Press Center

See what others are saying about the world's most used route optimization software

How Machine Learning Is Transforming Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a complicated business. A lack of synchronization or one missing entity can interrupt the entire chain and result in millions in losses.

In a market environment where businesses are continually striving to cut costs, increase profits, and enhance customer experience, disruptive technologies like machine learning offer a window of opportunity. By exploiting the enormous amount of real-time data and leveraging the cloud power, it improves decision making, process automation, and optimization. It can create an entire machine intelligence-powered supply chain model. It also helps companies improve insights, mitigate risks, and enhance performance, all of which are crucial as the global supply chain war wages on.

Gartner recently announced that innovative technologies like blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning would significantly disrupt existing supply chain operating models. In addition to advanced analytics and Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning is considered one of the high-benefit technologies. This is because it allows dynamic shifts across industries and enables efficient processes that result in significant revenue gains or cost savings.

So, it is no surprise then that, in another industry update, Gartner predicted that at least 50% of global companies would be using AI-related transformational technologies in supply chain operations by 2023.

There are three key ways in which these transformational technologies empower businesses:

Monitoring: By connecting equipment, products, and vehicles with IoT sensors, companies can monitor goods and operations in real time.

Analyzing: Advanced analytics convert data into actionable insights and help businesses understand the reason behind specific incidents and how they impact the business.

Acting: Valuable insights as a result of data crunching help businesses address planning challenges and automate processes to improve efficiency.

So, adopting machine learning in supply chains is critical for companies to stay competitive in the long run. However, what aspects of the supply chain will be impacted by machine learning? Let us find out.

A Myriad of Benefits to Supply Chains

If you get the algorithms right, the benefits of using machine learning are innumerable. The algorithms can predict supply trends based on human behavior, resulting in personalized customer service with lower inventories and better utilization of resources. We take a look at several such benefits of machine learning below.

Brings Real-Time Visibility Which Improves Customer Experience

According to a Statista survey, visibility is a significant organizational challenge for 21% of supply chain professionals. Visibility has been a buzzword in supply chain circles for more than a decade now and every technology so far has promised to improve visibility in some way. But, is machine learning contributing anything here?

The combination of IoT, deep analytics, and real-time monitoring is improving supply chain visibility, helping businesses achieve delivery commitments and transforming the customer experience. By examining historical data from various sources, machine learning workflows discover complex interconnections between various processes along the value chain.

Amazon is a prime example as it is using machine learning to enhance its customer experience by gaining an understanding of how product recommendations influence customers’ store visits.

Cuts Costs and Reduces Response Times

As per Amazon’s regulatory filing in 2017, their shipping costs increased from $11.5 billion in 2015 to $21.7 billion in 2017. And, it’s not just Amazon. Many other players are struggling because of rising shipping costs. In fact, in one survey, more than 24% of supply chain professionals expressed that delivery costs are the biggest challenge for B2C companies.

By applying machine learning to handle demand-to-supply imbalances and trigger automated responses, businesses can improve the customer experience, while minimizing costs. Operational and administrative costs can also be reduced by integrating freight and warehousing processes and improving connectivity with logistics service providers.

Machine learning algorithms’ ability to analyze and self-learn from historic delivery records and real-time data helps managers and dispatchers optimize the route for each vehicle. This allows them to save costs, reduce driving time, and increase productivity.

Machine learning can also be used to detect issues in the supply chain before they disrupt the business. Having an effective supply chain forecasting system means a business has the intelligence to respond to emerging threats. And, the faster a business can respond to problems, the more effective the response will be.

Streamlines Production Planning and Identifies Demand Patterns

When it comes to machine learning’s role in optimizing complex supply chains, production planning is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sophisticated algorithms are trained on existing production data in such a way that they start identifying future buying, customers’ ordering behavior, and possible areas of waste. This helps businesses tailor production and transport processes to actual demand as well as improve their relationships with specific customers.

For example, by anticipating and acting on the specific needs of your customers before they even arise, businesses can establish themselves as reputed brands capable of recognizing customer needs.

There is so much volatility in global supply chains that it will be challenging to forecast demand accurately, without technologies like machine learning. However, reaping the full benefits of machine learning might take years. So, businesses should plan for the future and start taking advantage of the machine learning solutions available today.

Investing in machine learning and the related technologies today means increased profitability and more resources for your business tomorrow. Businesses that can use machine learning in their supply chains will have better plans, resulting in less “firefighting” and fewer inefficiencies.

How the Rapid Growth of Ecommerce Is Driving Changes in Logistics and Transportation Management

The e-commerce industry is fulfilling one of the biggest needs of today’s shoppers: instant gratification. This means that American shoppers are drifting away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores and towards the so-called “Amazon effect”. This is causing the industry to grow by leaps and bounds.

Smart devices and wireless connections are now nearly everywhere and have already contributed immensely to the growth of the e-commerce industry. But, the desire for instant gratification is also forcing logistics and transportation businesses to provide delivery options that are faster, more cost-effective, and convenient as well as offer increased flexibility to the customer.

With the customers demanding faster deliveries, field service businesses are now looking to develop a more time-definite supply chain. They are in a race to conquer the “last-mile” and are seeking the most effective ways to deliver packages of all sizes directly to customers’ homes.

From the size of shipments to the distribution networks and even the way warehouses may need to be built, e-commerce is impacting more than we realize. It is changing the entire logistics industry and the world we live in.

How is Ecommerce Transforming Logistics and Transportation Management?

To maintain customer loyalty and stand out from the crowd, most e-commerce companies are continually trying to offer cheaper and faster shipping or easier returns. This means that logistics companies need to rethink their fulfillment processes.

Transportation Needs Are More Complex

The fulfillment process is well-trodden territory for brick-and-mortar retailers: packages come directly to the stores at predictable intervals. However, for e-commerce businesses, shipping parcels to different locations safely and punctually requires complex planning. Expensive and complex processes, such as reverse logistics and last-mile delivery, mean that logistics businesses are continually adapting their processes to meet customer expectations and stay competitive.

The latest trend in last mile delivery management focuses on the localization of distribution, where the goal is to leverage the existing infrastructure and optimize it through technology. Cloud-based optimization may also help transportation companies handle the fluctuations in demand through better scheduling and planning.

Inventory Planning Has Become Crucial

Online shoppers are becoming increasingly demanding. A recent study found that almost 80% of customers want same-day shipping, while nearly 61% expect their packages to arrive within 1 to 3 hours of placing an order. Many logistics companies are struggling to deliver on this expectation. So, rethinking inventory placement is key to gaining a competitive edge over rivals.

Distribution Centers Are Closer to Customers

With the omnichannel approach to e-commerce gaining ground, there is a major need for distribution centers to be located near urban markets. The proximity to urban areas allows parcels to get delivered faster, which is a key differentiator. Companies with a planned network of strategically placed distribution centers will be better able to handle the scalability issues that the hugely growing e-commerce market is likely to impose on them.

Operation Costs Have to Be Reduced

With customers expecting free shipping and membership schemes that guarantee same day delivery, transportation costs have increased. Route planning tools can help plan and share accurate routes with the drivers to deliver the parcels on time, while ensuring the lowest cost of transportation. In fact, according to a McKinsey report, algorithmic route optimization results in an almost 16% increase in a company’s profit, without compromising on quality.

Conclusion

The rapid growth of the e-commerce industry will demand an equally strong response from the transportation and logistics businesses. To keep up with the increasing demands from e-commerce companies and to meet the expectations of customers, logistics companies will need to invest in warehouses and distribution centers.

Businesses that fail to keep up with the logistics trends will risk losing a competitive edge and falling out of favor with customers. The successful logistics businesses will be those that can quickly find innovative solutions to new problems and are ready to find solutions to more problems the day after that.

E-COMMERCE RESHAPING LOGISTICS INDUSTRY

While the global e-commerce growth story is still being written, the industry experts are bullish about its growth and its impact on the logistics and transportation industry in the country.

In fact, according to one recent report, e-commerce growth is still consistent and going strong, with more than 14% CAGR in the last five years. And, showing no signs of slowing, the industry is expected to grow at nearly the same pace through 2022. The same report also emphasizes the role played by logistics in the growth of e-commerce. While the phenomenal boom experienced by the e-commerce industry has come as a surprise to some in traditional brick and mortar retail environments, the growth has inevitably positioned logistics service providers and the ecosystem that has formed around them as having lots of financial firepower.

UPS, in a white paperPulse of the Online Shopper, explained that delivery dates are important for almost 48% of all customers. This means that if parcels are not delivered on time, it will leave almost half of your customers disappointed. Now, such customer expectations of quick and timely deliveries can be seen as both an opportunity and a challenge.

The same UPS white paper also highlights that around 80% of customers look for same-day shipping. Also, interestingly, almost 50% of shoppers are willing to pay extra for faster deliveries. This is where the logistics industry comes into the picture.

Here are some of the major shifts in the logistics and transportation industry which are the result of the growth of e-commerce.

Greater Adoption of Automation and Technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the related technologies are being used for route optimization, based on the delivery address data and distances to be covered by the drivers. Also, geofencing and AI are being used in mobile logistics solutions to make an item’s delivery and return experiences more cost-effective and seamless, both for the customers and retailers.

In addition, GPS tracking and route planning software are increasing productivity in the supply chain, thus minimizing costs and eliminating delivery-related errors. These technologies are benefitting all areas of the logistics industry, including inter-city transportation, shipment tracking, and supply chain management.

Reverse Logistics Are Better Optimized

Reverse logistics are no longer an afterthought for e-commerce companies and logistics providers. This is because, as e-commerce grows, so too does the number of returns. For example, in 2018, the e-commerce spending in the United States during the holiday season amounted to more than $123 billion. This upswing, however, also resulted in an increase in the number of returns, with some reports indicating that almost 28% of the total purchases were returned.

This skyrocketing number of returns is making logistics and transportation companies look for ways to keep up with the growing number. So, the providers are improving their reverse logistics network, adding employees, adopting advanced technology tools, establishing separate departments, and even increasing warehouse space to accommodate returns.

The Omnichannel Approach Is Catching Up

Driven by the tech-savvy and always-connected online shoppers, collaboration is rising among manufacturers, retailers, and transportation companies. Today’s customers want individualization from transactions and they expect more than just the basics, such as the right item at the right time in the right condition. This is why logistics and transportation companies are adopting an omnichannel approach.

Also, with customers prioritizing experiences over prices, there is a willingness to participate in the sharing model. AI could be of help here and chatbots are likely to go through a whole new evolution to ensure a seamless and consistent customer experience across multiple channels.

