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Route Optimization Software in 2024: Build It or Buy It?

Things to consider when choosing between developing in-house route optimization software versus purchasing commercial off-the-shelf software.

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Have you made the decision to invest in route optimization software? Well, kudos to you; you’re on the correct course. You don’t have to be concerned about route planning, driver management, or customer happiness any longer.

Should you develop the software in-house or purchase commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software?

If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not alone. When it comes to deploying routing optimization software, this is a common question that many business owners have.

To be honest, it may appear straightforward, but determining the best method is a difficult task. In the past, software development has frequently prevailed in this discussion.

The tables have turned, however, with the emergence of cloud computing. You don’t need to install any software because cloud-based delivery scheduling software is plug-and-play.

It also has native high-availability, elastic scalability, and numerous low-latency edge points of presence for ultra-low-latency route optimization. All of these advantages come at a fraction of the cost of custom software.

Does this imply that you should go for pre-packaged software?

The answer is that it is contingent on your needs. To guarantee that you make the best decision, you must first assess your demands based on various additional characteristics and questions. And it is with this in mind that we will assist you in this essay.

We’ll go over the technical and business implications of both choices so you can make an educated choice. So, let’s take a closer look at these features.

Table of Contents

  1. Do You Have the Right Team for Route Optimization Software Development?
  2. Does your team have the necessary software development skills?
  3. Can You Afford the Total Cost of Ownership?
  4. When will you be able to use the route planning software?
  5. How much will the software’s support cost?
  6. How Do Feature Deficits Affect You?
  7. Conclusion About Route Optimization Software

1) Do You Have the Right Team for Route Optimization Software Development?

Software development necessitates the availability of qualified personnel. As a result, you must first determine whether you have the necessary resources in-house to match all of the expertise and experience needed to develop route optimization software.

Experts in advanced mathematical and geometric fields are required to construct a route optimization and operational optimization system. It requires at least eight years of postgraduate (Ph.D.) college training to develop such skill.

Aside from such professionals, your IT group should be able to design systems that can:

  • Handle millions of transactions; analyze them; back them up; share them with partners; connect the data to other systems; and
  • Set up a system for auditing and compliance.

They should also be able to create APIs capable of planning, managing, and executing millions of deliveries each year.

Do you have access to such resources?

If not, you should absolutely purchase rather than design such software.

2) Does your team have the necessary route optimization software development skills?

Even if your IT department is capable of completing all of the steps listed above, there are still a slew of more difficult chores to complete in order to create a flawless route planner.

For instance, the complete system must still be programmed, which entails:

Creating geospatial databases; geocoding; mapping; importing and processing maps; adjusting arrival times based on real-time traffic conditions; and developing all mobile apps for iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and Android tablets.

So, before you start working on the project, figure out how many years of optimization and mobile programming experience your team has.

If they only install and manage your desktop PCs and laptops, this type of project is unlikely to succeed.

Your IT team will also need to connect all of your mobile apps to your data center or cloud-based servers.

Furthermore, they must ensure that the GPS tracking is functional, that the app can be used with or without internet, and that it will work in a wide range of scenarios that you may not have considered previously.

3) Can You Afford the Total Cost of Ownership?

You must ensure that whatever decision you make is financially viable for you. As a result, you should consider the total cost of ownership of vehicle route planning software carefully.

If you want to construct the software yourself, look at the features that vendors offer and see if you can create a similar program for less money internally.

However, purchasing should be a viable alternative if the vendor:

  • Has a broad list of satisfied customers;
  • Provides more benefits and features than you expected or the same set of capabilities at a lower cost.

Additionally, implementing route optimization software on your own necessitates constant internal trade-offs.

As a result, you should consider if you’re committed enough to invest the required amount over time with an in-house solution or whether you’d prefer make an upfront investment by purchasing such software.

Scalability is also a factor in this equation. Because your company will expand over time, you must design the software in such a way that no matter how the number of drivers or areas you need to control grows, you will not have any glitches in the near future.

As a result, you should consider whether you can afford to keep spending money to scale up your own software as your company expands, or whether you prefer to use software that has already been scaled up owing to the provider’s ongoing investment.

Route optimization software like EasyRoutes has been designed from the ground-up to be scalable for businesses of all sizes.

Purchasing a route planner software rather than constructing one ensures that you have an insurance policy in place to ensure that your needs are met on a regular basis.

4) When will you be able to use the route planning software?

You can’t keep developing software indefinitely.

