Route4Me Alternative: Meet Your New Route Planner
June 28, 2021
To build a successful delivery business, you need the right people and the right tools. Sometimes, a tool can even work as a replacement for a person – in case you can't afford a full-time professional like a fleet manager, for example. Finding the right tools is as crucial as finding the right people. This is true for route planning and transportation management just like anything else.
Today, we're looking at two cloud-based route planning software options that cover dispatch management, fleet management, route optimization, and Proof of Delivery among other features. Below is a detailed breakdown of all major features of Route4Me and Track-POD. Both are route planning and route optimization software providers. Let's see which tool offers the most of your must-have features.
As always, we start with pricing. With Route4Me, you have to choose whether you need dynamic routing, i.e. your routes change daily or multiple times a week, or scheduled & recurring routing, i.e. you have regular shippers and a repeating schedule. The pricing model for each is the same, with the most popular plan priced at $299 per month.
Route4Me has a 7-day free trial that extends to all subscription plans.
Track-POD offers a flexible pricing model covering route planning and delivery management for both dynamic and recurring routes. You can choose to pay per driver/vehicle or per number of tasks your drivers carry out in a month. The most popular subscription plan that covers advanced delivery management comes at $49 per month if you choose to pay per user-driver. Going for an annual subscription gives you the best value for your money.
Track-POD provides the free trial option that also lasts for 7 days. Free trial is available for Starter and Standard plans only.
Last-mile delivery starts with route planning and route optimization at the back office. Both Route4Me and Track-POD support cloud-based route planning and fleet optimization. Let's see what kind of features cover these tasks.
Map-based planning is a feature that lets you plan delivery routes from the map, simple as that. Route4Me allows you to map customers and plan routes from the map. Track-POD, meanwhile, lets you capture and then drag and drop orders from the map to arrange them in delivery routes.
Route optimization with ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA) is a key thing to test out before starting a last-mile delivery routine with a new route planner. Both Route4Me and Track-POD cover route management with estimated time of arrival for each stop along the delivery route. You can also plan and optimize routes with time windows dedicated for each service.
Priority can be assigned to orders, customers, or addresses when you want your delivery management platform to save and prioritize certain tasks. Route4Me and Track-POD are software solutions that incorporate priority orders in dispatch management.
Any business providing a field service needs to account for rest time. After all, delivery drivers are humans too and they need time breaks when carrying out multi-stop routes. Route4Me and Track-POD let you input and save drivers' breaks to your delivery management software.
Fleet management and fleet optimization are two key tasks of a fleet manager. Your last-mile delivery management solution needs to have features like indicating vehicle capacity and speed in order to power smart logistics decisions that make the most out of your fleet resources.
Route4Me lets you specify maximum distance and weight per vehicle, as well as maximum pieces, volume, revenue, and stops per route. On top of that, you have tracking of fuel consumption and adjusting unique fuel settings for each vehicle to save money on fuel in the long term.
Track-POD, in the meantime, allows you to indicate unique volume, pallets, sites, orders, work time, etc. for each of the vehicles in your fleet. In addition to that, Track-POD lets you specify speed ratio and route rates to save time and money by figuring out the most cost-effective solution for each vehicle.
Sometimes, your delivery drivers need to carry out several routes per day. While Route4Me lets you assign several routes to one driver manually, Track-POD boasts features that can dispatch multiple daily routes to the same driver automatically.
Considers vehicle type
Your delivery operation is likely to have different types of vehicles. Your route planner, therefore, needs to have features that let you plan and manage your field service with account to different vehicle types.
In Route4Me, you can build a fleet of cars, vans, trucks, trailers, semis, or heavy equipment that your logistics management software will consider when choosing the vehicle for each service. The software also lets you choose bicycling and walking travel modes, which means you can take care of route management for a varied fleet.
Track-POD delivery management software, meanwhile, works with cars, trucks, motorbikes, and bicycles in case you run a low- to zero-emissions delivery operation.
If your delivery business provides shuttle services for regular customers, you need your delivery management platform to be able to remember routes. Both Route4Me and Track-POD let you save and repeat routes that you run regularly.
Route4Me software will auto dispatch recurring routes to assigned delivery drivers and vehicles. Track-POD will save recurring routes that you can repeat every day, month, year, or day of the week. In addition to that, you can set ending dates for recurring routes.