Same-Day Deliveries Are the New Normal

“Same-day delivery” is today probably the most commonly requested feature in the logistics and transportation industry. This practice has become an essential part of a long-term strategic plan for e-commerce companies to improve their customer experience. With the customers willing to pay extra for quick or same-day deliveries, providers are testing ways (such as crowdsourced delivery, drones, and strong networks of drivers) to balance fast deliveries and cost.

Same-day delivery is a real game changer because it combines instant product availability with the convenience of online shopping.

Conclusion

The logistics industry is evolving and the pace is picking up daily. With customers’ expectations steadily rising in proportion to the number of shipments, the logistics and transportation industry is looking towards a future focused on the latest technologies and improved processes.

To keep up with the rapidly growing demands, groundbreaking technologies, such as AI and warehouse robotics, will play a key role in advancing the industry. Some of the forward-thinking players in the logistics and transportation industry are already thinking big and have started testing these realistic technologies for the next big revolution.

One thing is sure: if you are eager to outpace your competition, this is the time to make some strategic changes and investments, especially if you have an operating profit.

FleetUp partners with Route4Me to provide smart route optimization

Fleet application provider, FleetUp, has entered into a strategic partnership with Route4Me

The partnership combines FleetUp’s asset tracking and management capabilities with Route4Me’s patented Dynamic Route Optimization™ and management technology. The joint solution offers planning, optimization, tracking, and analysis capabilities.

Customers are now able to sequence driving routes for commercial (Class 1-8, Hazmat, and more) and non-commercial vehicles, dispatch, and track the location of multiple drivers on multiple routes on a single map.

Existing and new subscribers of the FleetUp service, will be able to use FleetUp’s onboard diagnostics devices (OBD), which transmit location data in near real-time to its cloud based service, combined with the FleetUp driver app, which ensures ELD compliance.

FleetUp and Route4Me platform integration creates:

Tracking for dispatchers, managers, as well as customers. They can track drivers on a map and a driver’s progress along a route while observing a driver’s progress while they’re on the road.

Planning for dynamic and recurring routes.

An app for drivers that shows them all their assigned routes, on an interactive map.

“Working side-by-side with Route4Me really benefits not only our teams, but more importantly our customers,” said Ezra Kwak, Chief Technology Officer at FleetUp, in a statement. “With the dynamic platform we’ve created together, we’re able to boost our customer service.”

“Route4Me’s partner ecosystem is rapidly growing, and we are proud to collaborate together with FleetUp to create value, efficiencies, and compelling new use cases for our joint customers that have logistics intense businesses. Many of our customers operate complex businesses and unfortunately they have low margins. Our joint solution, helps give customers a competitive advantage, with most customers seeing at least a 5% margin improvement,” said Dan Khasis, CEO of Route4Me.

Best Road Trip Apps for iPhone and iPad – 2019: Planning a Road Trip? Check This Out

Before planning a road trip, it is mandatory to keep a check on a few things such as map, restaurants, fuel check, maintaining your car and other things. There’s a lot of apps that can help you do it all, along with information on the routes you take, pit stops, fuel tracking and more.

Check out this special collection of the best road trip apps for iPhone and iPad. From letting you instantly prepare your packing list, organizing your backpack, navigating you to your destination to reminding you of the important things you need to carry for the trip, these road trip apps for iOS are very essential for travelers.

Best Road Trip Apps for iPhone and iPad – 2019

#1. Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

With “Roadtrippers,” you will enjoy your memorable trip and easily discover famous places, local dinners, scenic points and more. You can plan your trip right from the app and share it with your friends.

The app also adds valuable suggestion to make your itinerary thrilling. The places you like or trips you save on your iPhone will automatically sync across your iOS devices. The only downside, if any, is that its content is currently USA-focused only.

Price: Free
Download

#2. inRoute

inRoute iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

If you are toying with the idea of going for a fantastic road trip, make sure to take “inRoute” for a ride to let you plan your trip smartly. Use weather, elevation, temperature, humidity, curves and other important data to ensure your trip turns out to be as amazing as you wish.

The turn-by-turn directions with voice-guided navigation will help you travel easily to an unknown place. As it automatically checks your place for severe weather (alerts are currently available for about 100 locations for USA and UK areas only), you can stay safe and avoid being caught in bad weather. You can search along a route to discover hotels, interesting places and more. Even better, it lets you use all the pro features for 7 days free of cost.

Price: Free
Download

#3. Waze

Waze iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

Being the largest community-based traffic and navigation app, “Waze” is designed to make your road trip a fabulous experience. Thanks to real-time traffic and road information, you can save plenty of time, fuel and avoid being stuck in heavy traffic.

The road alerts along your route keep your informed about the nearby hotels, well-known places and more. You can also add information on local places and businesses and report accidents. Besides, it also lets you see the estimated time of arrival of your friends if they are also heading to the same destination.

Price: Free
Download

#4. Travel List

Travel List iPhone and iPad App ScreenshotPlanning your next trip would become a joy with “Travel List.” You don’t have to spend a lot of time creating a packing list. The app takes care of everything that’s needed to be on your list.

With the presets being completely customizable, you have complete liberty to add an item to the list. Make sure to create reminders so that you don’t miss out on any essential things. Besides, you can sync the list across your devices and share it with your friends.

Price: $1.99
Download

#5. Road Warrior Route Planner

Road Warrior Route Planner iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

Primed specifically for travelers and sales representatives, realtors and driving professionals, “Road Warrior” allows you to create multi-destination routes quickly. Based on your need and real-time traffic, you can ideally optimize your routes.

Add availability time windows so that you can arrive at a location during open hours. It provides you the option to navigate using your favorite navigation app like Google Map, Apple Maps, HERE Maps, Waze, etc. Besides, you can check locations to keep track of your activity.

Price: Free

Download

#6. Route4Me

Route4Me iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

With more than 1,000,000 users, “Route4Me” is one of the finest route planner apps. What makes it stand out is the ability to optimize your route in a better way. It claims to make your route shorter by 25-35% after being optimized.

To get started, enter your zip code, airport codes, state, city and leave the rest of it. Once you see your route on the Map, you can use navigation apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps to reach your destination with ease. If you are heading for a multi-destination road trip, this is what you should use to save a lot of time and make your travel easier.

Price: Free

Download

#7. Route 66

Route 66 iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

“Route 66” is a simple yet highly effective trip planner. Depending on your interest, you can customize your trip to your heart’s liking. Once you have planned your travel, use the map to reach your destination. The easy-to-use features coupled with the clean user-interface make this app very handy for travelers.

Price: $2.99
Download

#8. Sygic Travel: Trip Planner & City Guide

Sygic Travel Trip Planner iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

“Sygic Travel” is a must-have travel guide to enjoy any trip to the fullest. Apart from showing the well-known places and tourist destinations, it makes sure you can navigate to your favorite places even offline.

What if you suddenly decide to change your plan? This trip planner can even recommend you the places where you would like to visit. It shows opening hours along with contact information for popular sights. Use the weather forecasts to help you plan according to the upcoming weather.

Price: Free
Download

#9. Road Trip Planner

Road Trip Planner iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

Want a full-fledged road trip planner? If yes, you shouldn’t look beyond this one of the finest road trip apps for iOS.To get started, just enter the detail of your fun trip and the app will help you make an ideal trip itinerary. With several important information like total trip cost, total fuel cost, the map image with pins and routes, driving instructions and more, the app ensures your travel becomes a pleasant experience.

Another notable thing about this app is that it lets you choose between multiple navigation apps like Apple Maps, OpenStreet Maps and more. Moreover, you can also print your itinerary and share it with your friends.

Price: $5.99
Download

#10. TripList

TripList iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

Not quite pleased with the way you read your packing list and often forget to carry required stuff? “TripList” is a tailor-made solution for you. It lets you prepare your packing lists and manages your to-do lists a lot quicker and faster.

All the items are stored in the catalog which you can customize in keeping with your requirements. The free version of the app allows you to store 250-300 items in the catalog. As it supports multiple users, any member of your family can edit and sync lists on their iOS devices. The ten-day weather forecast makes it easy for you pack the list based on the weather. After completing your travel, you can save your list to use it later. Upgrade to the pro version of the app to use several handy features like Wizard which adds items to your list as per the destination.

Price: Free
Download

BONUS

Roadside America

Roadside America iPhone App ScreenshotAs a road tripper, you would love to have Roadside America at your disposal. You can use the app to discover memorable sights, museums, graves, statues, and more. Plus, it also helps you find out mystery spots.

Take the help of the app to plan your route perfectly and use the map to navigate with ease. Read the field reports and view the amazing photos.

Make sure to check out the editor’s ratings to quickly find out the must-see places. Moreover, the app boasts more than 70 themes like Atomic, Music, Celebrities, Tech, Zombie Army, and more to spice up your experience.

Price: $2.99
Download

That’s all, folks! 

Your top bet?

Now, take these road trip apps for a ride to plan your itinerary to the best possible way and discover great places. They will surely stand up to your expectation of making your travel easy. You wouldn’t need a guide to help you navigate local areas as long these apps are with you. So, make sure to enjoy local dinners and check out the scenic points.

Have a glance at the below posts as well:

Which is your favorite road trip app and why? Share your thoughts about it and remain connected with us via Facebook and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to download our app to stay tuned with our latest posts.

Gender Diversity Emerging As Solution To Driver Shortage

The commercial driving industry is desperate for more drivers. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age, and there aren’t enough people coming forward to replace them. The American Trucking Associations estimates that at least 50,000 more drivers are currently needed to meet demand, and if trends continue, this figure will reach 175,000 by 2026.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 6 percent of commercial drivers are women. This lack of diversity represents an opportunity for companies. Fleet managers have been recruiting women in an effort to solve the shortage and find new talent.

There are other reasons to hire female commercial drivers as well. Department of Transportation research shows that women are generally safer drivers than men, and fewer collisions means fewer expenses. Also, a 2015 Mckinsey & Company study found that businesses with more gender diversity are more likely to have above average financial returns.

Fleet managers should be able to make a compelling economic case to women who are interested in driving careers. The shortage has resulted in increased pay for drivers, and the gender wage gap isn’t a factor in commercial driving like it is in other fields, as compensation is based on objective measures such as mileage and percentage of load.

By Dan Khasis, CEO Route4Me

Route4Me Reviews, Pricing & Popular Alternatives

Route4Me is a fleet management software for small businesses and enterprises. It allows users to create, share, and manage optimized routing plans via smartphone apps. In this article, we covered user reviews and pricing. Ready to try Route4Me? Get a free trial.

Route4Me Pricing

Route4Me offers two subscription plans: Business ($999/month) and Enterprise (customized pricing). The main differences between the plans include the number of users, drivers, and vehicles, as well as access to premium features such as unlimited tracking, advanced route settings, and multiple depot routing.

