Four route optimisation supplier factors | Descartes Routing UK

Four key factors to consider when choosing a route optimisation software supplier

Route optimisation solutions


There are a number of companies selling route optimisation software today. They will all claim to reduce the miles driven to save fuel and servicing costs and cut C02 emissions.  Only a more in-depth investigation will reveal what each vendor can actually do and it is worth looking at their customer successes to get a feel of what is possible. 

But before you embark on any investigation how do you prioritise or choose one supplier over another?


Look beyond the core product offering and consider 4 important supplier factors


1. Type of system 

An internet-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solution generally involves lower lifecycle costs and has a whole host of advantages over an in-house or installed software solution. For example it’s suitable for all sizes of operators and scalable, being able to accommodate growth in drivers and vehicles. It’s accessible anytime, anyplace you have an internet connection. It’s always up to date, with no need to manage updates or back-ups and no special hardware requirements. Any SaaS-based routing solution will enable staff from all depots to see the whole fleet picture so that vehicles are not restricted to a depot area and can be used for work outside of the depot area if it makes sense to maximise delivery density.  


2. The supplier 

What do you know about the supplier? Do you have visibility of who the shareholders are and the financial position of the company? Do you have confidence they’ll still be around in 5 years? By choosing a publicly listed business, you can make a more informed decision. After all, dealing with a private company with unknown ownership is quite a different proposition to dealing with a profitable, global, publicly listed company that can demonstrate its financial performance over ten years or more. 


3. The products 

Did the supplier develop the product themselves? Working with the company that created the software means that support teams have direct access to developers to resolve any potential issues swiftly. What other products do they have? And do they have a fully funded development roadmap?  

A supplier with a portfolio of fleet management solutions such as mapping, route optimisation, delivery scheduling, delivery slot reservations, customer notifications, ePoD and compliance management can provide everything you need to maximise the operational efficiency of the fleet, enhance the customer experience and ensure compliance with rules and regulations that govern fleet operators. Dealing with a single supplier will deliver economies of scale and ensure the various elements of the solution all work together effectively. 


4. Information security

Data privacy is a growing concern with the pressure of GDPR compliance and the threat of cyber-attacks increasing. Is the supplier ISO27001 accredited? Is access to the various SaaS solutions controlled through unique usernames and passwords for different roles within the organisation? Does the supplier meet standards to protect the confidentiality of data, preserve the integrity of data and promote the availability of data for authorised use? 


Final considerations

By considering all these factors before you engage with potential software vendors you can ensure that the time spend on more detailed product investigation and evaluation will be worth your time invested. An integrated approach to driver and fleet optimisation with compliance with drivers’ hours means drivers are never faced with the impossible choice of missing a delivery or breaching drivers’ hours. 


Descartes prides itself on meeting these considerations to offer efficient and comprehensive solutions, with in-house development available to match with needs, and unrivalled support systems.