Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Route Planning?

Route Planning is the process of devising the best route for a vehicle to travel. This takes into account all the stops the vehicle must make along a journey and then decides the route the vehicle will travel to service each of these stops. When route planning, there are a number of factors which should be considered. These include road networks, vehicle types, distance to be travelled, driver availability and much more.

There are 2 methods of planning a route; manual or using a dedicated Route Optimisation software.

2. What is Route Optimisation?

Route optimisation is the process of planning a route to be as time and cost-efficient as possible. By optimising a planned route, the desired outcome is to find the quickest possible way to service each stop. In addition to factors road networks, vehicle types, distances, driver availability, route optimisation should account for specific arrival time windows, multiple vehicles serving a set number of routes and stops, distance between stops and quantities of labour/drivers needed.

3. What Route Planning and Optimisation Software?

Just as it says on the tin, Route Planning and Optimisation Software is technology which accounts for all the relevant factors and automatically finds the most efficient route for any number of vehicles to serve any number of stops.

Route Optimisation Software incorporates all known factors that can impact on a route and uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to find the most efficient route for any number of vehicles and stops in a matter of seconds.

As context, with 1 vehicle serving just 10 stops on a route, the theoretical number of routes that can be devised is 3,628,800. Route Optimisation Software takes the guesswork out of which of these many, many routes is the most efficient.

4. Who uses Route Planning & Optimisation Software?

Anyone can use route planning software, be it for planning a road-trip or any other ad-hoc journey.

When it comes to using it for business, route planning can also be used by a wide variety of businesses. Couriers, Truckers, Grocery & Furniture Home Delivery Services, Newspaper & Print Media, and Logistics companies can all benefit from a dedicated Route Planning & Optimisation Software.

Most commonly, it is used by any business that has more than one vehicle and serves routes with multiple stops on an on-going basis.

By removing the need for manual routing and planning, it can save hours in admin time and also reduces distance travelled and fuel consumed, resulting in time and financial savings for both business and driver.

5. Is Route Planning & Optimisation Software easy to use?

In a word; Yes.

By its nature Route Planning & Optmisation Software is designed to make life easier by finding the best route for any number of vehicles to serve any number of stops. Whilst this is a technical process, it is all automated for the user.

Once you have added your drivers and vehicles to the system, it is as simple as adding your list of stops and clicking a button.

If you’ve used Facebook, Email or any other software, you can use a well-designed Route Planner.

6. Is training provided by SmartRoutes?

At SmartRoutes, we offer full support for our Route Planning & Optimisation solution. Although the software is intuitive and user-friendly, we know that it can be helpful to have someone explain everything and help you get set up.

Our team will help you to set up your vehicles and capacities, driver and plan and optimise your first routes. We are also more than happy to provide any extra assistance to make sure you are comfortable with the platform.

7. Can you integrate SmartRoutes with other systems you use?

Yes.

If you’re already fulfilling orders and/or managing a fleet of vehicles, it is likely that you use order management, telematics, eCommerce or other softwares to manage your business.

We have designed our Route Planner with this in mind and have already integrated with many of the most popular platforms and solutions in the spaces mentioned above.

We are also happy to work with your current solution providers to ensure that the experience is seamless and that all features work in tandem.

8. Will it work for my business?

Yes.

At SmartRoutes, we’re supporting everyone from small bakeries to national newspaper distributors and grocery stores.

If you’re a small business with up to 5 vehicles, you can subscribe to SmartRoutes and begin using the platform out-of-the box. If your business is larger, we are happy to work with you on a bespoke solution that meets your businesses individual needs.

9. Do you need a minimum or maximum number of vehicles?

No.

Whether you have 1 or 1,000 vehicles, we have a solution for you.

Regardless of the number of vehicles, the goal remains the same for all our clients; plan and optimise their routes in the most efficient way possible. Our back-office suite suite and mobile driver app will be of value whether you are an owner/driver or a transport manager.

10. Is it available on both mobile and desktop?

Yes.

11. What’s the difference between the Desktop Route Planner and the Driver Mobile App?

The SmartRoutes Desktop Route Planner is designed to be used on a desktop computer or laptop and allows you to fully manage your transport and logistics operations through a wide array of functionality.

The SmartRoutes Driver Mobile App is available on Android and iOS and is designed for use on the road. It allows you to see order lists, routes, dispatch notes, proof-of-delivery and hosts industry-leading navigation.