Business
Enterprise
Price
$999/month
Contact Support
Additional Users Cost
$69/user per month
NA
Users/Drivers/Vehicles
100
500+
Setup Fee
None
Setup Fee Varies
Tracking Data Storage
For 1 Year
Unlimited
Support Service Level
Weekday 9-5 Phone Support
24/7 Phone Support
Individual Driver Routing
Distributed Team Routing
Real-Time Dynamic ETA’s
Multiple Depot Routing
API Access
Salesforce Integration
Dedicated Planning Terminal
Class 1-8 Truck Routes

Top Fleet Management Software 2019

ITS Dispatch
Telogis
 5
 2
Best For
Organizations that want a fleet management software that enables them to manage the full transporation cycle
Organizations that want a Fleet management platform that’s simple to use
Pricing
Starts at $35/user/month
Contact customer support for pricing details
Read Reviews
Read Reviews

What Route4Me Does Well

Users who gave Route4Me a positive review commended its routing, voice data entry, and customer management features. They also mentioned that its ease of use allows them to efficiently plan trips and monitor fleets.

One user who gave Route4Me a positive review on Capterra said that he can easily manage and organize customer information using the program. He also shared that it helps him optimize delivery routes and troubleshoot potential problems on mileage and fuel economy.

What Route4Me Does Not Do Well

Users who gave Route4Me a negative review suggested improvements on its automated invoicing and dispatching functions as they aren’t too intuitive. Some of them complained about its steep pricing.

One user who gave Route4Me a negative review on Capterra said that the invoicing feature is difficult to understand which prompts him to work on the tasks manually. He also mentioned that its automated dispatching function should provide more vehicle productivity data.

Top Fleet Management Software Pick from Fit Small Business

Best Fleet Management Software: Fleetio vs TomTom Webfleet vs Fleetmatics Reveal — Fleet management software help businesses manage fleets of vehicles by providing a centralized system that gives visibility into their maintenance, fuel economy, route tracking, and more. In this guide, we shared our top picks based on ease of use, available features, and affordability.

Route4Me Features

Check out the list below of some of Route4Me’s features:
SEE FEATURES

Route4Me FAQ

What industries can benefit from Route4Me?
SEE ANSWER

How does Route4Me help users manage different types of routes?
SEE ANSWER

Popular Integrations

Here is a list of some of Route4Me’s popular integrations:
VIEW INTEGRATIONS

Route4Me Alternatives

Not sure if Route4Me is the right fit for you? Read our reviews of all top fleet management software.

How Route4Me Found Success Running a Distributed Team

With over 22,000 customers spanning more than 100 countries, Route4Me is the world’s most used route optimization software. Their mobile apps have been downloaded almost 2,000,000 times since 2009.

One of the keys to Route4Me’s success is that they don’t operate out of a single centralized office. All of their team members work remotely from a home office or a coworking space.  Because Route4Me’s team members are globally distributed, a unique perspective is applied to solve a truly global challenge.

Distributed Teams Are Catching On Everywhere

Of course, Route4Me is far from the only company that’s set up like this. The popularity of distributed remote teams has grown steadily since the internet went mainstream in the 1990s.

Many businesses, including Buffer, Zapier, and Automattic (the creator of WordPress), have most or all of their team members working remotely. Even major corporations like Amazon, Xerox, and Dell have jumped on the telecommuting bandwagon. According to the London Business School, the majority of the global workforce will be working remotely by 2020.

Distributed Team Benefits Are Many

It’s easy to see why Route4Me and so many other companies have embraced distributed teams. The benefits include faster hiring speed, lower costs, improved productivity, and more.

A Bigger Talent Pool

When a business operates exclusively out of a physical location, recruiting is limited primarily to people who are in close proximity and have a reasonable commute time. However, with distributed teams, recruiting options broaden significantly because a global talent pool is being accessed. Many talented individuals do not wish to relocate because of personal or family restrictions, such as an elderly parent or children in school. When this physical constraint is removed, highly talented individuals become available.

At the same time, not every candidate is going to be the best fit for a remote company. People who are used to working in a centralized office may have trouble adjusting. Route4Me avoids this issue by looking for candidates who already have experience working remotely. That way, new team members are ready to hit the ground running. Communication frameworks within a company should be designed to onboard and train people regardless of location.

A Happier Team

Most people don’t like adjusting their personal lives to a traditional 9-to-5 work schedule. Even those who love their job and are passionate about have a personal life that includes friends and family. They’d rather schedule their work around their personal lives. In a results and outcomes driven business environment, and with the exception of some team meetings, do working hours truly matter?

That’s exactly what remote work allows Route4Me’s team members to do. Route4Me requires their full-time team members to produce deliverables that meet expectations, but it’s up to each team member to decide how they get that done. They have the freedom to enjoy more time with their friends and family, and a happier team will make it easier for you to retain your top talent.

Improved Productivity

Working at a traditional office involves many time-wasting activities. First, there’s the commute. Team members might spend an hour or more every day just driving to and from work. Then, there are all the little distractions, office games, or someone’s birthday party. While these things are amazing for building team camaraderie, they have a serious impact on performance. Plus, not everyone thrives working in an environment full of external stimuli. Certain types of highly precise work benefit greatly from a peaceful ambiance.

Route4Me doesn’t need to deal with any of this. Their remote workers have more time and attention to dedicate to their work, in a setting comfortable and customized by them for themselves.

Some argue that communication is more challenging with remote teams. Yet, popular communications apps and collaboration tools like Slack can be used keep everyone on the same page. Route4Me also uses JIRA and G Suite for project collaboration. With the right tools, managing a fully remote workforce and keeping everyone connected is often more effective and controlled than in a physical environment.

An Open Door Policy

In many larger organizations, it’s difficult for most workers to reach out to the CEO of their company. They are often advised to raise concerns with their immediate supervisor and hope that their message gets relayed upstairs. Route4Me has an open door policy that removes any gaps or miscommunication within the organization. Team members can ask questions, give complaints, or say anything else to the CEO directly through Slack or email. This improves morale, reduces turnover, and aligns with the company’s flat corporate hierarchy.

Always Available

Route4Me’s business leadership team is based in the U.S., but the company doesn’t completely close during night hours in the U.S. or during U.S. holidays. They have team members in many other countries as well. When one team member is getting ready to go to sleep, another is just starting their day. So, whenever there’s an emergency, Route4Me can respond quickly. There’s always someone available.

Diversity Encourages Creativity

In addition to increasing productivity, distributed remote teams also increase diversity innovation. This is because many of the social biases that happen unknowingly during the typical in-person interview process do not occur. All decisions regarding collaboration with a team member and the company become linked only to performance and results.

Do you really own your trucks’ data?

Forget what you’ve heard. Forget what you’ve read. While the mantra in the industry has been that “fleets own their data,” the actual ownership of your information is determined by the end-user license agreements (EULAs) you have with your data service providers, from OEMs to third party providers. Today’s reality is that you only own what your EULAs say you own.

That’s not to say that you need to own your data. The fact is that most fleets don’t have the capital to invest in their own data centers, programmers, analysts, etc. Even if you did, why would you? The market offers mind-boggling data-driven solutions that can help boost your fleet’s productivity and efficiency today. When we say “own,” what we are commonly talking about are all the things that are implicit with ownership. Instead of asking—“Who owns the data?”—there are two more important questions that need to be addressed:

  1. How is my data being used?
  2. What control do I have over its use?

“Data security is a major concern,” said Robert Rosales, IT director for Oak Harbor Freight Lines Inc. “Data could be shared, sold to other companies and/or used for cyber attack. Fleets may still own the data, but where the data resides is not necessarily on a company-owned system and, consequently, data security implementation is at the hands of system provider.”

What data?

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Here’s quick snapshot of the information streaming off of your trucks that are enabled with telematics devices (be it OEM or third-party):

  • Fuel consumption;
  • Speed;
  • Settings;
  • Emissions;
  • Engine performance;
  • Gearing;
  • RPM;
  • Altitude;
  • Geolocation;
  • Operational safety information (i.e. hard braking incidents);
  • Environmental information (i.e. is it raining, snowing, etc.?);
  • Vehicle performance;
  • Diagnostics data; and
  • Fault codes.

Add it all up and telematics is clearly a binary representation of your trucks’ operations. That’s not news, but consider for a moment who has visibility into your data: OEMs, third-party providers, and you. That’s the assumption, but know that there are telematics companies in the trucking space who would have no problem selling your data to investors or even your competitors.

“Some telematics companies, in addition to the money they make from licensing fees for services, will resell all the tracking data to third-party companies or reseller, then all that data is then resold to other people,” said Dan Khasis, founder of Route4Me, a route optimization software platform that’s growing in the commercial truck market. “If you’re a small fleet, you typically don’t have a lot of negotiating power. If you have 500 vehicles or more, then you can say, ‘I want you to guarantee that my data is not going to be sold,’ and you’re still going to get a lot of pushback.”

How is your data being used?

Getting back to the first question you should ask any telematics or data-driven solutions provider, the two most common words you’ll likely hear are: anonymized and aggregated.

 Anonymized means that your trucks’ identification information is removed from the data, and aggregated means that it’s thrown into the pile of data from other trucks.

Anonymized data is a good thing, but you’ll want to follow up with the question: How do you test your anonymized data’s security?

Data breaches happen, and the last thing you’d want is for your identification information to be uncovered by data thieves who shouldn’t have it in the first place.

The next question is usually: Can you not aggregate my data? This one is more difficult to answer.

“It all goes back to the agreement,” Khasis said. “Take GPS tracking data. Some of the most innovative solutions we’re developing can’t be done without that data. So if you have of hundreds of thousands of trucks driving around and one fleet says that they don’t want us to have their data, how do you go back to access two, three, or four years of data; to take five records out of a trillion records? Is it even practical?”

Khasis, whose background is database structure, said that the majority of today’s telematics platforms do not have the capability to easily or effectively go back in time to erase certain types of data, especially if they’re doing off-site backups.

“Let’s say that you have an agreement with a vendor, and you ask them to erase your data from their system or the relationship is terminated,” Khasis continued. “The capabilities of making that happen are very low. Some of the big fleets have gotten smart about it and have asked for data to be removed from their production system, or live system. They recognize you can’t go back in time and erase it from the data warehouse completely.”

That leads us to question two.

What control do you have over its use?

You’ll want your telematics provider to answer this up front because once you agree to the EULA, that agreement now defines what control you have over your data. While it’s easy to let the paranoia take hold, know that there are companies out there looking after your best interests. The key is having the right conversations and knowing with whom you’re partnering.

“I have seen no misuse from any of our providers at this time,” said Peter Nativo, vice president of fleet solutions with Oakley Transport. “We use several different provides and they provide us with a service and have access to our fleet information; we have had request to share and in some cases we have shared data.”

When asked about data usage concerns by OEMs and third-party suppliers alike, Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL) answered succinctly: “None.”