Each action in the development process, including the time required to design, architect, construct, and test the solution, should have a deadline. All of these steps should be completed with care and take a large amount of time; if the processes are completed wrong, the outcome will be unsatisfactory.

So, consider whether you demand immediate deployment or if you can afford the time required to develop the software yourself.

If you believe your developers can deliver routing software on time, consider whether they have previously produced software under tight deadlines.

Look at the intricacy of the past projects if they’ve met deadlines before.

Simple software is simple to design, but route optimization software necessitates complicated algorithms that are difficult to design and time consuming.

As a result, they may frequently miss the deadline. If they have previously failed to provide software on time, they are clearly not the ideal choice to design route optimization software.

You’ll also acknowledge that working in your industry means software development isn’t likely to be your strong suit. Even the best-intentioned companies face difficulties when they attempt to build an app that is beyond their area of expertise.

As a result, if you want to develop the program yourself, you need carefully evaluate the impact of other demands on your IT department. Your IT team may miss a deadline for a new project as a result of these demands, and you need to know how much such delays will cost your company.

There is also planning and routing software available, the majority of which is cloud-based, allowing you to get started quickly and with little effort. With canned software, you won’t have to worry about missing deadlines or running out of time.

You should construct the software yourself if you believe your engineers will not miss deadlines and you have the time and money to put together a team of a few dozen individuals to spend millions of man-hours.

5) How much will the route optimization software’s support cost?

You should consider the software’s short- and long-term support expenses while deciding whether to create or buy.

Because user adoption is directly influenced by support, it is critical for the continuous provision of any software system. Even after the software has been produced, it can cost your firm a lot of money in the long run.

Consequently, whether it is part of your IT department or a separate support organization, it is necessary to include both short- and long-term support expense predictions.

You should also think about the following costs:

  • New employee support,
  • Feature enhancements,
  • Regional support staff.

When you buy vehicle route planning software, you don’t have to invest as much in developing a good support system as you would if you built it yourself.

EasyRoutes, for example, provides web and mobile platforms that combine with numerous monitoring, crash tracking, app performance management, and a world-class support team to keep things running smoothly.

As a result, we cover the costs and you don’t have to pay a dime for assistance, potentially saving you a lot of money. You won’t have to spend for things like hiring, retention, infrastructure, training, or anything else.

6) How Do Feature Deficits Affect You?

You must keep in mind that if you choose to develop route optimization software in-house, there will always be a feature gap in the final product.

This occurs mostly as a result of shifting deadlines and priorities.

When you purchase cloud-based route scheduling software, however, you will receive the most extensive and up-to-date collection of features.

And you’ll receive all of this with little or no lag in terms of how long it takes your company to implement the features. As a result, make an informed decision.

Conclusion About Route Optimization Software

Well, both developing software internally and purchasing commercial off-the-shelf software have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

When you build software, for example, you have complete control over the development and functionality. The software is also tailored to your exact requirements, and you own the source code.

However, configuring or writing the code, integrating the program with other systems, and adapting to user requirements after deployment all take a significant amount of effort.

Furthermore, developing software has less features than purchasing software from a provider.

So, if you’re on a limited budget, can’t wait a long time, don’t have the proper qualified personnel on hand, or don’t know where to find them, developing software internally isn’t a good idea. You should check out a route optimization software solution like EasyRoutes.

This is especially true now that software may be purchased whenever you need it. Because the route optimization software suppliers have already spent thousands of hours researching, developing, and manufacturing the product, it has fewer flaws. Furthermore, such software is more adaptable and flexible.

Additionally, when purchasing fleet route planning software, you can rest assured that the app’s functionality will be continually upgraded in response to client feedback and in anticipation of your growing business needs.

With canned software, on the other hand, you must rely on the vendor’s help to handle faults, and the developer keeps ownership of the code.

However, if the software supplier is readily available for help and quickly resolves any issues, this should not be a concern for you.

After all, it’s still preferable to putting in countless hours to set up, create, and maintain software, as well as recruiting the right people to execute it properly. Also, don’t forget about the high costs.

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

"One of the standout aspects of EasyRoutes is its seamless integration into our existing systems. We were able to quickly adopt and incorporate the plugin into our daily processes without any disruptions. The user-friendly interface allows our team to navigate the system effortlessly, ensuring smooth operations and minimizing any learning curve."
Gérard Bakery
Bakery delivery in Belgium 🇧🇪
Designed to make deliveries easy