Route planning software

Published on 04/26/2024

Effective route planning, scheduling and cost reduction are crucial for logistics. That’s why choosing the right route planning software takes center stage. In this article, you will learn how innovative software solutions can optimize your route planning, uncover potential savings and improve your supply chain processes.

The most important facts at a glance

  • Route planning software increases efficiency and saves costs through optimized route planning, which leads to a reduction in driving and waiting times and an improvement in customer service.

  • The software offers versatile functionalities and can be customized to individual company needs, including integration with existing ERP and CRM systems.

  • Future developments in route planning include the use of artificial intelligence, cloud, blockchain, and the Internet of Things to further increase efficiency and achieve cost savings.

The importance of route planning software


Route planning software is an indispensable tool for any company that needs to deliver its services or goods to different locations. It helps to plan and optimize routes, especially in field service, ambulatory care, maintenance, service or sales activity planning. These software solutions are an effective solution for small and medium-sized companies as well as large corporations and cover both operational and strategic planning needs.

Companies from various industries such as sales, logistics and service-orientated industries can benefit significantly from the implementation of route planning software. The software helps to improve quality and makes work easier through more efficient route planning, resulting in time and cost savings. Companies can achieve at least 15 percent savings with such software.

Advantages of route planning software

They are numerous and varied. They range from increased productivity and improved customer service to minimizing the environmental footprint. By creating optimized routes, efficiency can be increased by 15-25%, allowing for more orders with reduced driving time.

One of the biggest benefits is the ability to minimize driving and waiting times. The software offers the following benefits: 

  • Calculation of ideal routes that minimize travel distances and optimize the environmental footprint

  • Support for quick plan changes that reduce kilometers travelled

  • Improved customer service through increased punctuality of appointments and deliveries based on the processing of real-time traffic data.

This optimized planning leads to improved customer service through increased punctuality of appointments and deliveries based on location tracking and the processing of real-time traffic data.

The route planning software also provides: optimal usage of your vehicle fleet, less wear and tear on vehicles, reduced fuel consumption, shortening of journey times, combination of routes, route optimization, the shortest route selection, efficient communication and better management of deliveries, the direct exchange of messages between dispatchers and drivers, advanced algorithms that consider restrictions and possible combinations to efficiently distribute multiple deliveries to different drivers. This contributes to the optimization of routes and logistics processes.

Route optimization software features

A laptop with route planning software

The route planning software offers various functions that meet the specific requirements of companies. The key features are:

  • Consideration of the capacity limits of vehicles when delivering and collecting goods or people 

  • Ability to manage multiple capacity dimensions for goods or the number of people transported to ensure appropriate load distribution 

  • Ability to set order priorities within the software to ensure that critical deliveries are prioritized during planning.

The software also provides options for grouping for planning purposes, such as postcodes or road sections, which may be necessary for certain logistics operations. Furthermore, the software can consider different types of vehicles and compare their capacities, costs, average speeds and specific break regulations in the planning.

The software can also incorporate legal driving time rules for lorries by considering necessary breaks, stops and waiting times. Additional features include: mobile route planner app, multi stop route planning, multiple routes handling, user-friendly interface, driver management.

Integration of route planning systems into existing systems 

Effective route planning requires seamless integration of software solutions into existing systems. By digitizing processes, tasks such as order processing can be managed via apps and real-time data transfer to ERP systems, while maintaining constant contact with the field service. This integration facilitates workflow and improves information sharing by seamlessly utilizing data and updating it in real time.

An important aspect when selecting a route planning system is its ability to communicate with other systems such as ERP or CRM via interfaces. Integration should therefore be carefully planned and executed to ensure that the route progress software communicates effectively with other business systems and ensures seamless workflows.

Customization options

Route optimization software features

Every business has unique needs and customer requirements too, so it is essential that the route planning software is flexible and customizable. There are software solutions that support both beginners and experienced users with different requirements, for example by offering a combination of app and client or comprehensive solutions with mobile applications.