“We control what data is fed to which third parties through a contractual agreement with our telematics service providers [TSPs],” said Bill Brown, who retired as SEFL’s manager of fleet telematics and is now a SEFL consultant. “We have no reason to believe any of our TSPs are violating the contracts or our NDAs. Our data service and telematics service providers are all top-tier companies with impeccable reputations.”

That said, SEFL also indicated that data can still be hard to access. “At least one OEM exclusively utilizes the SAE-permitted use of proprietary faults, making access to our fault data on those trucks very difficult; it’s impossible without the OEM-provided software and/or the OEM-endorsed TSP. Several OEMs utilize the SAE-permitted proprietary faults to a lesser degree, but that still makes access to fault data more difficult than is necessary, in our opinion.”

There’s a lot of good that can come from data collection, analysis and sharing. Information is driving equipment innovation, efficiency and productivity. But there are two sides to the coin, and you don’t want your data used against you. You need to have the data usage conversation with your partners and providers. The days of trusting the industry refrain of “fleets own their data” are over. You need to ask questions, educate yourself and go with your gut on who to trust with your trucks’ information.

Podcast – Virtual Company Runs Entirely with Home-Based Workers

Interview with Dan Khasis CEO of Route4Me

Even a decade ago, the ability for employees to work from home seemed like a distant dream. But today, more and more companies are embracing the telecommute business strategy of home-based workers. It is no longer about “working from the beach.” It’s become a whole new approach to the way people work. Embracing the “Computer-Commuter” wave – in a big way – is Dan Khasis, CEO and founder of Route4Me, one of the country’s lead route optimization software companies.

DAN KHASIS BUILT AND OPERATES ROUTE4ME SOFTWARE WITH TELEWORKERS

Richard “Capt’n” Henderson and Sherilyn Colleen interview Dan Khasis on how he built his company with 100% telecommuting staff; and discuss his first-hand experience on how to make telecommuting work for owner and worker alike.

Subjects discussed in podcast include:

  • What led Dan Khasis to build a company with 100% telecommuters
  • Why some businesses are hesitant to embrace telecommuting
  • specialized training to ensure teleworkers communicate effectively
  • Biggest struggles leading a team of telecommuters
  • How to tell when a specific person is just not “cut-out” to work as a telecommuter
  • Dan’s biggest benefit in having a workforce of 100% telecommuters

Interview Guest:

DAN KHASIS IS CEO OF THE SOFTWARE COMPANY

LOGISTICS NEWSMAKER Q&A DAN KHASIS, ROUTE4ME

What are the key challenges when it comes to routing?
I think there’s a few challenges in routing, and it’s kind of in the middle of everything. Even though people don’t’ realize it is, it is one of those hidden operational items. The routing problem is so pervasive in some industries that people don’t’ realize it until it’s too late, and they’re bleeding a lot of money or customers are complaining. People have this perception that it’s just a trucking or delivery business problem.

Some companies visit the same locations over and over again, while others have dynamic businesses where they visit different locations every day. The former don’t realize they need to optimize their routing otherwise they are making the same wrong moves on a daily basis for years. Those that have changing routes every day aren’t optimizing fast enough.

How does your platform improve that?
Over time our feature set has been enhanced to cover a huge portion of different scenarios that businesses have when it comes to routing and logistics. There’s a centralized system for dispatch and keeping track of routes, as well as geofencing. The platform has evolved.

Companies enter a list of customers or places into the system, along with rules around the visit, such as how many pieces or boxes are being dropped offed or picked up. There are also industry specific attributes. The system outputs a list of routes and what has to be done on each visit on the route. It can be any type of route, even bicycle couriers or routes that are walked. The routes are distributed equally among the staff.

Owners or managers have visibility into what’s happening throughout the day.

If there are bad weather conditions or other problems, the system will slow down travel times and make adjustments. We can reroute personnel, or resequence a route.

How are new technologies like connected vehicles playing a role in routing?
If you are talking about electric vehicles or autonomous driving, I think that latter is a long way off, but electric vehicles have certain constraints that are very unique to them. They can be depleted, so you need to know how far they can go and how much power is going to be consumed to plan the route. You don’t want to send them past the point of no return.

Organizing Tips To Help The Sandwich Generation Manage It All

Whether it’s young children growing up and needing your time for activities and school or aging parents needing extra attention, the generation caught in the middle of this is being spread thin. The sandwich generation has become the norm for Canadians, bringing packed schedules and extreme stress.

“We are a generation that works long and hard to make sure everything is perfect for the family,” says Marie Potter, Marketing Director of Professional Organizers in Canada (POC). “We need to organize our children’s and parent’s lives, health, finances and future, but more importantly we need to learn shortcuts and tips to keep our own lives running smoothly.”

As mundane tasks become too much, better organization can go a long way. Take these tips from Professional Organizers in Canada to ensure that your home, family and yourself continue to run as smooth as possible.

Finances

Between children growing up and parents aging, there is a lot of time for unexpected expenses to pop up. Being prepared for when they do is crucial to navigating the sandwich generation. Make time to go through your own financial records, as well as your parents, to make sure that you can prepare for the future. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a financial adviser. They can help by regularly updating you on any financial information that you may need, leaving you time to focus on your family.

Support

Although it sometimes may feel like you’re alone, know that there are plenty of people going through this as well. Create a plan with people in your neighbourhood and plan carpool days. Research associations or support groups, such as Alzheimer Society of Canada, that can help you cope and learn about afflictions that may be affecting your family. Use family members to help you with housework, errands and taking care of younger children. The easiest way to take the stress off of you is to have people around that you trust.

Release

Often, being organized is simply letting things go. Realize that not everything can be done perfectly all the time, and try to find out what is most important to you. Perhaps instead of cooking every night, you dedicate time to create frozen food that simply needs to be thawed for dinners. Maybe it’s something as subtle as cleaning the floors less often. Look around for things that could be done less often. You will come to appreciate the extra moments.

Schedule

Planning ahead is the easiest way to assure that everything gets done on time and quickly. Get a family calendar for a central location and schedule all appointments on it so you can visually balance your life. Colour coding is a great way to see what is an appointment, an activity or anything else that needs to get done. Leverage technology wherever possible–use Planner Pro to sync your calendars or Road Warrior and Route4Me

to plan the quickest and easiest routes for errands. Combine tasks and family time wherever possible to ensure that things are done in a way that is easiest for you.

Me Time

Schedule me time at the end of each week or month. Let your family know that this is a time for yourself to reflect and relax, and encourage them to do the same. Keeping yourself healthy and happy is pivotal for keeping the family happy and healthy.

The Rise of Logistics Tech Activates Entrepreneurs

Globally, there is a demand for smarter, cost-effective and sustainable operations to suit the needs of consumers who expect higher customer-service levels. Business cannot go on as usual. There have been major disruptions in the logistics technology market, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a dramatic impact in the industry.

For example, in the e-commerce sector, we’ve seen how the demand for online shopping purchases to be delivered quicker has seen a revamping of distribution centers, logistic technologies and the combining of resources with third-party suppliers. We have seen the rise of 3PLs offering consolidation services, supply chain management, warehousing and so forth. The entire way that modern retailers operate has changed thanks to innovations in logistics technologies.

We have seen how entrepreneurs are jumping at the chance to offer their resources to the bigger giants, attempting to keep pace with their customers’ needs. These smaller businesses are learning to put their surplus resources to good use. Perhaps they have a few spare trucks that could be helpful resources in a big chain’s regional warehouse?

The combining of resources is facilitating growth for both small businesses and large corporates alike. These collaborations require logistics tech systems that can synch across multiple platforms and providers. This is where many new startups are stepping in with innovative products for automated order tracking, real-time analysis and ensuring products leave the warehouse quickly, to name a few.

A package might leave the warehouse on time, but now the delivery driver must face the roads. At UPS, for example, their delivery trucks make an average of 120 stops per day. Their effectiveness is directly linked to finding the least congested routes for travel.

In 2009, the startup Route4Me inadvertently cleared the way for all delivery services. Dan Khasis, Route4Me’s founder, was house hunting and realized he was zig-zagging too much around town while using his car’s navigation system. Within a few weeks after this fiasco, Khasis put together a team, and the new company released the first multi-stop route optimization app for the Apple iPhone with route synchronization. An iPad and Android app soon followed. When gas prices skyrocketed, Route4Me became one of the highest-grossing revenue mobile navigation apps in the United States.

Within hours of launching, it became obvious that what seemed at first to be a utilitarian app to help house hunters and real-estate agents was actually a powerful business tool for logistics-intensive businesses. Small business owners and Fortune 500 companies started offering money to add more features, and Route4Me has since been accommodating them.

The development has resulted in a powerful optimization platform that can manage routing for large and small companies that have basic though complex needs. These include vehicle capacities, traffic, weather, driver skills, compliance, demand shaping, multi-distribution warehouse centers and more.

With companies like Amazon, Google and UPS already set up for drone delivery, and with NASA currently plotting out acceptable flight paths for them, you will see even more calls for logistics tech entrepreneurs to deliver the goods, so to speak. Can you imagine the logistics tech required to execute such an enormous task?

Amazon will have their beehives delivering to places previously impossible to reach via traditional delivery methods. They can provide other incredible services, like getting essential medicines to places rapidly to save lives. We will see an entire revolution in the supply chain industry with drone technology.

Modern logistics and supply chain software is arguably one of the most complex problems to solve because it incorporates telematics, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M), spatial optimization, graph theory (think Good Will Hunting), statistics, data science, and machine learning to analyze, optimize and predict seemingly endless streams of inventory and order data; weather-related issues; airplane and cargo ship delays; vehicle breakdowns; driver errors; and customer rescheduling—not forgetting, all the while, communicating in real time with dozens of mobile applications and other systems. In each of these areas, there exists unlimited possibilities for entrepreneurs to come on board and work to fill the innovation and third-party resource gaps.

Investments and acquisitions in IoT, supply chain and logistics companies are heating up. In 2014, Quintiq, another supply chain optimization startup, was acquired by Dassault Systems for $336 million, and Verizon recently complemented its acquisition of Networkfleet by acquiring Telogis and Fleetmatics for more than $3.3 billion. Companies such as Convoy ($62 million) and Postmates ($278 million) have only recently landed further investments.

It’s clear we are witnessing the next stage of supply chain evolution, which is far more complex than optimizing the last mile. Companies that can deliver significant value by optimizing across the links in the supply chain may help to shape our future.

George Shchegolev is the co-founder and VP of operations at Route4Me. He earned a dual bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and bioinformatics, as well as a master’s degree in molecular biology. Following graduation, George worked in marketing for Sony, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Verizon Fios. He spent a great deal of time on the road, where he found himself wasting a great deal of time, energy and fuel driving inefficient routes and sitting in traffic. Determined and inspired by his experience on the road, he co-founded Route4Me. An avid bicyclist and traveler, George is passionate about technology and its ability to improve our lives.

