Investing in route optimisation software is a big decision for any business. The system may be responsible for managing your orders, routes, drivers and customer communications, making it an incredibly important part of your business.
That’s why it’s so important to choose the right route optimisation provider for your business, taking into account everything from the technology and functionality, to the support and resources available.
We often come across businesses that have chosen the wrong provider for their specific business needs. As part of the logistics community, we want to support as many businesses as possible in making the right decision and investing their money in the right way.
That is why we have outlined some of the most important elements to consider when choosing the best route optimisation software for your business.
Let’s begin with covering some of the benefits of implementing route optimisation. Strap in, because there’s a lot!
Route optimisation software minimises operational costs by finding efficient routes, providing real-time updates on traffic and weather, and reducing time and fuel consumption. These savings can be reinvested for business growth.
The software considers factors like traffic and order volume to reduce delivery times, enhance brand reputation, customer retention, and generate positive word-of-mouth. Real-time tracking and accurate ETAs improve the overall customer experience.
Features in the software monitor driver behaviour and log vehicle checks, ensuring compliance with safety standards and regulations. It provides appropriate routes to reduce the risk of accidents, traffic violations, fines, and increased insurance premiums.
Logistics managers use the software to plan efficient routes for multiple vehicles and gain valuable insights through reporting tools. Performance metrics such as on-time delivery rates, distance travelled, fuel consumption, and driver productivity guide data-driven decisions for optimised logistics operations.
Route optimisation software allows quick adaptation to dynamic conditions such as increased order volumes, roadblocks, and last-minute changes. Swift recalculations ensure efficient avoidance of delays or disruptions, providing a competitive edge in a dynamic market.
When choosing the best route planner software, there are numerous factors that you need to take into consideration, these include:
The size and composition of your fleet, along with the total number of drivers, is one of the key considerations for choosing the best route optimisation solution for your business.
Smaller fleets may require a simpler solution and one which can grow with their business. Whereas larger fleets may have more complex, diverse needs.
Different businesses operate in different regions, so your route optimisation software must be able to adapt to various geographical landscapes.
For instance, you may require a system with advanced address-locating functionality, such as what3words, if you deliver to remote or densely populated locations.
Whether your fleet operates locally, nationally, or internationally, the software should provide accurate and efficient route planning tailored to each unique location.
For many businesses, integration capability is a key consideration when choosing a provider. After all, if the system doesn’t integrate with your existing business ecosystem, then you won’t be able to use it to its full potential.
Look out for a provider that, firstly, integrates with a wide range of systems, including CRM, ERP and telematics solutions. In addition to this, look for a platform with an open API. This means that it is even more straightforward for you to integrate with a wide range of systems and applications.
Of course, no matter how great the technology is, if the system and interface are difficult to use, you won’t be able to get the most out of the platform.
Explore whether it is easy to view and change your routes, or is there drag and drop functionality available for example?
Bear in mind that learning to use any new system may take a little time, so make the most out of the provider’s sales team to walk you through the interface.
Considering the cost of your potential route optimisation solution is a no-brainer.
Evaluate the different pricing models offered, considering not just upfront costs but also any necessary add-on functionally, services, or users. Remember to factor in potential scalability in the future, and whether this will increase your investment.
Understanding the different types of route optimisation software available in the market is essential for making an informed decision. Here are the main categories:
Dynamic route optimisation software will continuously adapt and react to real-time data, optimising routes on the fly. This element of agility is highly beneficial for businesses that deal with unpredictable variables, such as changing delivery schedules, order updates, or traffic conditions.
Fixed route optimisation is suited for stable and predictable delivery schedules that are based on fixed data. This technology is less flexible than dynamic solutions but may be suitable for smaller delivery operations.
Hybrid route optimisation solutions combine both dynamic and fixed routing, offering versatile solutions that can handle a range of operational scenarios and can grow with your business.
Cloud-based route optimisation software operations on remote services, providing real-time updates and accessibility from any location with the internet. This solution is ideal for businesses looking to scale and work collaboratively.
On the other hand, on-premise route optimisation solutions are installed and maintained locally on company servers. This solution is gradually being phased out, due to its lack of flexibility and adaptability to modern ways of working compared to cloud-based solutions.
When evaluating the best route optimisation software for your business, certain features are non-negotiable. These essential elements ensure that the software meets the unique demands of your fleet management:
Real-time tracking enables businesses to monitor the exact location and status of your vehicles and delivery, as they are out on route. This feature is excellent for enhancing visibility and allows for more proactive decision-making
By integrating with real-time traffic and weather functionality, you can ensure that your routes are optimised on a continuous basis. Accounting for unexpected road conditions, and minimising potential delays
This feature allows for more precise scheduling, ensuring that deliveries are made within a specified or requested timeframe. This can be particularly crucial for businesses that operate within time-sensitive constraints.
ePOD functionality provides a digital record of completed deliveries, including signatures, timestamps, and photos. This enhances accountability, and digital documentation, all whilst reassuring the customer.
Automated notifications and communications via email and SMS are ideal for keeping drivers, dispatchers, and customers informed about the status of a delivery. This increases customer satisfaction and reduces customer support time.
With robust reporting and analytics functionality, you can gain invaluable insight into your fleet and driver performance. Helping you to identify trends, optimise routes, and make decisions backed by solid data.
In an era of mobile connectivity, the best route optimisation software should offer a user-friendly mobile application. Mobile accessibility ensures that drivers and managers can access critical information and functionalities on the go, enhancing overall flexibility and responsiveness.
Choosing the best route planner software for your fleet is a strategic decision that requires a comprehensive understanding of your business needs and operational requirements.
By carefully considering the factors mentioned in this guide, you can make an informed choice that positively impacts your fleet’s efficiency and overall success.
And of course, if you need support with your decision, then MaxOptra is here to help!
Get in touch to find out more.