Making sure your delivery app provides live traffic data is crucial in order to support your drivers in the field. Both Route4Me and Track-POD ensure that each driver has real-time traffic data that saves time and brings additional value to last-mile delivery software.
On top of all the unique parameters you indicate for your fleet and drivers, route optimization software needs to have a bigger optimization strategy. When planning delivery routes, Route4Me takes into account things like weather conditions, customer variables, road avoidance, and many other factors.
Track-POD, in the meantime, runs route planning according to the optimization strategy you picked.
As advanced delivery management software, Track-POD also supports order autobalance, i.e. all logistics tasks will be distributed evenly among the drivers in your fleet, as well as unique setups for starting and ending routes.
With the right route planning software, you can save money on each delivery, bringing the cost per delivery down to a minimum. As your logistics operation keeps growing, you can even support the option of free delivery.
It's unlikely that you'll be using your cloud-based route planning and route optimization software by yourself. Therefore, you need to control the level of access different users have to different features of your route planner. Let's see how Route4Me and Track-POD let you manage your team users as well as all the unique varieties of orders you might have.
Roles and permissions
Route4Me lets delivery businesses organize their teamwork in the following way. Users can be added to the delivery management software with different roles depending on which features they'll have access to. Below are the roles available to your team.
- Account Owner.
- Regional Manager.
- Route Planner.
These roles cover a set of features and permissions for each user. At the same time, you can add or remove features for each user if you want to customize the level of access your team has to different parts of route planning and dispatch management.
Track-POD offers a total of 10 user roles to delivery businesses of every caliber.
- Allow view Routes.
- Allow user management.
- Allow view Analytics.
- Allow duplicate.
- Allow view Vehicle Check.
- Allow edit orders.
- Allow view Directories.
- Allow edit completed orders.
- Allow Edit directories.
- All ‘Depots’.
As you can see, both tools let you organize delivery workflows across the company and give all users online access to the data they need.
Customer Portal (adding orders)
Your route planning and route optimization software needs to account for customers as much as it accounts for your team users. A solution to this can be giving customers access to an online portal they can log in for delivery management, real-time GPS tracking, and Proof of Delivery.
Although Route4Me offers a so-called Customer Portal, its features are limited to curbside pickup and real-time tracking. Customers can enter their Order ID and monitor their delivery in real-time. While real-time tracking is one of the essential features in proving an excellent customer experience, it doesn't let your business engage customers in delivery management.
Track-POD's alternative to Route4Me is a Customer Portal that covers much more than live tracking. Everything from online ordering to dispatch management and GPS tracking is available in a single web dashboard. Customer Portal is a perfect platform for your shippers to implement self customer service and save your business time and money.
Types of orders
Delivery might not be the only service your business provides to customers. Sometimes, your delivery drivers need to complete routes that include pickups in addition to dropoffs. Let's see what kind of features Route4Me and Track-POD offer for route planning of different orders.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD power route planning and Proof of Delivery for pickups and dropoffs to save time on order and dispatch management. While Route4Me lets you run joint pickup and dropoff optimization, Track-POD software offers four types of tasks.
- Pickup & Delivery.
Using custom fields is how you cater to unique orders that go outside of the predefined fields in your route planner. Both Route4Me and Track-POD have corresponding features for adding unique fields for order details. This means you can use your delivery management platform to indicate all order data from the back office so that your field service is carried out with no logistics errors.
Up next is the mobile app for delivery drivers. The mobile app is a crucial part of your delivery management software and you need to make sure you're happy with it before putting your money in the software. Let's see what kind of features Route4Me and Track-POD offer to delivery drivers on their routes.
Access to navigation systems
To guide your delivery drivers alongside the last mile, the mobile delivery app should have a variety of navigation systems to choose from. Route4Me will let your delivery drivers use any third-party navigation apps installed on their mobile phones. Be it Apple Maps, Google Maps, HERE WeGo, Waze, or Yandex.Navi, you can rest assured that there will be a navigation solution for every route.
As a Route4Me alternative, Track-POD has a variety of navigation systems to choose from within the mobile app. Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, TomTom, Here Map, Sygic are all available as navigation options the driver can make use of en route.
Chat with dispatcher
Running a field service, you want to make sure your delivery drivers are in touch with the back office at all times. Having built a team with unique user roles in the software, you can use Route4Me as a real-time chat room for direct communication. Track-POD's alternative to Route4Me is a live chat with the dispatcher that each driver has in their mobile app.