15 Ways to Save Money on Transportation

We all have places to go and things to do.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor, Americans spend over $9500 each year on transportation.

And that number rises every year!

Whether you’re driving to work, taking a long distance trip or a student going to class, we all spend money on transportation.

Thankfully, there are ways to pay less.

Want $5 Free?

Join InboxDollars for free. InboxDollars pays you to watch videos, search, shop, take surveys, and more. They have paid out $57 Million so far!

In some cases you can reduce the cost of your road trips and daily commutes by up to 50-70%!

Here are 15 easy ways to help you save money on transportation, wherever you need to go.

Getting to Work

Most of us have a daily commute to and from work.

That counts as one of the biggest transportation related expenses.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to spend less on your daily commute.

1. Spend less on gasoline

There are many ways to save money on your gas budget.

In fact, we have created an entire post dedicated to 30 ways to save money on fuel here.

A few other simple but effective ways to save money at the pump are:

  • Shop around for the best price. Gas buddy is a great place to start. Gas prices can vary as much as 20 percent within only a few blocks, so make sure you are getting the best deal.
  • Buy discounted gift cards to use at the gas station.
  • Drive a hybrid, scooter or an economy car instead of that giant SUV.
  • Install any of these mobile apps designed to help you save money on gas.
  • And don’t forget to sign up for these free gas station reward programs so you can get some of the money you spend at the pump back.

2. Plan your route wisely

Here are a few things you can do to better plan your daily commute route.

  • Take the quickest route.

The shortest way isn’t always the fastest or the most fuel efficient.

The shorter route could have heavier traffic or more stoplights, resulting in a longer drive (more fuel used).

Use GPS or one of the many free apps to find the best way to get to your destination.

  • Waze: Available for both iOS and Android
  • MapQuest: Available for both iOS and Android

Both Google and Apple maps also have features that allow you t find the quickest route.

  • Do it all in one trip.

Stop at the grocery store on your way home from work, don’t make a separate trip out later.

If you have several errands to run, do them all at once instead of making several different trips out of the house.

There are even apps that tell you the best route for multiple stops.

Earn $5 Over & Over!

Join SmartPanel & SavvyConnect and share your experince on how you use the internet. They pay you $5 for installing their free app & $5 a month just for keeping it, plus loyalty bonus! .

Join SavvyConnect – Join SmartPanel

Here are the best ones:

I recommend trying a few apps to find the ones that work best for you.

  • Avoid toll roads.

If the distance traveled or time saved is worth it, take the free route instead.

Most GPS units or apps will allow you to map your route avoiding toll roads.

You can also to…

How to avoid toll roads on Apple Map

  1. Open the Settings app on your apple device.
  2. Tap Maps.
  3. Tap Driving & Navigation.
  4. Toggle on Tolls under Avoid.

That’s it! Now anytime you use Apple Map for direction, it will automatically avoid routes with toll roads.

Note: If your  device is running on iOS 9 or earlier, your settings may be a little different.

How to avoid toll roads on Google Map

  1. Open the Google Map app (you can install it for free if you don’t already have it.)
  2. Tap Route.
  3. In “From” filed enter your starting address.
  4. Tap the three vertical dots located on the right side of the search boxes.
  5. Select Route Options.
  6. Toggle on Avoid Tolls.

That’s it!

You just turned on the function that enables Google Map to avoid any route with toll roads on it.

To get back to the map, simply hit the back arrow button.

3. Carpool

Carpool with other people and share the cost of gasoline.

Take turns driving with others to avoid adding all those extra miles on your car.

If you drive the average U.S. commute (16 miles each way), splitting the cost of gas with just one extra passenger can save you up to $600 per year on gasoline.

Work for a small company?

No problem, you don’t necessarily have to carpool with a co-worker. You just need to find someone that works relatively near your office.

Check out CarpoolWorld or eRideShare to help you find other people headed your way no matter where you work.

Carpooling will also allow you to take advantage of the carpool lane on the highway in many cities and save time on your commute.

4. Take public transportation

Every weekday across the U.S., people use public transportation 30 million times.

Join them!

Using public transportation will save you money on gas, parking, car maintenance, insurance, car maintenance and more.

Most cities offer discounts on public transportation if you pay in advance buy purchasing a monthly travel pass.

For example, the Chicago Transit Authority sells one-way train fare for $2.25, but you can get an unlimited 30 day pass for $100.

Most cities also offer extra discounts to teachers, students, seniors and low income families on public transportation.

Also consider the time you will save not stopping at the gas station or driving around looking for a parking space.

You can use the time on the train or bus to catch up on last minute work, take a nap or finally read that book you’ve been hearing about!

Many insurance companies also offer discounts based on miles (not) driven each month as well.

Some employers even offer incentives to employees that use public transportation, and will reimburse you for money spent on your commute to work.

5. Ride your bicycle

Another way to save money on travel is to leave the gas guzzler in the garage and hop on and go for a ride!

Biking is eco-friendly, easy on your bank account and great for your physical and mental health!

Riding your bicycle to work can save you hundreds every month, take a look at this great savings calculator to see how much you can save!

Advances in bicycle technology have made traveling on a bike more practical and easier than ever.

Check out The Elf, a pedal vehicle with solar assist, an enclosed cab, disc brakes and lockable storage for up to 12 bags of groceries.

As for the price, it is an expensive bike, but it’s practical as a commuting vehicle, and you won’t spend money on gas.

The Elf is really in a class by itself, but a “regular” bicycle can be purchased for under $100.

If you’re worried about the issue of cost and time involved in maintaining your bike, maybe bike sharing is right for you.

Here’s a list of cities that currently offer bike share programs.

6. Rent/Share a car

Rent or share a car.

If you need a car from time to time but don’t need to drive every day, consider renting or signing up for a car share network.

Zipcar and Enterprise have car share programs where you can rent a car by the day or even by the hour.

This way, you will also avoid regular maintenance and auto repair costs.

7. Buy the right vehicle

Evaluate your needs and decide which vehicle is right for you.

If you are single or have a small family, you probably don’t need that 8 passenger SUV or van.

A smaller car will not only be cheaper to purchase, you’ll also get much better gas mileage!

Check out this calculator to compare what you’d spend in fuel when comparing different cars to purchase.

If you don’t have to get on a major highway to get to work, consider a scooter.

I have a friend that spent $600 on a small scooter, and she spends less than $2 each week on gas!!!

She lives in the Midwest, so she usually drives the scooter from April – November, sometimes even into December.

Her scooter doesn’t require her to have tags, insurance or even pay personal property tax.

All this adds up to significant savings each year.

She also saved up for a couple months to purchase the scooter with cash, so there are no finance charges either.

Speaking of finance charges…

When you are evaluating your needs, also consider what you can really afford.

You might really really want that new Benz, and think “I’ll figure out a way to swing the payments each month“.

But here is the problem:

  • The more money that you borrow, the more interest you will pay over time, money that could be going into your savings account instead.
  • And also consider that the insurance will be higher on a luxury car.
  • The sales tax will be much more.
  • Property taxes will be higher (if you live in a state that requires you to pay personal property tax.)
  • And the maintenance costs are higher.

Unless it is a classic, cars do not appreciate in value. Cars lose their value every day with every mile driven.

Buying a used car instead of brand new is generally a much better financial decision.

I found a used car with only 6,300 miles on it and saved $5600 over the same brand new model.

You may have to search for a deal like this, as most people don’t trade in cars with less than 10k miles, but they can be found!

Most dealerships have websites that allow you to search their entire inventory from home before you even step foot on the lot.

That’s how I found my great deal!

You can also use sites like TrueCar and CarFax to search and find inexpensive low mileage cars in your area.

8. Save on insurance

There are many ways to save money on insurance.

  • Compare insurance costs.

Prices vary greatly by insurance company, so shop around.

Your savings could add up to hundreds of dollars each year.

Shopping around is especially important for young people because their rates can drop as they approach age 25, build up a good credit rating or get married.

  • Ask for discounts!

Insurance companies offer a multitude of discounts with various qualifiers, see which one fits you.

Some insurance companies offer discounted rates if you have a good credit rating, for students or senior citizens and for a good driving record.

Some companies even offer lower rates for drivers with short commutes.

Ask your insurance agent or company about any discounts they offer and see how many you qualify for!

  • Re-evaluate your coverage needs.

Drop collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is not worth much.

If you drive a car that is worth less than $2,000 you may pay more to insure it than you would ever collect on a claim.

Dropping collision and comprehensive coverage can reduce your monthly premiums by 30%.

Another way to save on insurance is to raise your deductible. Raising your out-of-pocket cost for an accident from $250 to $1,000 can save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance.

Combine policies. When shopping for auto insurance, check first with the company that provides your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance, boat or life insurance.

Many insurance carriers offer deep discounts for combining all your policies with the same company.

9. Have good driving habits

Don’t be an aggressive driver.

Intense acceleration and sharp stops limit fuel efficiency.

You’ll get many more miles to the gallon driving calmly, at a steady speed.

Keep your tires properly inflated. Make sure to keep your tires at the car manufacturer setting, not the tire company’s.

The recommended air pressure can usually be found on a sticker in the driver’s door or inside the glove compartment.

It is important to follow the car manufacturer’s settings because air pressure should be based on the weight of the car.

Take care of your car.

Keeping the oil changed regularly, having a clean air filter, getting a tune up when needed and other basic car maintenance all help your car to run more efficiently, saving you money in gas as well as future repairs.

You will also get more out out of a well maintained car when it comes time to trade it in or sell it.

Clean out your car. Don’t drive around with a bunch of junk in the backseat or the trunk. The added weight equal less miles to the gallon, as well as additional wear and tear on the car itself.

10. Telecommute

Working from home can drastically reduce your transportation costs.

You may also save money working from home by not stopping for breakfast or going out to lunch every day.

Many companies today offer telecommuting positions, check with your supervisor or HR director to see if this could be a possibility for you.

11. Look for local transportation incentives.

See if your city offers incentives for residents to carpool, take the bus or train or even to purchase an eco friendly vehicle.

Saving money on long distance travel

A lot of us do long distance travel as well.

Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on long distance transportation as well.

Whether you are traveling for a vacation, to visit family and friends or for work, use these tips to save some cash on your next trip.

12. Air Travel

Here are a few things you can do to save on air travel:

  • Buy your tickets at the right time.

Typically, Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to shop for flights.

  • Consider multiple routes when booking flights.

Direct flights are typically much more expensive than flights with a stop over or connection. An extra 2 hours of travel time could equal a few hundred dollars in savings on your ticket price.