However, companies should consider the possible limitations when selecting a software solution. Some solutions require fixed installations of tracking devices, which can mean less flexibility for the organization. Therefore, it is important to consider the specific needs and requirements of your organization when choosing route planning software, especially if your employees use a smartphone for navigation.

Route planning for various industries 

The tour planning software is useful for businesses in a wide range of industries. The software is an indispensable tool, especially in sales, where a complex planning effort with an increasing number of addresses to be visited, and different visit frequencies must be managed. In sectors such as transport, delivery, mail services, field sales, retail and field service, speed, punctuality and outstanding service are the decisive factors for planning routes.

In logistics, route planning software is used to ensure the efficiency and cost optimization of route plans, from the sorting of orders to the grouping of routes. Sustainability is also playing an increasingly important role in logistics. Route planning software helps to reduce CO2 emissions by reducing the CO2 emissions of alternative fuels and more climate-friendly modes of transport.

Route planning in field service - relevance and practical benefits

Route planning in field service

Field service route planning is a crucial factor in the efficient and effective management of work orders. Efficient field service planning and assignment of work orders in the field is a crucial process that can influence the efficiency of an organization. 

The maturity of a field service organization’s planning process can be divided into phases, with each phase offering specific benefits and requiring different planning skills. For example, manual planning, the initial stage of planning maturity, involves the processing of orders by planners and can be very labor-intensive. Advanced planning stages use field service solutions to support the call taking agent, planner and technician, streamlining processes and enabling semi-automated optimization.

 The shift in a planner’s role from manual labor to supervision and exception management is a sign of increasing planning maturity. Therefore, route planning software can significantly help in the effective planning and management of field service jobs and take the organization to the next level.

Tips for choosing the right route optimization software for your company

Choosing the appropriate route planning software is a crucial step that should be carefully considered. When choosing, factors such as:

  • fixed delivery dates

  • different opening hours

  • vehicle capacities and equipment

  • customer and goods-specific requirements

should be considered. A software solution should be able to automatically consider legal and industry-specific requirements to ensure compliance with regulations. In addition, you should evaluate whether the route planning software supports strategic, tactical or operational route planning to pick the right planning approach for your organization. 

Finally, it is important to choose a route planning software that offers various optimization options for route optimization and route optimization, such as the fastest, shortest or most cost-effective route. The software should use powerful algorithms and approximation methods to create an optimized route plan, taking all restrictions into account. 

Future trends in route planning

The future of route planning looks promising. Artificial intelligence is increasingly being incorporated into route planning and offers smarter route planning and load formation, as well as predictive inventory and asset management. Collaborative platforms and interfaces are also being developed to simplify collaboration in the supply chain.

Modern technologies such as cloud and blockchain, as well as the Internet of Things, play a key role in ensuring real-time information and transparency in route planning. These technologies will further optimize and revolutionize route planning by offering new opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

To summarize 

To summarize, route planning software is an indispensable tool for companies in various industries. It offers various features and customization options to meet the specific needs of customers and each business. Implementing the right route planning software can bring significant improvements to a company’s operations and lead to cost savings, increased service technician efficiency and improved customer service.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is route planning software? 

Route planning software is a digital tool that helps companies to efficiently plan, dispatch and optimize delivery and service routes. It considers factors such as delivery times, vehicle capacity, customer preferences and traffic conditions to determine the optimal routes for drivers and delivery staff.

How does route planning software work?

 The software uses complex algorithms to analyze data such as order volumes, locations, time slots and vehicle information. It then creates a plan that optimizes routes to minimize time, distance, and cost while improving customer service.

Can route planning software be integrated into existing systems?

 Yes, modern route planning software can usually be integrated into existing ERP and CRM systems to enable a seamless flow of information and improved coordination between different areas of the organization.

Which industries is route planning software suitable for?

Route planning software can be used across all industries and is particularly useful for logistics, sales, field service, maintenance services, delivery services and any other area where goods or services need to be delivered to different locations.

What are the benefits of route planning software?

The benefits include improved efficiency through optimized routes, time and cost savings, reduced fuel consumption and others.