WorkWave Route Manager Alternative: Route Planner Battle
May 25, 2021
There comes a time in every transportation manager’s life when they have to choose between two routing software providers. You may be guided by many things when making the choice: compatibility, price, learning curve – you name it. But ultimately, what you want is software that brings value with every feature.
I find that side-by-side comparisons are the best way to look at it. Previously, I explored Onfleet and Routific alternatives feature by feature. Today, we’re looking at WorkWave Route Manager – one of the major parts of the WorkWave software family.
WorkWave Route Manager is a bit of a mystery. Because there are so many products that go under the WorkWave umbrella, it’s hard to know for sure what you’re investing in without being able to take the software for a test drive.
I’m here to help. What you’ll find below is a feature-for-feature comparison of WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD – another route planning & optimization tool. Let’s roll.
The good news is that WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD are priced similarly, i.e. per vehicle per month. While Track-POD offers one more subscription model with pricing per number or tasks per month, WorkWave Route Manager operates only with vehicle per month.
Depending on the features that go into the subscription, there are three plans you can choose from: WorkWave Route Manager, WorkWave Route Manager 360, and WorkWave Route Manager 360+. The starting price per vehicle per month is $49.
The bad news is that some features like certain reports or navigation systems (more on that later) are available only as add-ons, and for that, you need to get in touch with WorkWave Route Manager’s sales reps.
Track-POD, meanwhile, offers four subscription plans: Starter, Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise. The lowest price per vehicle per month is $19. In Track-POD, there are no add-ons as such. The only plan with indefinite pricing is Enterprise, because it’s completely customizable and built for larger logistics operations.
Route planning & optimization
Route planning & optimization is the crown jewel of any routing tool. Let’s see how WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD handle their routing and which features you can count on.
When creating and optimizing routes, it helps to be able to do that right from the map. Both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD offer map-based planning, with the former boasting a Lasso tool that lets you capture orders from a specific area on the map for editing and exporting, and the latter offering similar drag-and-drop functionality.
Route optimization with ETA
Both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD provide route optimization with estimated time of arrival (ETA). On top of that, WorkWave Route Manager offers arrival and departure time, as well as service time. Track-POD, meanwhile, offers estimated arrival and departure times.
It’s important for a logistics manager to be able to prioritize some orders that need to be fulfilled urgently. Same goes for route planning software: it needs to account for tasks with higher priority when planning & optimizing daily routes.
WorkWave Route Manager lets you assign importance to orders: Lowest, Lower, Normal, Higher, and Highest. Track-POD, in the meantime, considers the priority you’ve given to customers, addresses, and orders.
Route planning & optimization is impossible without considering your drivers as humans who need to take breaks throughout the day. This is something your route planning software has to take into account, and both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD do that.
WorkWave Route Manager allows up to three breaks a day – you need to specify these for each driver. Track-POD also considers driver’s breaks when creating multi-stop and long-distance routes, so you can be sure this need is covered.
Fleet management is as important as driver management when it comes to leading a logistics operation. In order to optimize your resources, you need to make sure all vehicles are loaded correctly and efficiently.
When adding a vehicle in WorkWave Route Manager, you can specify the following constraints: orders, mileage, speed, driving hours, working hours, minimum working hours, up to 5 loads, as well as tags to indicate that a certain vehicle is best used for certain orders, e.g. refrigerated goods require refrigerated trucks.
In addition to that, WorkWave Route Manager allows you to indicate costs.
Track-POD, meanwhile, allows you to specify multiple maximum values for things like weight, pallets, volume, maximum sites/orders, worktime, distance, speed, etc. – for each of your vehicles. It also offers route rates.
Cost per distance.
Cost per hour.
Considers vehicle type
If you’re managing a smaller delivery operation and have different types of vehicles in your fleet – think truck, car, or bicycles – then you need your route planner to consider that too. While WorkWave Route Manager lets you add one type of vehicle with different parameters, Track-POD offers a selection of vehicle types to choose from.
When you have regular customers or shippers you often work with, or if you provide a subscription-based delivery service, being able to add recurring routes to your route planner is crucial. Luckily, both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD give you the option to add recurring routes – two ways.
In WorkWave Route Manager, you’ll need to use the Simulations environment where you can experiment with routing without dispatching orders, as well as store repeatable routes or orders. Track-POD also lets you keep and consider recurring routes – without switching to a different mode.