  • Fly in to a hub city.

Landing in a hub city for a particular airline can save you substantial money on your ticket, and may very well be worth renting a car to complete your journey.

Here’s a list of major airline hub cities.

  • Join airline newsletters.

Sign up for email alerts from the airlines and be the first to know when they are offering promotional discounted rates.

  • Fly into a nearby low market airport.

For example, I just looked at flights to Ft. Lauderdale comparing 2 different airports within 40 miles of each other; St. Louis Lambert Airport, and MidAmerica Airport in Belleville, Illinois.

The smaller airport had a round trip ticket for $175.50, the larger airport’s lowest ticket price (for flights on the exact same days) was $428.38!

13. Travel Timing

Choosing to travel during off peak times can save you lots of money!

Taking the red-eye (overnight travel) flight or bus ride is often much cheaper than daytime trips.

The cheapest days to fly are typically Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Evaluate the season.

Vacation rental homes and hotels typically have the highest rates from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

We take a trip right after Labor Day, and our beach house is half price!

You can also get huge savings on cruises if you’re willing to cruise during hurricane season.

The odds of being caught in a hurricane are low, and the gamble can really pay off price wise.

14. Car Rental

Evaluate your needs.

If you’re not going to be doing much driving it may be cheaper to rely on cabs or Uber to get you where you need to do.

Be sure to see if your hotel offers a free shuttle service, and take advantage of it if they do!

Many hotels (even mid priced hotels) offer free airport shuttles as well as free shuttle service within a few mile radius of the hotel.

The driver may even be enticed with an extra tip to take you a little further than they generally go!

If you must have a rental car, choose the right location to pick it up.

Car Rentals from non-Airport locations are typically cheaper than those at the airport.

Perhaps your hotel’s shuttle service can take you to pick up your car, or have the car delivered to your hotel from a non airport rental office.

Look for online coupons for rental cars. Sites like couponsherpa often have coupons for car rentals.

15. Slow down and save money

Depending on how much time your schedule allows, you can often save money by downgrading your mode of transportation.

For example, if you’re planning to fly somewhere, consider driving, or even taking a bus or a train.

Instead of jumping in a taxi, think about a bus or subway instead.

If making use of public transportation is in your plan, see if you can reach your destination on foot or bicycle instead.

This is a great way to get some exercise as well.

Final thoughts

Taking a moment to plan your trips wisely, whether you’re just running out to do your shopping or planning a cross country trip, can really save you money on your transportation costs.

What other methods have you used to save money on transportation?

Leave a comment and let us know!

HOW COURIER SOFTWARE MAKES PREDICTIVE DELIVERY A REALITY

“Communication is the key to any relationship”. You’ve probably heard that before about personal relationships, but this rule applies to the business-to-customer relationship as well. Customers don’t like being left in the dark. If there’s a delay for some reason, they’d like to know about it immediately or they’ll feel annoyed and disrespected. They might even leave you for one of your competitors. That’s why every business needs an advanced delivery scheduling solution such as Route4Me’s courier software. Better yet, with trucking dispatch software, your drivers will be able to show up on time more often and your customers won’t need to wait longer.

Route4Me, takes human error out of the equation. Manuel route scheduling has always been a recipe for disaster. In addition to finding the best directions to give drivers, companies must also account for traffic, construction, weather, and other factors. That’s just too much to do by yourself. Mistakes will be made which will delay drivers and upset customers. This is why using fleet mapping software like Route4Me is a more efficient way to plan routes. With delivery scheduling software, just plug in the addresses of customers and adjust the settings to fit each specific situation. Then, an optimized route will be ready in about 30 seconds.

Not all multiple destination route planners are equal, though. Some are very basic. These bare-bones programs will help you figure out good routes for your drivers, but they consider all vehicles and customers the same. The best route planners are able to adjust your routes for more complex variables, such as vehicle capacity, cargo weight, order cost, and more.

Does your courier software have GPS tracking? Business optimization software won’t be a benefit if drivers don’t actually follow the routes they were given. That’s why GPS tracking is a must-have feature for a multiple destination route planner. With a GPS tracker, you’ll see where your drivers are and how fast they’re going in real-time. Whenever you want, you can check in on your drivers and confirm that they’re sticking to their routes and staying on schedule. You can also share this real-time tracking info with customers, so they can see exactly where their order is as they wait for it to arrive.

Knowledge Is Power. Another advantage to GPS tracking-enabled courier delivery software is that it collects data you can use to understand your business better. This information will help you evaluate employee performance more accurately. It’ll also help you determine whether gas saving techniques are working or not. Overall, it allows you to make more informed business decisions.

Ideally, the route planner you use will offer the following features (in addition to everything we’ve detailed above): mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices, geofencing, territory mapping, real-time chat, eCommerce integration, telematics integration, and virtual reality. Route4Me offers all of these benefits.

Highly intuitive and easy to use, the Route4Me platform allows customers to create, share, manage, track and drive optimized routes in a matter of seconds using the company’s web-browser software-as-a-service (SaaS), RESTful API and Smartphone apps. Route4Me was the first route optimization company to release native iOS and Android apps simultaneously and reach over 1 million downloads.

The apps are consistently ranked Top 10 highest grossing apps in the navigation category in both app stores. Completely cloud-based, Route4Me is ideal for fleets of any size, parcel and service delivery, eCommerce, territory management, GPS-tracking, final-mile optimization, dynamic routing, and supports API integration with any CRM, TMS, WMS and ISV.

WHEN WILL AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES TAKE OVER THE ROAD?

Humans are fallible: We makes mistakes, we get distracted, and all it takes is a brief moment of distraction to crash a car and end a life, according to a press release from Route4Me, the world’s most-used route optimization platform.

Indeed, many lives are ended due to the fact that human-driven automobiles are the most common mode of transportation, the release continued; around 1.3 million people around the world die in road crashes each year — an average of 3,300 deaths every day. 

But that’s changing, the release noted; over the next 30 or so years, safer autonomous vehicles will take the place of distraction-prone human drivers.

The Victoria Transportation Policy Institute (VTPI) predicts that, in the 2020s, autonomous vehicles will account for two to five percent of vehicle sales, the release stated.

Cost will be barrier, initially, and many consumers will hold off at first and use early adopters as guinea pigs before they trust self-driving cars, the release noted.

After the prices have gone down and the performance has been proven, the release continued VTPI expects that autonomous vehicles will account for 20 to 40 percent of vehicle sales in the 2030s, 40 to 60 percent in the 2040s, and 80 to 100 in the 2050s.

According to the release, here’s where major car companies are at right now with their autonomous vehicle development:

  • Tesla Motors: Tesla is one step ahead of everyone else. TheTesla Model 3, launched in July 2017, is the first publicly available vehicle that has the hardware it needs for fully autonomous driving. All that’s missing is the software.
  • GM: GM is spending big on self-driving cars. In 2016, it acquired the autonomous vehicle startup Cruise Automation for$581 million. Then, it purchased a nine percent ownership stake in the ride-sharing service Lyft for another $500 million. Apparently, the plan is to test thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolts with Lyft in 2018.
  • Ford: Argo AI, a robotics company founded by former Google and Uber executives, was snatched up by Ford for$1 billion. Ford plans to release an autonomous vehicle with no gas pedal or steering wheel in select cities by 2021.
  • BMW: BMW ispartnering with Intel for its self-driving car project. Its launch goal is also 2021.
  • Toyota: Toyota expects to have semi-autonomous vehicleson the market by 2020. These cars will be able to get on the highway, change lanes and get off the highway without any driver input. Toyota is hoping to develop cars capable of driving autonomously in urban settings at some point in the early 2020s.

Route4Me is the world’s first and fastest dynamic route optimization

Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Optimization™ Technology helps businesses of all sizes effortlessly save time, increase profits and boost growth. Fort Lee, N.J. – Route4Me is the world’s most user-friendly and downloaded route optimization solution on the market. Simple and easy to use, the first-of-its-kind route planning software lets users plan, share, manage and drive optimized vehicle routes in a matter of seconds by accessing Route4Me’s smartphone application or online platform. Fully Cloud-based, Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Optimization™ Technology helps businesses of all sizes save time, increase profits and boost growth; easily scaling to accommodate for any number of routes or stops per route.

Combining the latest technological advancements and years of experience, Route4Me enables businesses to optimize more than 60,000,000 routes and track more than 20,000,000 device location updates per year; securing its place as the world’s most downloaded mobile multi-stop route planning software.

On average, Route4Me reduces fuel consumption from 20 percent to 39 percent and planning time to less than 10 minutes per day. Many businesses report time savings of up to 20 hours per week. Route4Me’s mobile application has been downloaded over a million times from the Apple and Android marketplaces since its inception in 2009.

Route4Me is currently available in four versions: Enterprise, Small Business, Independent Professional and Mobile Route Planning. Typical applications include field sales, courier services, landscaping, inspections, home services and fleet management.

Route4Me was the first dynamic routing company to release mobile applications on the iPhone, iPad, and Android simultaneously.

Route4Me Is The World’s First And Fastest Dynamic Route Optimization

Route4Me is the world’s most user-friendly and downloaded route optimization solution on the market. Simple and easy to use, the first-of-its-kind route planning software lets users plan, share, manage and drive optimized vehicle routes in a matter of seconds by accessing Route4Me’s smartphone application or online platform. Fully Cloud-based, Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Optimization Technology helps businesses of all sizes save time, increase profits and boost growth; easily scaling to accommodate for any number of routes or stops per route.

Combining the latest technological advancements and years of experience, Route4Me enables businesses to optimize more than 60,000,000 routes and track more than 20,000,000 device location updates per year; securing its place as the world’s most downloaded mobile multi-stop route planning software.

On average, Route4Me reduces fuel consumption from 20 percent to 39 percent and planning time to less than 10 minutes per day. Many businesses report time savings of up to 20 hours per week. Route4Me’s mobile application has been downloaded over a million times from the Apple and Android marketplaces since its inception in 2009.

Benefit Highlights:

  • Saves hours of daily route planning time;
  • Reduces operating costs by up to 39 percent;
  • Eliminates early morning chaos;
  • Optimizes route planning;
  • Increases profits;
  • Improves customer satisfaction;
  • Increases productivity;
  • Boosts control of driver activities;
  • Reduces greenhouse gasses.

Route4Me is currently available in four versions: Enterprise, Small Business, Independent Professional and Mobile Route Planning. Typical applications include field sales, courier services, landscaping, inspections, home services and fleet management.

Feature Highlights:

  • Individual driver routing;
  • Unlimited users/drivers;
  • Distributed team routing;
  • Reporting/analytics;
  • iPhone, iPad, Android synchronization;
  • Projected ETAs;
  • Customer mapping;
  • Real-time tracking and breadcrumbs;
  • Automatic route eliminator;
  • Real-time dynamic ETAs;
  • Unlimited routes;
  • Unlimited sign-on glass electronic signatures;
  • Team management;
  • CVS and GPS file export;
  • Visual route timeline.

