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6 Best Route Planner Apps to Maximize Time and Efficiency

June 5, 2024 6 min. read
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When you run a field service business, maximizing your time is maximizing your earning potential. The less time your crews spend on the road, the more time they can spend taking care of your customers, and the more jobs they can tackle.

The good news is that you can improve your productivity and save on fuel costs with one essential tool: a route planning app.

Implementing a powerful route planner app is the best way to cut costs and ensure that your team reaches maximum efficiency–and we aren’t talking about Google Maps. The best route planner app makes small business job scheduling easy so that you can spend your time growing your business.

Keep reading to discover the best routing apps to ensure that your crew is always at the right place at the right time.

How we chose the best routing apps 

We spent time trying out different solutions and reading app reviews on Capterra and G2 to put together our list of the best routing apps. Some elements that we looked out for include:

  • The ability to import spreadsheets for easy route creation
  • Automation capabilities to simplify your workflow
  • Location-sharing features for transparency into your team

While this article will give you a great starting point, choosing the best route planner app for your business depends on your business’s unique needs. 

Many routing apps offer free trials, so it’s a good idea to test out some of the apps you might be interested in before committing to one (this is the fun part!). Checking out the apps in this list is a great place to start.

Jobber: best for field service businesses

Route optimization in Jobber

Jobber is the best route planner app for field service businesses who want to fit more jobs into the day, while still delivering top-notch service.

Made specifically for home service industries, Jobber’s service routing software improves your overall productivity from a single app. For example, use the app’s map view to track your crew’s progress throughout the day and ensure that they are staying on the best route.

Being in lawn care, I really love the route optimization tool. It plots the most efficient route for your crews, right through the app.

Chase Stetson Mike’s Lawn Care Service LLC

You can also use Jobber’s scheduling and route optimization app to: 

  • Automatically generate the fastest, most fuel-efficient routes
  • Send notifications instantly to inform your team of new routes or last-minute cancellations
  • Track your crew’s progress and location throughout the day, and make changes on the fly when needed—from your desktop or mobile device
  • As new work comes in, assign it to the closest team member based on their GPS waypoint

Jobber’s routing feature also allows you to easily reschedule or reassign jobs on the fly. All you need to do is click, drag, and drop.

Best for: Field service businesses that want route optimization and the full capabilities of a CRM

Mapquest

Mapquest route planner app

Mapquest is known as an alternative to Google Maps and is one of the best route planner app options for small businesses that outgrow Google’s capabilities.

Mapquest accommodates up to 26 stops in one route and has basic route optimization capabilities. Specifically, small business owners can take advantage of these Mapquest features:

  • Choices for arranging your route–whether you want your stops arranged by shortest distance or shortest time
  • Upload a list of addresses from a spreadsheet for less data entry 
  • See estimated fuel costs for each trip for better planning and accounting  

Best for: Growing businesses looking for a free option with up to 26 stops per route

Routific

Routific route planner app

Next on our list of the best routing apps is Routific.

While Routific works best for small businesses focused on deliveries, this app has great features for field service businesses, including:

  • An algorithm that considers historical patterns to improve future routes
  • An easy drag and drop system to accommodate last minute changes
  • Live GPS tracking to see where your drivers are going
  • Automated customer notifications to deliver excellent customer service 

Plus, Routific has an intuitive interface for ease of use. You get a complete view of the scheduled routes for the day, so you no longer have to worry about double booking issues.

Best for: Small businesses with a lot of deliveries, but can be used for businesses that make service calls as well.

Check out their website for pricing.

FieldRoutes

FieldRoutes route planner app

FieldRoutes routing software reduces mileage, fuel consumption, and vehicle wear and tear to save your business time and money.

Some of FieldRoutes’ top features that make it a contender for the best route planner app include:

  • Automated communications to customers, including appointment reminders
  • Option to create pre-built routes by preferred technician, day, or region
  • Drag and drop routes onto employees schedules for instant updates

FieldRoutes also provides data analytics to evaluate your crews’ by their daily routes, allowing you to see who’s getting it right and who might need some extra coaching. 

Best for: Data-driven businesses who want to continuously update their routes.
FieldRoutes does custom pricing, so you have to contact them for more information.

OptimoRoute

OptimoRoute route planner app

Our next option for the best route planner app is OptimoRoute.

OptimoRoute leverages automation to take into account your business’s biggest challenges for the most cost-effective routes:

  • Recognizes drivers’ unique skill sets and assigns routes based off of them
  • Send real-time updates and the latest, accurate arrival time for your dispatchers
  • Place limits on working hours, overtime, and miles driven to keep control of your costs
  • Keep your drivers within specific service areas, or cluster tasks and deliveries together before driving to another area

OptimoRoute also allows you to produce schedules up to 5 weeks in advance and suggests the most optional routes during that time.

Best for: Businesses that want to leverage automation.

Check out their website for pricing.

Route4Me

Route4Me route planner app

Last on our list of the best routing apps is Route4Me.

Route4Me optimizes routes based on the unique aspects of your business. The app allows you to take into account several different elements to customize the way you plan your routes. Some of these elements include: 

  • Driver skill
  • Labor laws
  • Vehicle capacity
  • Service time

You can also optimize routes for multiple vehicles at once–perfect if your business uses a mix of trucks and vans.

Route4Me is also the best route planner app for recurring routing. You can pick dates on the calendar, select the service frequency, blacklist non-working days, and more.

Finally, Route4Me includes additional features that enhance your customer service, such as alerts and notifications for appointment confirmations

Best for: Businesses that want maximum customization capabilities.

Check out their website for pricing.

Why use paid route planning software?

Inefficient routing can secretly cost your business. The consequences of inefficient route planning are endless–wasted time, opportunity costs, and overworked employees. These all negatively affect your business and slow your growth.

Understanding where the money is going is the first step. It’s important to invest in processes and assets that will reduce costs over time.

Andrew Weins Owner of Camo Crew Junk Removal via Run a Highly Efficient Business (Without Cutting Costs) podcast

With a strong route planner app, your team will save time on the road by getting to jobs faster, and you’ll save time planning routes by letting the software do the work. This results in cost-savings and leaves you more time to focus on your plans to grow your business.

For worthy results, you’ll need to upgrade from Google Maps to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of the best routing app, like:

  • File import of multiple addresses to turn into an efficient route
  • Automatic generation of the most optimized route based on your business needs
  • Location sharing to ensure that your crew is always on track 

It’s also important to remember that scheduling and routing go hand-in-hand. The best route planner app will also have scheduling capabilities or easily integrate with scheduling software so that you can create an all-in-one solution for your business and streamline your workflows. 

From general contractors to HVAC businesses, if you rely on your field team to get the job done, having the best route planner app is a must for your company’s success. It’s a small investment for significant time and cost savings for your business.

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