If you want to spend more time on your actual business rather than planning and rewriting routes, a delivery route planner is a great tool to employ. However, this is only true if you select the appropriate delivery scheduling software.
Whether you choose a free or open-source version or a road trip planner with a free trial, each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
As a result, you must measure them against a number of criteria and choose the one that is the most balanced and appropriate for your company. The goal is to ensure that you do not come to regret your decision afterwards.
To make things easier, we’ve put together a simple comparison chart that will assist you in making an informed selection.
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Open Source Route Planners
Because its design is publicly accessible, open-source versions are free software that can be tweaked and shared. Because so many people have access to the open-source code, you can address any security issues head-on.
You can also use the software even if the company that sells it goes out of business.
Even if open-source software benefits some firms, it does come with some drawbacks.
It may be difficult to install and operate, for example, because it has a steep learning curve that can reduce your productivity.
Many open-source programs have a poor user interface and design, making it difficult to get the most out of the software.
There may also be compatibility issues, as certain proprietary hardware requires specific drivers to run open-source apps.
Even if an open-source driver is available, it may not perform as well with your software as the proprietary driver. In the end, this will just increase your costs.
Furthermore, traditional open-source software agreements include a limited guarantee as well as no liability or infringement indemnity protection.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly for your organization, the software may appear to be free at first, but the costs accumulate over time.
This comprises the costs of software customization, maintenance, and support, as well as the costs of setup, installation, training, data import, integration with existing systems, and software customization, maintenance, and support.
Free Delivery Route Planner
The difference between a free and an open-source version is that the latter allows you to change the code, whilst the former only allows you to use it.
Free software, on the other hand, offers you precisely what you pay for: nothing.
Field service companies, on the other hand, must make numerous stops while dispatching staff to meet with clients. It could be a dozen, a hundred, or even several hundred.
Also, how are your stops supposed to be distributed if you have a large number of personnel and vehicles?
A free travel planner will only organize the addresses in the order that you enter them, not in the most efficient order for your specific travels.
Free software vendors will also be unable to provide you with training assistance due to a lack of resources.
So, even if the software is free at first, you should expect to pay in the long run.
Free Trial Route Optimizer
A free trial driving route planner isn’t free, and you won’t get the code if you use it. Rather, it allows you to check out a product before purchasing it.
Instead of wasting time and resources putting up free or open-source delivery optimization software just to discover that it doesn’t work for you, you can simply use the trial program for a limited time.
This will allow you to determine if it meets your needs before installing it permanently in your field operations. As a result, it is risk-free.
Furthermore, commercial delivery route optimization software has more capabilities and functionality than free or open-source route planners.
The best route planners, for example, that offer a free trial can assist you in planning a well-optimized route with the best driving directions from one location to another. It considers construction sites, weather conditions, severe traffic, and other factors. Additionally, planning a route with many stops for your drivers takes about 30 seconds.
You’ll save money on gasoline and payroll because your drivers will take the shortest routes possible and will be more likely to arrive at their stops on time. Such promptness would be appreciated by clients.
Other advanced capabilities provided by free trial route optimization software that are not available in open source or free software include:
- When territories are mapped, the areas are divided into service zones, with stops being closer together.
- You can use GPS tracking to keep an eye on unsupervised staff to ensure they are keeping productive and not slacking off.
- It’s cloud-based, which means you can use it from anywhere and at any time.
- It enables you to analyze collected data in order to make more educated business decisions.
- Some, like EasyRoutes, even integrate directly with your e-commerce platform like Shopify and are able to update order statuses (for example if an order is marked as delivered).
- It has a customer alerting and notification function that automatically sends your customers an SMS or email alert when they are the next stop on an active route.
- It allows you to collect electronic signatures or photos as digital Proof Of Delivery.
Even better, such software includes specialized customer service to assist you with any questions you may have.
Finally, the software provider invests in technology, resources, and infrastructure, so you won’t have to pay anything more.
If you try to save money in the short term by using free software instead of more complex software, you will end up paying more in the long run since you will miss out on the savings and increased productivity.
So make the smart choice; a free trial of routing optimization software is well worth the money.
Have you ever wondered what the distinctions are between open-source, free, and free trial fleet management software? Please feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments section below.
Also, consider the following three questions to ensure you’ve grasped the benefits and drawbacks of the various versions of a delivery route planner app:
- Which version of a delivery app has concerns with compatibility?
- Is it possible to get the source code of a free scheduling app?
- What are some of the benefits of free trial delivery optimization software that aren’t available in open source or free software?