Route4Me was the first dynamic routing company to release mobile applications on the iPhone, iPad, and Android simultaneously.

About Route4Me, Inc.
Founded in 2009 and now with over 3,000 customers worldwide, Route4Me, Inc. provides the world’s most-used dynamic route sequencing and optimization software platform for small and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises. Highly intuitive and easy to use, the Route4Me platform allows customers to create, share, manage, track and drive optimized routes in a matter of seconds using the company’s web-browser software-as-a-service (SaaS), RESTful API and Smartphone apps. Route4Me was the first route optimization company to release native iOS and Android apps simultaneously and reach over 1 million downloads. The apps are consistently ranked Top 10 highest grossing apps in the Navigation category in both app stores. Completely cloud-based, Route4Me is ideal for fleets of any size, parcel and service delivery, ecommerce, territory management, GPS-tracking, final-mile optimization, dynamic routing, and supports API integration with any CRM, TMS, WMS and ISV. For more information, visit http://www.route4me.com.

Thanksgiving Travel Deals 2017: Best last-minute tips to save on flights, hotels, rental cars & more

If you just recently took a break from eating Halloween candy to discover there’s only a handful of weeks until turkey time, you’re not alone. Although Thanksgiving always arrives on the fourth Thursday of November, the actual date varies from year to year, which means it easily sneaks up on you.

Airlines for America anticipates a 3% increase in travelers over 2016, so the earlier you book your flight, the better. “Because so many people travel during the holiday season, flight prices can drastically and quickly increase — and fill up,” Kimmie Greene, a money expert at Mint, said in an email interview. “You want to book your travel sooner rather than later.”

It typically costs more to travel around the holidays, and crowded airports are a hassle. To reduce costs, Emily McNutt, associate editor at the Points Guy, recommends watching for flash sales and knowing the sneaky fine-print rules of discount airlines — such as charging fees to print boarding passes. She said flexibility will save you the most money. “Consider departing from airports in the surrounding area,” McNutt said in an email interview.

It’s not just flight prices that can rise. You’ll need insider tips on how to save cash, no matter if you’re driving, renting a car, staying in a hotel or dining out during the holiday weekend. Here are three key ways you can still snag solid Thanksgiving deals.

1. Get Thanksgiving flight deals

It’s not too late to save on Thanksgiving travel: “Fares should remain reasonably low until about the 12th of November. After that, you can expect fares for the week of Thanksgiving to rise quickly — and maybe even worse, availability to also begin to rapidly disappear,” Keith Nowak, director of communications for Travelocity, said in an email interview.

New York City to Boston — $168 (Nov. 21 to Nov. 26)

If open Thanksgiving plans mean you’re free to get out of the country instead of just out of town, you may find even better deals. “Oftentimes, international fares are just as cheap — if not cheaper — than if you were to stay here in the states,” McNutt said. Given that the U.S. holiday tends to keep people visiting family stateside, that makes sense.

Here are some of the best international flight deals, according to Hopper:

New York City to Toronto — $231 (Nov. 23 to Nov. 27)

Of course, assuming you’re locked into a domestic trip, you might feel trapped into having to pay up for plane tickets. A smart option, if you can take it, might be to take an extra day off work. “It certainly pays to be flexible — even if by one day,” Hopper spokeswoman Liana Corwin said.

For example, if you’re willing to travel on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the cost of a round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Denver drops by $172 ($190 versus $362). For the same dates, a trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver falls by $129 ($239 versus $368).

  

2. Hit the road for less

Planning to hit the road? You’ll probably need to make some same-day decisions when it comes to determining your exact route, as millions of Americans typically clog up the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Approximately 89% of Thanksgiving travelers drove in 2016, a 1.9% increase over 2015. That means finding a strategic route that gets you to your destination quickly and safely should be a priority.

Here are four tricks to save when hitting the road:

Use Google Maps to navigate around those pesky tolls if the roads aren’t jammed. While Maps may direct you to use a toll road, you can easily turn off this feature by selecting “Route Options” and then “Avoid Tolls” within the app.

If you’re renting a car, you’ll really want to pay close attention to the “Avoid Tolls” feature, as some rental companies add “convenience fees” to the average toll, according to the Points Guy. For example, Dollar and Thrifty each charge a $15 fee per toll unless you opt into a $8.99 daily “all-inclusive” toll plan; Alamo tacks on an additional $3.95 every day. Other than avoiding toll roads entirely, the Points Guy suggests paying for tolls in advance and selecting the right car rental company.

Find cheap gas

Finding cheap gas is a lot easier with apps like Gas Buddy and Route4Me, but but what else can you do to pay less for fuel? Gas Buddy’s fuel-saving tips include driving the speed limit, keeping tires properly inflated and turning off the car if you anticipate being idle for longer than one minute. If you’re traveling through multiple states, check the average gas prices along your route, as you may save more in one state over another.

Another handy app that can help you get a better rate on your bus trip is CheckMyBus, which allows you to search for such deals as a $25 one-way trip from New York City to Baltimore on the morning of Nov. 21.

You can also search for discounts on sites like Retail Me Not for fare sales on Megabus, or on Offers.com for BoltBus deals.

Snag discounts for car rentals

You can save 30% off the price of renting a car if you prepay for your rental through Avis, a representative told Mic: You can also save $15 at Budget when you spend $125 on the base rate or use Budget’s Pay Now rate to save up to 35%. Other Avis deals include a spend $100, get $10 off; spend $125, get $15 off; or spend $175, get $25 off base rates.

Another way to cut costs? Book your rental through Costco or BJs. And while you can usually decline the insurance, don’t forget to fill up the gas to avoid charges. Fnal tricks to lower your rental rate include shopping online first, checking “off-brand” rental companies like Payless or Fox, and skipping renting your vehicle at the airport — the latter of which can save you as much as 50%, according to Consumer Reports.

Whether staying with relatives isn’t a good option or you just need your space, you’re not alone: In Skyscanner’s 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Index, 52% of travelers surveyed would rather stay at a hotel than bunk down their parents.

If you haven’t booked that room yet, you’re probably not out of luck. More hotel discounts may pop up in the coming weeks, with prices often taking a nose dive immediately before Thanksgiving, according to Henrik Kjellberg, president of the Hotwire Group, who spoke with MarketWatch in 2013.

You can also try bundling your flight and hotel together. “In most cases, that will result in a discount over booking separately,” Nowak said. “Also, since Thanksgiving travel usually means a family trip, it’s worth looking past the first room that appears on the hotel page [to] figure out [whether] a two-bedroom suite might actually be a cheaper option than two single rooms.”

Kjellberg said last-minute hotel room rates are “typically 20% cheaper than a few days prior.” One smart strategy is to book early — somewhere with no cancellation fees — and cancel if you score a better deal later.

To get the most for your dollar, look for hotels that offer complimentary amenities such as free breakfast and no parking fees, Jeanette Casselano, director or public relations for AAA said in an email. “Also, check what facilities are available at the property that will enhance your stay, such as a pool, arcade or children’s programs that could save money on entertainment expenses,” Casselano added.

What about that Thanksgiving turkey?

Taking on the role of head chef for Thanksgiving? You can save on the meal via money-saving grocery apps like IbottaCheckout 51 and SavingStar. You can also cut costs by asking friends and family to bring side dishes, sticking to tried-and-true basics or using the same ingredients in several dishes.

Of course, beyond a traditional family meal on Thanksgiving Day, you may be searching for cheap eats — especially if you’re partaking in Black Friday shopping or are away from home over the holiday weekend. One way to maximize your dining budget is by packing snacks or opting for late lunches over often-pricier dinner menus. If you’re traveling, Smarter Traveler recommends grabbing food from local grocery stores, reading local food blogs to find the best (and usually cheapest) chow in town and perhaps trying fare from a food truck or local street vendor.

Also, don’t forget to use apps like Yelp to your advantage, which you can use to find deals and special check-in offers at restaurants near you.

Although Thanksgiving is only one day, keep in mind that Christmas is just around the corner. So, if you plan to travel again, you may want to book now instead of waiting.

What a Growing Global Logistics Software Market Means to You

According to business research firm Gartner, the global logistics software market is growing at a faster rate with each passing year.

From 2012 to 2013, for example, the supply chain management (SCM) software market grew by 7.3% to $8.96 billion. In 2014, it grew by 10.8% to $9.92 billion. By the end of 2017, the SCM software market is expected to be worth over $13 billion—an 11% jump from 2016.

This growth shows no signs of stopping. Gartner expects that the SCM software market will be worth more than $19 billion by 2021. That’s an average annual growth of 11.5% over the next four years.

Silicon Valley takes an interest

The increasing role of software in logistics has drawn more investment from Silicon Valley venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and New Enterprise Associates. As a result, more than  90% of global investments in logistics start-ups are made in the U.S. and Asia, with only 5% are made in Europe.

Streamlining the industry

The growth of the software market is just one part of the overall trend toward automation in the logistics industry.

Logistics software now handles organizational tasks that were once planned with pen and paper. In warehouses, human pickers are being replaced by robots. On the road, human drivers will soon be replaced by autonomous vehicles.

It’s easy to see why these changes are taking place. Software doesn’t make data entry errors. Robots don’t get tired and slow down after working in a warehouse for a few hours. Autonomous vehicles don’t stop at a coffee shop for a snack when they should be working.

Software and automation will continue to make the logistics industry more efficient as a whole. There will be fewer miscommunications, fewer deadlines missed, fewer mistakes that slow things down and cost people money.

Knowledge is power

In addition to improving efficiency, logistics software provides businesses with more insight about their operations. For example, GPS tracking technology collects information about a driver’s behavior. Businesses can use this information to determine whether a particular gas saving technique is working or not.

GPS tracking data is also useful for evaluating employee performance. Before, drivers had a lot of freedom once they were on the road and out of sight. They might be taking unsanctioned breaks or even running personal errands when they’re supposed to be working. You can’t see them, so how do you know?

Such waste was incredibly expensive. It forced logistics companies to pay more for fuel and wages. But now, companies can use tracking tools to confirm that their drivers are sticking to their routes and staying on schedule. You can squeeze more value out of every gallon of gas pumped and hour logged.

The beauty of GPS technology is that you don’t even need to look at tracking data for it to have an effect on your drivers. When drivers know they’re being watching, they’re automatically more productive.

Customers no longer in the dark

Before the logistics software boom, customers were in the dark. They had to wait for their orders to arrive. In most cases, they wouldn’t even know if there was going to be a delay until the arrival date had already passed.

