – and at a reasonable price. RouteSavvy, for example, costs just $39 per month for one vehicle, and the cost per month, per vehicle, goes down when you have more vehicles. Click or tap HERE if you want to learn about RouteSavvy’s amazing return on investment.
Better yet, contact us to schedule a free, one-on-one DEMO.