WorkWave Route Manager lets you create Traffic Profiles with input from your drivers or your personal knowledge of a particular area. The system will consider these when planning routes. Track-POD, on the other hand, offers live traffic data in the driver’s app.
So how does your routing software plan and optimize routes? Well, both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD consider all of the specifications related to vehicles, drivers, and cargo.
WorkWave Route Manager, for example, considers 5 different classes of roads and their corresponding speed limits when planning routes and estimating speed of vehicles.
The actual road network is also considered, including one-way streets, pedestrian-only, etc.
Track-POD, in the meantime, arranges orders and routes automatically considering your optimization settings and the strategy you’re going with: time, distance, or expense. On top of that, Track-POD allows you to have different setups for starting and ending routes.
From driver location.
Ends at Depot.
Ends at driver location.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into route planning and optimization. It’s a 2-party effort: you input the correct data, and the software does its magic and arranges routes in the best way possible.
User & Order Management
Managing a logistics operation, you want to make sure you control the level of access different people have to different parts of your supply chain. As far as last-mile delivery is concerned, your software needs to give you the tools to control this. Let’s take a closer look at what user and order management look like in WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD.
Dashboard web users
Both software providers offer access to a web dashboard for dispatchers and other people involved in creating and dispatching orders.
Roles and permissions for web users
WorkWave Route Manager, in addition to the Administrator user (creating and editing users, devices, alerts, and geofences), offers the Organization user (viewing tracking and reports on the devices but not creating or editing users, devices, alerts, and geofences).
On top of that, the Admin user can add Planners and Viewers. Planners, as the name suggests, have the ability to plan and run routes and manage the whole operation, i.e. everything except for creating new users. Viewers have "view only" access to the assigned territories. They get to interact with the orders and routes but are not permitted to edit or change them.
Track-POD, meanwhile, offers 10 user rights options to help you control what your team members can do with the software.
Allow view Routes.
Allow user management.
Allow view Analytics.
Allow view Vehicle Check.
Allow edit orders.
Allow view Directories.
Allow edit completed orders.
Allow Edit directories.
Web customer access
Web customer access is what empowers your customers to help you by managing their orders independently. If you have regular shippers who share with you the orders they need delivered, then you benefit greatly from letting them add and manage their orders without involving you.
While WorkWave Route Manager doesn’t have a designated shippers hub, Track-POD does. With a newly redesigned Customer Portal, involving your shippers in the process is easier than ever before.
Both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD consider different order types. It’s not always deliveries – sometimes, your drivers need to complete pickups or even a sequence of tasks within one order. Here’s how you can handle that.
WorkWave Route Manager offers four types of tasks to choose from.
Pickup & Dropoff.
Track-POD, in the meantime, lets you choose any of the following task types.
Pickup & Delivery.
Pickup - Hub - Delivery.
Custom fields is how you make sure you can specify as much order-related information as you need to. Orders come in all shapes and sizes, and not all fields will be there for you. Luckily, both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD have you covered.
WorkWave Route Manager lets you add custom fields when creating your orders. Same with Track-POD – it offers unlimited custom fields with different formats (text, number, date, checkbox, etc.). You can also control if the drivers can see or edit these fields in their app.
Mobile app is the second essential component of a route planner. What you put together in the web dashboard back at the office needs to translate into a specific call-to-action for the driver. Let’s look at the driver apps offered by WorkWave Route Manage and Track-POD to see which one will do a better job for you.
Chat with dispatcher
Since the dispatcher dashboard and driver app are two halves of the same system, they need to enable the perfect sync between your office and field staff. One way to do this is by supporting instant communication by means of a chat or SMS.
WorkWave Route Manager lets your dispatchers send SMS messages or email your drivers. Another way for drivers to be notified of the orders in the system is to check their notifications updates. Then, they’ll see all their orders and the changes that occur (added, removed, edited, changed in position).
Track-POD, meanwhile, offers live chat between the dispatcher and driver. The chat supports text messages and photos for visual proof of issues.
Access to navigation systems
Since the driver app is supposed to also serve as a navigator, it’s crucial that you can choose the navigation system that works the best for your region and needs. By default, both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD use Google Maps. However, you can switch to alternative navigation systems.
