Are you planning on using route optimization software?
If yes, then congratulations in advance!
Are you wondering why?
Well… because you’ve made a great decision for your business.
… And now, you will soon experience a tremendous growth in your business… Guaranteed!
Route planner helps by reducing fuel expenses and tracking your drivers in real-time. Moreover, you will never have to worry about micromanaging your drivers in order to increase productivity.
Most importantly, you can plan your routes within minutes!
And because the entire process is automated, it’s easy for you.
But, things are not as easy as they seem.
A lot of your investment and time will go in vain if you end up choosing a wrong road trip planner with multiple stops.
You will agree that investments only make sense if they generate positive ROI. While a good route planner will improve your business, a wrong planner can prove to be fatal.
We’ve already talked about things that you need to keep in mind while looking for a route optimization software. Following is the related article.
But, here we will cover another angle that you should look into when researching a route planner.
Hidden costs act as a slow poison for your business. Most of the route optimization software providers will only show you the brighter side of it. They will never tell you about any hidden costs for using their software services.
And with no alternative left in hand, you will end up paying a hefty amount to the provider.
But, don’t worry. We will help you make an informed decision. So, here is all the information you need to know about hidden costs. Take a look.
#1 Setup Fee
There shouldn’t be any setup fee for creating an account. Driving route planner should be ready to use, and should not charge any fees apart from the usage fee.
#2 Maintenance Fee of Route Optimization Software
You may not be aware of any maintenance fee at the time of buying it. This might crop up after a year of the sale and will continue for as long as you use the tool.
No doubt, this will shoot up your expenses.
So, make sure to ask your provider at the time of purchase if there is any maintenance cost involved.
#3 Training Time and Costs
You need some hand-holding or training for every new product that you buy.
The training process could be longer, depending on the product’s features or complexity level. This applies to your route planner app as well.
Your employees will invest a lot of time in learning if routing optimization software is complex. And this will hamper their productivity.
Now this will definitely make a dent in your revenue figures. Can you afford that?
So, lookout for a route optimization software that is easy to use so that the training time and cost are low.
#4 Onboarding Training Costs
You may come across several routing softwares that have an onboarding process in place. But, most of them charge a hefty fee for that.
Beware! This is a red flag because they are mostly interested in taking your money rather than offering a quality service.
You should pay a fee to use the product… not on learning how to use it. So, keep an eye on this hidden cost as well.
#5 Downtime Cost
For some route mapping software, you need to download software onto your desktop, sometimes you need to have specialized technicians set it up (HUGE red flag). But what if your computer crashes during or after downloading this app?
But what if your computer crashes during or after downloading this app?
This will leave you in a fix because you will neither be able to recover the data nor plan any routes. There could be instances when the software may not work on your computer. This can freeze your entire route planning process.
Just imagine the costs that you will incur due to this productivity loss.
So, what is the solution?
Well… try to look for a cloud-based route optimization software, as cloud products are not machine-dependent. You can access it from anywhere and anytime as per your needs.
#6 Route Optimization Software Update Fees
If you have ever used a GPS device, then you know that it requires frequent updates to it’s map. This may apply to a couple of route planner apps as well.
Your route planner with multiple stops may get improved over time. So, you will need to update your version to access the latest one.
Sometimes this indicates more money. You will need to pay a hefty fee every time there is an update in the version.
Keep an eye on software-as-a-service routing program. The great ones are continuously being improved… and without any additional costs on your end.
#7 Route Limitations
You may think you can plan unlimited routes with a delivery route planner. But that may not always be the case.
There could be instances when you need to plan more routes than usual. But, while doing so, the software asks you to upgrade your account.
This can frustrate you because you never knew there is a cap on the number of routes you can plan. And besides, upgrading your account means more investment.
Watch out for this hidden cost too. And go for the one that offers unlimited route planning.
#8 Long-Term Contracts
Not every delivery software is a right fit for you. And you may realize this after a month or so of purchasing your subscription.
Now, you could be stuck with your existing product if you signed the long-term contract. There is nothing you can do until the contract expires. This means you need to keep planning routes with that inefficient software.
So, buy a delivery software that comes with short-term contracts, or no contract beyond the current month.
In this way, you can upgrade the product at your own convenience and not feel trapped.
#9 Hardware Costs
There are route planners that may need you to buy expensive hardware to run it properly.
The sales pitch will never discuss such extra costs. So, pay attention to any extra hardware expenses with the product.
#10 Variable Costs According to Size of Operations
Some route planners charge you based on the size of your operations. For example, if you need to plan routes for over 20 vehicles, it may cost you more than for 2 drivers.
Factors such as the number of customer addresses, stops, and drivers, can increase this figure.
The provider will talk about the extra bandwidth needed to host your account… but here is a dirty little secret… you don’t really need much more bandwidth until you reach thousands of drivers.
So, you should keep an eye on this and go for the one that does not restrict you with any operations-related fees.
When do you plan to buy your next route optimization software? Are there any more hidden costs that you would want to consider? If yes, please do let us know.