The advancements in modern technology paved the way for the emergence of various tools and applications that you can leverage to ensure productivity and efficiency. An example of this is a route planner that will help you reach your destination quickly. Some of these you can use for free, while some come with a fee.
Route planning is the process of coming up with the most optimal driving direction to reach a certain destination in the most efficient manner. Apart from a speedy way to reach your destination, one of the other reasons why you may want to plan your route include efficient deliveries for your small business. The Google Maps route planner remains one of the most popular route planning tools, albeit its lack of optimization tools.
While there are Google Maps route planner alternatives that already feature specific route optimization tools, these may still prove to be limited. This is true particularly for larger companies that need to manage various deliveries or a fleet of vehicles. In this case, a basic route planner may be insufficient even if it has route optimization tools. In place of a route planner, it is more beneficial to use an enterprise-grade app or software. Fortunately, there are now a number of Route Optimization Software for you to choose from to help you achieve effective route planning, alongside the basic route planning tools. You just need to consider certain factors such as your business needs to ensure that you use the right software that will suit your requirements.
- Speed and Security: Since enterprise-grade apps are usually hosted on cloud computing solutions, you can expect faster software while being guaranteed that it is safe and secure. Aside from speed and security, you can also expect versatility and scalability, as well as automatic updates and easier disaster recovery.
- Precision: With an enterprise-grade route optimization tool, you can also expect more precise results even if road conditions are constantly updated. This is the edge of route optimization tools because most open-source maps prove to be unreliable with sudden updates in road conditions. These enterprise-grade tools are often equipped with algorithms that update the road conditions in real-time. The algorithms also automatically balance the workload between each team on the field leveraging the tool to optimize each sector based on a wide variety of factors.
- Efficiency: Finally, enterprise-grade route optimization tools are greatly more efficient than open-source software. One of the primary features that you will be paying for in this case is the automation of your route planning process which can bring forth various benefits for your business such as greater revenue or reduced overhead costs. In this case, all you need to do is to run your route through several routing rules to simulate every possible use case scenario and from there, choose the best possible route each time.
Advantages and Drawbacks
With enterprise-grade route optimization applications, you get to save precious time in your business operations. You also get to have a record of your route and delivery data which is saved automatically on the server. This proves to be very beneficial for large teams, as well as numerous routes with various components.
However, you need to shell out a certain sum for this piece of software because the premium features are not free. It can also be quite difficult to set up the software, entailing the need for you to dedicate your time and resources to configure it to run.
Google Maps Route Planner
Google maps have a route planner which is usually leveraged by those who frequently travel, as well as small businesses that offer delivery services. With Google Maps route planner, you will be able to obtain a driving direction to multiple locations. Its route planner is not limited to driving because you can also use this for walking or biking, as well as for transit. When you add several locations on the route, you will be provided with various route options to choose from.
- Usage: It is quite simple to use the route planner of Google Maps, which is why several people leverage this. You simply need to download the app on your smartphone or mobile device. As soon as you open it, you need to click the directions button, which is the blue icon at the bottom right corner of the screen. This is where you will be able to add the locations that you need to reach.One of the assumptions of the route planner is that you will use a car or a truck, for which you need to select the “car” icon. From there, you need to enter your starting address as well as your destination address. When it comes to the latter, you can either use the search bar or select from recent addresses if you have already used this app before.You can also add multiple locations by selecting the three little dots at the top right of your screen. If you need to add several locations, you can also reorganize their order by selecting the three lines on the right-hand side of the stop. After which, you only need to click “done” and begin driving.
- Benefits: The use of Google Maps route planner has several benefits and perhaps the main one is that it is free of cost. It can also support multiple transportation modes and provide traffic congestion information. It also has a voice direction feature and a street view. The best part is that you can download a Google map to your device for you to be able to use it offline. This is one of the most beneficial features of Google Maps route planner particularly if you need to use this functionality in an area without internet or limited connectivity.
- Drawbacks: While there are various benefits when it comes to using the Google Maps route planner, there are also some drawbacks. One of the most significant drawbacks is the lack of optimization tools for Google maps. Some users also report confusing interfaces, which makes it a struggle for them to maximize the features of the app. Others are concerned about their data privacy. There are also instances wherein the route planner provides inaccurate directions.
Google Maps Route Planner Alternatives
Aside from Google Maps, there are various other route planners that you can consider. You can choose from the free ones that you can instantly download, or you can also opt for premium ones that you need to pay for. When it comes to the latter, you get to enjoy more features that free apps may not be able to provide. Some of the best alternatives that you can consider are listed below.
For Field Salespeople: Badger Maps
Badger Maps is an app that you can download for free. Apart from this, it also features a route planner, as well as a route optimization tool. You will also have the chance to enjoy scheduling features, as well as keep track of your appointments through this tool. Rest assured that this app is available on both iOS and Android devices as well as on Windows and Mac PCs.
RouteXL is another great alternative to the Google Maps route planner, particularly if you are leveraging the tool for deliveries. With this route planner, you get to share your routes with your intended recipient. It also offers route optimization tools and it is available using the google chrome browser, as well as iOS and Android devices. If you are running a small business that offers delivery services, then using this app may prove to be worth it.
Logistics and Trucking: My Route Online
Logistics and trucking businesses may benefit from the use of My Route Online. The great thing about this app is that it is quite simple and easy to use and you can even save your previous routes. However, this app is only available through a website, which means that you won’t be able to download it on your mobile device. Nevertheless, you will still be able to use it by opening it through a web browser on your mobile gadget.
Outdoor Activities: Plotaroute
Plotaroute is popular among people who frequently embark on outdoor adventures and recreational activities. Specifically designed for shorter distances and recreational routes, this app is perfect for your next walk or bike ride. This app features interactive maps, but it can only be accessed through a website. Therefore, if you are using your mobile device, you need to open a browser to access this app.
When it comes to route planning, there are various tools and applications that you can explore and the best one depends on your needs and preferences. Rest assured that with the use of this software, you will be able to reach your target destination quickly and efficiently. Just keep in mind that a route planner is not limited to helping you arrive in your target location faster, but these have various applications too. You are also not limited to using Google Maps route planner because there are many other great alternatives for you to choose from.