On top of Google Maps, WorkWave Route Manager supports Sygic, CoPilot, VZ Navigator, Waze, and Yandex. Some of these services come at an additional cost.
Meanwhile, Track-POD lets you choose between any of the following alternatives to Google Maps, with no additional fees: Apple Maps, Waze, TomTom, Here Map, and Sygic.
Load check is an additional precaution you take in order to ensure a steadily high rate of successful deliveries. Depending on the tools your delivery management software gives, you can introduce additional steps to check that your drivers deliver the right orders to the right addresses.
WorkWave Route Manager offers the option to run load checks via scanning barcodes. Track-POD, in turn, also provides the QR or barcode scanning option which can be made mandatory for the drivers.
Vehicle check goes into fleet maintenance and helps you keep track of the state of your vehicles and any issues that need to be addressed before the repair costs blow up. While WorkWave Route Manager doesn’t offer vehicle checks, you can find this in Track-POD.
Track-POD lets you make vehicle checks mandatory for all drivers before, after, or before and after each route. You get to specify your own vehicle check criteria and indicate minimum and maximum values to make sure you can see all vehicle issues instantly reflected in your web dashboard. By keeping an eye on all critical cases, you save money on vehicle maintenance in the long term.
Naturally, not all your orders will be successful. Whatever went wrong, your drivers need to be able to report on this. WorkWave Route Manager offers two order statuses: Completed and Not Completed. From there, you go on to address the issue and complete the order the second time around.
Track-POD provides more nuances to operate with. It lets your drivers choose between Delivered, Not Delivered, and Partially Delivered statuses. Track-POD also boasts the Rearrive feature, i.e. your drivers can change order status from Not Delivered to Delivered after they’ve revisited the delivery address and made a successful delivery.
Reasons for non-completion
Order statuses bring us smoothly to reasons for non-completion. These come in handy when your drivers need to specify what exactly went wrong when marking an order as unsuccessful.
In WorkWave Route Manager, you need to enable this feature, otherwise, it’s not available for the driver in the app. Mainly, the Admin user needs to create these reasons in the web dashboard.
Track-POD not only lets your drivers specify the exact reason for rejection – without additional configuration from admin users. It also enables drivers to reject goods quantity and enter the actual goods quantity while scanning. Another thing Track-POD lets you do is transfer orders from one driver to another.
A geofence is an area on the map that you can keep track of when monitoring the driver. For example, you can get alerts when the driver enters or leaves a certain territory – or you can prohibit the driver to mark the order as completed when they’re in the wrong area. Geofencing is available both in WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD.
Offline mode is a lifesaver if your delivery operation includes areas with bad coverage. While the WorkWave Route Manager driver app doesn’t work offline, the Track-POD app remains fully functional. As soon as the connection is restored, all order data is synced with the web dispatcher dashboard.
Notifications is another key feature of last-mile delivery management software. Instant communication saves you hours of talking to customers on the phone and answering their emails. When looking for a route planner, make sure you’re fully satisfied with its notification options – and so will be your customers.
WorkWave Route Manager offers three types of notifications to customers.
The Status Update notification is the closest to Route start notifications you can get in WorkWave Route Manager. It is sent every time the status of an order changes. It can also be triggered by the driver from the mobile app to notify the customer of the route start. The driver also has the option to call the customer.
Track-POD, meanwhile, sends both automatic notifications marking the route start – including a live tracking link and an ETA – or manual notifications triggered by the driver when they’ve left a previous location. Track-POD sends notifications by email and/or SMS.
In WorkWave Route Manager, Almost There notifications is how you share with your customers a live ETA and a tracking link. It can be sent 10, 20, or 30 minutes before the driver’s arrival either by SMS or email and is customizable except for the Hot Words (like @@[email protected]@) that are in-built.
Track-POD’s notifications with a live tracking link and an ETA are fully customizable, with the option to edit text and tags.
WorkWave Route Planner’s Status Change notifications is how you let your customers know the delivery has been completed. As soon as the driver marks the order as Done in their mobile app, the customer will receive a post-delivery notification.
Track-POD, in the meantime, sends fully customizable email notifications with a PDF Proof of Delivery document attached. This is especially useful for contactless deliveries as you can share with the customer photo proof of a successful delivery without your driver physically interacting with them.
WorkWave Route Manager’s Service Day notifications are sent to all customers whose orders are scheduled for that day. Time windows of 30 min, 1 hr, 2 hr, or 4 hr can be included.
