Deciding on a route planning and optimization platform for your business is a big decision. It is one that can drive efficiency and insight into how your fleet operates and the experience your customers have with your brand. Getting this decision right is important and finding the right platform for you isn’t always easy. Circuit app is a well-known platform that many drivers use for route optimization and now they have a Circuit for Teams product that is aimed at delivery managers. The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast Circuit with SmartRoutes and see which might be the best solution for your business.
The use-case for route planning software is clear. Manual route planning is incredibly time consuming and the routes created are always less efficient than those created by algorithmic solutions. Without delivery management software like SmartRoutes or Circuit, you cannot see what is happening with your drivers in the field. You also cannot notify customers accurately of delivery times. Inefficient routes and fleets that are invisible to you are not good for business and they are not good from a carbon emissions standpoint. So let’s take a look at two solutions that can solve these problems for you.
SmartRoutes vs Circuit
When we are looking at delivery management systems we need to factor in a number of goals. Circuit is a heavily promoted tool that has a wide customer base, particularly among individual drivers who want a simple app to optimize routes quickly. SmartRoutes is a full featured enterprise solution that is also affordable for small businesses and provides a total overview on delivery operations with tiered plans.
Both platforms include mobile apps that are downloadable for drivers in iOS and Android. Addresses can be imported directly into these apps to create routes. Alternatively, the address lists can be imported into the web platform and synced across to the mobile devices. The delivery driver apps are both intuitive and allow POD capture and driver notes. The SmartRoutes app also allows SMS templates to be sent directly to customers.
Files can be imported by .csv or .xl and can also be input manually. Integration with third party platforms is possible with SmartRoutes to automate this workflow and create a seamless flow with, for example, your ecommerce system.
Route optimization is available with both platforms and works off algorithms that draw from travel time data. In addition SmartRoutes allows you to adjust the algorithm to take into account things like driver skills, priority stops, zonal territories and time windows. Circuit also allows for prioritization and time windows.
Route planning dashboard for teams
Route planning can be done with unlimited drivers and routes and takes into account some of the items mentioned above like driver skills, territories, multiple depots and time windows.
Fleet tracking is managed with GPS tracking on the driver mobile app. Both platforms have a vehicle tracking portal for delivery managers to see where vehicles are in the field in real-time.
Proof of delivery
Both platforms include proof of delivery functionality in terms of photo proof and e-signature capture. SmartRoutes also allows for barcode scanning using the mobile app and label printing.
Customer notifications and live package tracking
In Circuit customer notifications are confined to SMS and email templates. With SmartRoutes there are a host of options. You can set up the SMS and email templates, you can automatically send SMS messages based on driver proximity to customer, you can have drivers send templated messages while they are out on route, and you can give customers a live-package tracking map with their location and the vehicle live location. This cuts missed deliveries to a minimum and gives customers a great delivery experience.
Territory management is included with SmartRoutes allowing you to create zones and assign a zone to a driver or drivers. This means you can now automate any delivery stops in that zone to that driver/s. This is used to better allocate deliveries to drivers and allow them to build a local knowledge of an area. It is sometimes used by field sales or service teams to carve up territories and give them to a specific field rep.
Shopify/Woocomerce integration option
Integration of data with the most common ecommerce providers worldwide like Shopify comes as standard with SmartRoutes but is only allowed on the highest Circuit plan at $100 per vehicle. This integration allows for superb streamlining of online orders with delivery routes that avoids the need for any person to be involved. Orders are made and assigned to drivers automatically with customers automatically updated of delivery times.
Comes with all Enterprise packages in SmartRoutes allowing larger organizations to create a total oversight on their regional or national operations. With Circuit this functionality is not available.
Custom API/FTP Integration
Available with SmartRoutes and Circuit depending on requirements and may incur additional costs to implement.
Available with SmartRoutes but uncertain if these are available with Circuit.
- Professional services
- SLA agreement
- White labelling
- Advanced team permission roles
SmartRoutes is more affordable per vehicle and includes more functionality in each of its plan types compared to Circuit for Teams.
Circuit or SmartRoutes comparison decision?
To conclude, it should be noted that both solutions are highly valuable to any business doing deliveries and can be used in most countries. Deciding which one is right for you depends on your functionality requirements and budget but it should be clear that SmartRoutes provides incredible value for the price points above.