To make sure you get the best value for your money, you need to check that your cloud-based route optimization and delivery management software and the mobile app for the driver support different languages. After all, your delivery drivers being a part of the team should easily understand all tools and features available to them.
While Route4Me is available in 24 languages, all of them are available in the Android app only. Web dispatch dashboard and the iOS app support fewer languages, so this is something to check with all of the software users before you put your money in it.
Track-POD dispatch software and the mobile app for the driver support the following languages: English, Lithuanian, German, French, Estonian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Czech, Russian, Polish.
Photo and signature proof
Before choosing your Proof of Delivery software, you need to make sure it's a viable solution for paperless and contactless delivery. For this, the mobile app for the driver needs to have features for taking a signature from the customer as well as a photo for no-contact delivery.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD software solutions support features for e-signing and taking photo proof. Both will be appreciated by your customers who in addition to regular delivery options will have no-contact delivery.
QR and barcode scan is one of the features that up the total of successful deliveries by making sure customers get the correct orders. In addition to fleet management and Proof of Delivery, Route4Me and Track-POD route optimization software support QR and barcode scanner. This way each driver can double-check orders not to lose money on loading mistakes.
To get the most out of your fleet and save time and money correcting loading mistakes, go for a platform that has load check features. Among the alternatives to Route4Me, Track-POD has the most robust load check solution. You can implement mandatory load checks that each driver will perform ahead of their routes. As an alternative, you can always revert to QR/barcode scanning.
Fleet maintenance and repair is one of the biggest money drainers in logistics. To save your company money, fleet management software like Track-POD enables mandatory vehicle checks that each driver needs to complete before and after starting a route. You can choose what vehicle-related data you want checked and recorded in the driver app, as well as set a critical value for each criterion. Needless to say, all data will live in the cloud and be instantly available in the dispatch dashboard.
As a delivery business, you know first-hand that not all deliveries go as planned. Out of your daily total, there will often be an order that never found its way to the customer. Your route optimization and management software has to have features that let your drivers indicate different order statuses.
Route4Me driver app offers three order statuses for route destination: Failed, Skipped, and Done. Track-POD, in the meantime, lets your driver put Delivered, Not Delivered, or Partially Delivered. The third value is designed for cases when only a part of the order was accepted.
Reasons for rejection
Anyone in field sales and services will tell you that conducting business involves cancellations and rejections that need to be reported. Your delivery management software needs to account for that. Route4Me platform lets drivers choose among the following delivery failure reasons.
- Canceled Delivery (friendly).
- Canceled Pickup.
- Canceled Visit.
- Canceled Service.
- Invalid Location.
- Erroneously Added Location.
- Location Billing Issue.
- Weather Related.
- Danger or Hazard.
Track-POD platform, meanwhile, lets you customize reasons for rejections based on your company and customers. This is one of the features that is designed to save your team users time scrolling through irrelevant options.
Whenever a delivery didn't go as planned, money is wasted on fuel, fleet management, dispatching, and many other aspects of running a delivery company. Among Track-POD's features that help your logistics operation not lose money on failed deliveries is the Rearrive feature that lets drivers return to the delivery address and complete a previously unsuccessful order.
A geofence is an area on the map that you can "attach" to a specific customer for the purposes of GPS tracking and live tracking of the driver when they're en route. Both Route4Me and Track-POD support geofences that let you manage drivers' whereabouts in real-time and know for a fact if they're in the vicinity of the address where they're supposed to carry out a delivery service.
Field sales and any other field service need real-time tracking of sales reps or couriers in the case of delivery businesses. For this, all users of the platform need to be online as much as possible. But what happens when some users lose connection en route?
In addition to your logistics management software being cloud-based, you need to make sure the mobile platform is functional not only when the driver is online but also whenever they lose connection. Route4Me and Track-POD are both cloud-based and don't require your drivers to be online at all times. In case the connection is lost, all data will be synced via the cloud as soon as the courier is back online.
Cash on Delivery
Cash on Delivery (COD) is one of the delivery assurance features that can be added for users of the Proof of Delivery mobile app. The way it works is the dispatcher can save a unique cash value, and the driver is supposed to enter this unique cash value to confirm successful delivery. Among alternatives to Route4Me, Track-POD is the only software that supports this solution.