On top of that, WorkWave Route Manager lets you create a button that automatically sends your driver to a pre-filled SMS message to send to your customer. This is set up by means of Deep Linking.
Track-POD also offers notifications after the route has been scheduled. They can be sent at any time.
Proof of Delivery
Proof of Delivery (POD) is the bread and butter of last-mile delivery tools. It includes different actions the driver can take to confirm successful delivery. Let’s see how WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD will handle Proof of Delivery for you.
In WorkWave Route Manager, POD is configured in Required Actions for the driver. These actions are set by the admin user and specify the types of delivery confirmation drivers need to take. Picture taking is one of these actions, alongside signature, voice memo, note, and check out.
WorkWave Route Manager lets you take pictures both for completed and not completed orders – this can be specified in the settings from the web dashboard.
Track-POD allows multiple pictures to document both successful deliveries and delivery issues in case there are any.
Both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD offer barcode scanning as part of Proof of Delivery. Scanning of orders and goods is available.
Custom POD template
In WorkWave Route Manager, Proof of Delivery is intended for internal use. It’s sent from the driver back to your office for storing or export. You can also edit your PODs as the route happens and when it’s over.
Meanwhile, Track-POD provides a fully editable POD template that can be branded and shared with your customers as well as your office staff.
Reporting & Analytics
Access to reporting and analytics determines how easy it will be for you to optimize your logistics operation. When choosing a route planner, make sure you’re fully satisfied with the analytics and reports it provides. Let’s see what we have here.
WorkWave Route Manager lets you view reports for up to two weeks on the map or mail yourself reports for time periods up to the last twelve months. Below are the types of reports offered by the software.
Stops Report – all stops made by each vehicle.
Daily Activity Report – all vehicle activity for the day.
Workweek Report – when each vehicle started and ended multiple days.
Workday Report – when each vehicle started and ended in a day.
Idling Report – all instances of idle time for each vehicle.
Event History Report – events triggered by each vehicle.
As an add-on, you can also have the Driver Behavior Scorecard (calculated behavior score for each vehicle) and the Driver Behavior Event Report (all events used to calculate the driver behavior score).
Track-POD, in the meantime, gives you instant access to the following embedded reports.
Trip summary by routes.
The focus of WorkWave Route Manager’s analytics is on vehicle utilization, violations of time window commitments, and order distribution. Going through the analytics charts, you can visualize use cases for specific metrics.
The analytics view can also be narrowed down to a specific vehicle or driver. In addition to that, WorkWave Route Manager lets you export to Excel or CSV executed routes (incl. Proofs of Delivery) or approved routes.
WorkWave Route Manager stores analytics for up to 13 months.
Track-POD, meanwhile, offers a customizable analytics tab with columns you can add or remove. By specifying a time frame, you can access data for a specific period of time and instantly export it to PDF, Excel, or JSON. To help you see a clearer picture of performance, Track-POD provides analytics per KPI.
Delivery in full – total percentage of successful deliveries + a pie chart with reasons for rejection.
Partially – total percentage of partially delivered orders + a pie chart with reasons for rejection.
On-time deliveries – total percentage of on-time deliveries.
Average service duration.
By cargo parameters: weight, volume, pallets with values.
Track-POD stores 24 months of analytics.
Before you go, there’s one last point of comparison we need to cover. Your route planning software won’t be an autonomous system that exists in isolation from larger systems like CRM or ERP. To help you understand the integration capabilities of WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD, here’s a couple of points to consider.
While WorkWave Route Manager doesn’t offer an in-built integration with Zapier, Track-POD covers that and lets you instantly connect 2,000+ third-party apps. In addition to that, Track-POD offers in-built integrations with platforms like Shopify.
Both WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD let you use their API to integrate the route planner into a customer-facing system you use for order management.
WorkWave Route Manager and Track-POD both pack a punch. When choosing your favorite, it’s important to consider different aspects of running a logistics operation. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:
Does my budget allow additional charges or am I looking for a flat fee?
What kind of Proof of Delivery document will I share with my customers?
Do I have regular shippers who could handle their own orders?
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. You’re welcome to reach out with your own questions about route planning, fleet optimization, live tracking, no-contact POD, or anything else – we’re happy to give you all the answers during a demo.