12. Can’t I just use Google Maps or another free tool for creating my routes?

Theoretically, yes.

But is not designed to route multi-drop routes and will have many limitations.

13. I see it is a “SaaS Solution”. What is Saas?

‘SaaS’ is an acronym that stands for Software-as-a-Service.

Saas solutions are hosted on a cloud and are delivered over an internet connection. This means that there is no need for expensive hardware on your premises.

This also means that we can constantly update the service and rectify any issues at a moment's notice. This is a significant advantage over ‘Legacy Systems’ which are hosted on-site using expensive and outdated technologies.

14. Will a Route Planning & Optimisation Software give me better visibility of my fleet and drivers?

Yes.

SmartRoutes have live tracking capabilities that allow you to see where all your vehicle are on one map, at any time.

15. Can I allocate drivers and vehicles to specific geographical territories?

Yes.

At SmartRoutes, we have developed a feature referred to as ‘Zoning’.

This allows you to create distinct geographical territories to your specifications. You can then assign specific vehicles and rivers to specific zones.

16. Can I differentiate various vehicle types and capacities?

Yes.

SmartRoutes gives you the ability to differentiate between vehicle types and allocate specific functions and load capacities to each.

17. Can I upload my current routes, orders and/or data directly to a Route Planning & Optimisation Software?

Yes.

If you currently have a set list of routes, you can simply upload them using CSV/Excel or over API. If you receive orders or routes from a client, you can upload them directly and optimise routes in seconds.

If you or your client uses another piece of software to build orders, we will work with you to find a way of automating the input to SmartRoutes.

18. What is API and CSV?

An API is an ‘application programming interface’.

In simple terms, this is a link between two or more pieces of software. At Smart Routes, we can use API’s to automate the transfer of data from existing software you use to our Route Planning & Optimisation Software.

A CSV is a ‘Comma Separated Values’ file.

This is a plain text file that stores tables and spreadsheet information. The contents are often a table of text, numbers, or dates. This is usually in the form of a Microsoft Excel File or Google Sheet. If you receive orders or routes or have existing route data in this format, you can upload it directly to SmartRoutes and begin optimising immediately.

19. How much does Route Planning & Optimisation Software cost?

It can vary from provider to provider.

At SmartRoutes, we have built a comprehensive solution with an abundance of valuable functionality.

However, we understand that the needs of each customer is different. For this reason, we offer 3 different packages; Basic, Standard & Enterprise.

You can learn more about the different packages here.

20. Can I calculate the Return-on-Investment for a Route Planning & Optimisation Software?

If you have current data on your business such as distances travelled, driver times, fuel consumption etc, then yes, you can.

If not, SmartRoutes will allow you to begin tracking your business data more easily.

21. Can I export data and reports from SmartRoutes?

Yes.

You can download reports at any stage, giving insight into routes, orders, driver notes etc.

These reports can be valuable to everyone from Planners and Drivers, to accounting staff invoicing customers.

22. How does SmartRoutes compare to other Route Planning & Optimisation Software?

SmartRoutes is a comprehensive tool that relies on the latest technology and partners with industry experts to ensure the practical application of our solution.

We are especially strong in the UK and Irish markets, with our routing amongst the best in the territories.

23. What supports are available to admin & planning staff?

At SmartRoutes, we pride ourselves on our Customer Service. We have a real, human support team that is available to help you with anything you need.

Although our solution is robust, we know that a helping hand is required from time-to-time and talking to an expert is the quickest and best way to answer a question or solve a problem.

Be it training or advice, we are always on-hand to drive the success of your business.

24. What supports are available to drivers?

Our helpdesk is always happy to assist drivers with any queries they have about the Mobile Driver App. We have designed the app to be as user-friendly and intuitive as possible, and over 99% of drivers use it without ever asking for support.

25. How do I contact support?

We’re always available on email. You can get in touch with our support team be emailing them on support@smartroutes.io

If you're a current customer, you can also reach your dedicated account manager by phone.

26. How do I get in touch with accounts regarding invoicing or billing?

You can email them on accounts@smartroutes.io

27. Where is SmartRoutes based?

SmartRoutes is an Irish-owned and operated company, but supports clients from right across the globe. We also have a significant presence in the UK market.

28. Does SmartRoutes work in my country?

Yes.

We’re supporting happy clients in New Zealand, Australia, Egypt, Spain, Ireland and the U.K.