Customer notifications is a big part of any logistics operation. Before your company embraces a new software service, make sure to get a free trial and test customer notifications features.
Last-mile logistics starts with online ordering. From there, users expect to be kept in the loop of what's going on with their order. Route4Me solution is sending customer notifications when their stop has been scheduled. Track-POD's alternative is notifications sent as soon as the order has been received. This notification can be triggered at any time and include time windows for all orders.
Route4Me solution sends customer notifications when they are the next stop to be visited on an active route. This notification can include a live tracking link that lets each customer monitor their courier in real-time. Track-POD, meanwhile, sends route start notifications automatically or when triggered by the driver. This customer notification includes a real-time tracking link and an ETA.
En route notifications is an essential service that logistics businesses provide to fuel customer satisfaction. As usual, email notifications come free of charge and SMS notifications entail fees unique to the country you send notifications in. Both Route4Me and Track-POD send real-time updates on order status.
Needless to say, your last-mile delivery software should have excellent post-delivery features, and this includes Proof of Delivery notifications. Route4Me's solution to this is POD's collected by the driver, stored in the cloud, and accessible to the customer via the same tracking link they have for tracking the real-time location of their driver.
Route4Me alternatives like Track-POD software send post-delivery notifications with POD as soon as the service has been rendered. Additionally, the customer can access their Proof of Delivery PDF via the same tracking link that powers real-time vehicle and courier tracking.
We spoke briefly about the importance of Proof of Delivery features in your route optimization and management software. Let's see what features cloud-based software like Route4Me and Track-POD have to handle the logistics of POD.
Paperless delivery is meant to save time, money, fuel, and extra hours en route with subsequent fleet maintenance because all processes are cloud-based and businesses don't need to waste time waiting for paper documents to be brought back to the office. Both Route4Me and Track-POD power paperless delivery via electronic signature that drivers can collect upon arrival.
Photo proof is one of those features that were once a nice addition but became a staple service over time. Going with either software option, you get the value of a no-contact delivery service at reasonable pricing. Your business and logistics process can be built around completely safe deliveries.
Custom POD template
Proof of Delivery is a service that can and should be unique and in line with your brand. After all, you share POD's with customers and you need to stand out from other businesses with similar features. While Route4Me doesn't let you create unique POD templates, Track-POD offers full customization for free. As long as you have a software license, you can create and save unique Proof of Delivery templates completely free of charge.
Route planning and management software need to fuel your business growth by using analytics-based delivery and fleet insights. Let's see how Route4Me and Track-POD power business management with performance data.
To help you build a data-based delivery system, Route4Me gives you access to the analytics dashboard with a value for each metric you're tracking. Each value is exportable as reports that you can share with a wider business or save for local use.
Track-POD software, on the other hand, offers designated reports that you can save instantly for unique business insights like driver stats, trip summary by routes, etc. Having reports for different time periods helps you make informed business decisions.
Route4Me's dashboard is the place where all your business insights live - real-time and historical. In the dashboard, you see stats such as fuel consumption and fuel costs analytics, activity stream, unique team members performance, as well as a Total section that rooms data such as Total routes, Total stops, etc. You can view and save analytics for a specified date range.
The Track-POD analytics dashboard is unique for every business using the software because you can customize it according to what brings the most value to your operation. Save your insights for making data-based delivery decisions or share them with a wider business. Either way, Track-POD uses KPIs to help you structure data and nail logistics management.
Last but not least, you need to make sure your software of choice can be easily integrated into other business systems you're using. Depending on how easy to difficult it is to incorporate your route planner into other software, your total pricing may vary greatly.
You can connect Route4Me with another system like your sales or order management system by setting up an integration via Zapier. In Track-POD, Zapier integration is built-in, which means it only takes a click to activate it and connect the software to a total of 2,000+ apps.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD offer API for integrating the software into larger systems used by businesses to manage their operations. This means you can be sure either software option will bring value as a part of the total number of tools you use for business management.
All businesses that run logistics management need route optimization software with adequate pricing and impressive features. If you're stuck choosing between two software providers, benchmark all of their features until you can see which tool will bring you the most value. The aim of this article is to guide businesses in making the right choice when finding balance between pricing and features.
The right logistics management software will save you hours on manual setup, management, and tracking. I hope this article helps you make sense of Route4Me and Track-POD. If you have further questions about Track-POD, don't hesitate to get in touch with our sales team and see the software in action during a demo.