GPS tracking data doesn’t just benefit businesses. This data can be shared with customers, so they can see where their orders are in real-time. If there’s going to be a delay, they usually know about it immediately. Tracking software takes the mystery out of shipping.

From blue collar to high tech

The rise of logistics software is changing the educational demographics of workers in the industry. Manual labor is less needed, while tech skills are becoming an absolute necessity. Those without a college degree are finding it harder to get a job.

Logistics software also allows businesses to save money by using fewer employees to run their operations. For example, Route4Me, the route optimization program, provides companies with more efficient routes so that businesses don’t need to hire as many drivers to service their customers. That gives them more funds to dedicate to other areas of their organization.

How Logistics Software Can Benefit Your Business

Solving a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle takes a lot of time and effort.

Logistics is the same way. It isn’t easy moving items from where they’re made to where they’re consumed. The individual pieces of a supply chain are simple enough, but figuring out how all those pieces fit together can be quite difficult.

It’s much easier, though, when you use logistics software. Here are four ways adopting such software will benefit your business:

1. Save Time

To run a business, you must do your best to solve an endless procession of problems, from finding new revenue sources to cutting expenses to managing employees. There’s never enough time to get everything perfect.

But logistics software will give you more time, at least. Tasks that would take hours to do manually can be performed in just seconds when you have the right software.

2. Save Money

Logistics software saves time, and time is money. By using software to make your employees more productive, you’ll get more bang for your buck out of your payroll dollars.

Also, the transportation aspect of logistics can be particularly expensive.

In other words, gas ain’t cheap. The more efficient your routes are, the less you’ll need to pay for gas. But designing good routes can be difficult – you need to account for traffic, tolls, weather, construction, customer availability, and other factors.

That’s just too much for a person to process. You’ll end up making mistakes, which will force your drivers to drive longer than necessary to complete their routes. Route planning mistakes may also lead to your drivers getting lost. If your employees can’t show up on time consistently, your customers will get upset. They might even leave you for one of your competitors.

Route optimization software allows you to provide your drivers with more efficient routes. That’ll save you a fortune on fuel, and you’ll have an easier time keeping your customers happy.

3. Avoid Accidents

UPS saves over $300 million a year by avoiding left turns.

The problem with left turns is that your drivers don’t have the right of way. They must wait for traffic to clear before they can go. All that waiting eats up time and gas – and time and gas are expensive, of course.

More importantly, avoiding left turns will help prevent your drivers from getting into accidents. 61% of collisions at intersections involve a car turning left. Only 3% of collisions at intersections involve a car turning right. In other words, your drivers are 20 times more likely to crash their car when they turn left instead of right.

Without software, removing all the left turns from your routes would be a mind-bogglingly complex task. But with the right program, you can do so with just the click of a mouse.

In addition to left turns, the sun is another factor that can cause collisions. Glare during sunrise and sunset makes it more difficult to see the road. The best route planning programs can get your drivers where they need to go without driving east during sunrise or west during sunset.

4. Make Better Decisions

The best route planning programs have GPS tracking capabilities that show you where your drivers are and how fast they’re going in real-time.

Drivers are unsupervised. They might be working hard, or they might be slacking off. You don’t really know what they’re doing when they’re on the road and out of sight.

That is, you don’t know when you don’t have vehicle tracking software. With GPS tracking, you’ll be able to see exactly what your drivers are doing. You’ll know which drivers deserve raises and which drivers need more discipline.

GPS tracking also collects information you can use to analyze your fuel usage and other profit margin-shaping behavior.

Level The Playing Field

Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As you do everything you can to increase your income and decrease your expenses, your competitors are doing the same. This is a zero-sum game. Every customer your competitors earn is a customer that could have been yours.

Most of your competitors have probably adopted logistics software already. Don’t let them hold that advantage over your business.

A particular program you should add to your company’s arsenal is Route4Me, the world’s most-used route optimization platform. It offers route planning, vehicle tracking, territory mapping, and other features that will make your business more productive and profitable.

Route4Me blooms from house-hunting to multinational logistics

Dan Khasis had a problem. He was on an extensive house-hunting mission in 2009 and got tired of his GPS navigating him through congested roads whenever he had to get to one of the dozen stops he planned for the day.Khasis decided to make an app, Route4Me, which allowed him to input addresses and the app would calculate the best way to get between various stops without weaving into backed-up main roads.

The app was a quick success, but its initial appeal was just the start.

“We released the app and at that point we thought it was a success and that was beautiful. What happened is [that] people started reaching out to us,” Vice President of Operations for Route4Me George Shchegolev said.

Companies with logistics issues reached out to Route4Me and requested a slew of features to cater to their needs. Soon the simple phone app had a web interface, allowed uploading files, built-in splitting up routes among drivers or over multiple days, and more. The requests were endless.

“We essentially began building our platform on feedback,” Shchegolev said.

The house-hunting origins of the app are still useful to many users, but since its humble beginnings Route4Me has turned into a logistics solutions company with more than 1.2 million downloads on iOS and thousands of active subscriptions to the service. The majority of users are businesses that pay for the service as opposed to personal users who create fewer than 10 routes per month on average.

Logistics has become a popular topic as massive companies turn their gaze toward expediting deliveries or preparing for a future with drones and autonomous cars on the market.

In June, patents from Amazon revealed the company’s interest in creating “beehives” of drones that could delivery to locations difficult to reach by conventional means.

Other logistics companies have been swallowed up by larger corporations. Quintiq, a startup focused on supply chain optimization, was purchased by Dassault Systems in 2014 for $336 million. Verizon announced last month its intention to purchase Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion in cash.

Acquisition may be enticing, but Route4Me isn’t focusing on that end goal.

“Our mission is to allow smaller companies and middle companies to stay competitive with giants,” Shchegolev said.

He explained that for many larger companies, their preference is to develop an in-house technology that they own, rather than spend significant sums to acquire an established service.

“[Big companies] can spend $50 million to power deliveries, a guy who does $200 million in sales — they can’t afford spending that much when our platform gives them the same competitive edge,” Schegolev said.

The services of Route4Me, which was founded by Khasis and is based in Fort Lee, have expanded far past its home state of New Jersey. The company has employees everywhere from California, Florida and New York to Australia, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.

The company still takes feedback from various customers but rather than respond directly to feature requests, it looks at commonly asked-for capabilities and to service the largest number of people.

“We take into consideration all the feedback we get from customers and incorporate that into our platform,” Shchegolev said. “Everyone said about the iPhone, ‘can we have copy and paste?’ And Steve Jobs said ‘Nobody needs copy and paste!’ But if a lot of people ask for it, you probably want to provide it.”

Some of the features added over the years include time windows and priority placing. For example, larger companies that employ full-time drivers have to take into account that each employee has a lunch break. Route4Me’s system allows for routes to be modified to accommodate these types of breaks.

As for priority, the system allows users to rank priority on each location if, for example, one specific location has been neglected in the past and has requested more reliable delivery times.

These services have also allowed for Route4Me to branch into fields outside of large-scale logistics. Local school buses, government couriers or smaller-scale delivery services can utilize Route4Me with scaling price packages.

The company is considering an SMS/email notification application that would allow parents to be notified when a school bus has arrived at its stop.

Looking forward, Route4Me’s platform is prepared for upcoming technologies such as autonomous cars and drones, but Schegolev said he is unsure how far away the market is from embracing those technologies.

“We want to build the best supply and logistics software,” Schegolev said. “What happens along the way is difficult to predict.”

The Rise of Logistics Tech Activates Entrepreneurs

Globally, there is a demand for smarter, cost effective and sustainable operations to suit the needs of consumers who expect higher customer service levels. Business can not go on as usual. There have been major disruptions in the logistics tech market, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a dramatic impact in the industry.

For example, in the e-commerce sector, we’ve seen how the demand for online shopping purchases to be delivered quicker has seen a revamping of distribution centers, logistic technologies and the combining of resources with third party suppliers.  We have seen the rise of 3PL offering consolidation services, supply chain management, warehousing, etc. The entire way that modern retailers operate has changed thanks to innovations in logistics technologies. We have seen how entrepreneurs are jumping at the chance to offer their resources to the bigger giants, attempting to keep pace with their customer’s needs. These smaller businesses are learning to put their surplus resources to good use. Perhaps, they have a few spare trucks that could be helpful resources in a big chain’s regional warehouse?

The combining of resources is facilitating growth for both small businesses and large corporates. These collaborations require logistics tech systems that can sync across multiple platforms and providers. This is where many new startups are stepping in with innovative products for automated order tracking, real-time analysis and ensuring products leave the warehouse quickly, to name a few.

A package might leave the warehouse on time, but now the delivery driver must face the roads. At UPS, for example, their delivery trucks make an average of 120 stops per day! Their effectiveness is directly linked to finding the least congested routes for travel.

In 2009, the startup Route4Me inadvertently cleared the way for all delivery services. Dan Khasis, the founder of Route4Me, was house hunting and realized he was zig-zagging too much around town while using his car’s navigation system. Within a few weeks after the house hunting fiasco, Khasis put together a team, and the new company released the first multi-stop route optimization app for the iPhone with route synchronization. An iPad and Android app soon followed. When gas prices skyrocketed, Route4Me became a US Top 10 highest grossing revenue mobile navigation app – and still is to this day. They had not initially realized the inherent potential of their innovation, but today, Route4Me is the world’s most used multi-stop route optimization software, with over 1.1 million downloads.

“Within hours of launching, it became obvious that what we thought was a utilitarian app to help house hunters and real-estate agents, was actually an extremely powerful business tool for logistics intensive businesses. Small business owners and Fortune 500 companies started offering us money to add more features, and we have been accommodating them,” says George Shchegolev, co-founder and VP of Operations.

The development has resulted in a powerful optimization platform that can manage routing for large and small companies, who have basic though complex needs, such as vehicle capacities, traffic, weather, driver skills, compliance, demand shaping, multi-distribution warehouse centers, and more.

With companies like Amazon, Google and UPS already set-up for drone delivery and NASA currently plotting out acceptable flight paths for them, you will see even more calls for logistic tech entrepreneurs to deliver the goods – so to speak. Can you imagine the logistics tech required to execute such an enormous task? Amazon will have their beehives delivering to places previously impossible to reach via traditional delivery methods. They can provide other incredible services, like getting essential medicines to places rapidly to save lives. We will see an entire revolution in the supply chain industry with drone technology.

Modern logistics and supply chain software is arguably one of the most complex problems to solve because it incorporates telematics, IoT, M2M, spatial optimization, graph theory (think Good Will Hunting), statistics, data science, and machine learning to analyze, optimize, and predict seemingly endless streams of inventory and order data; weather related issues, plane and cargo ship delays, vehicle breakdowns, driver errors, and customer rescheduling. Not forgetting, all the while, communicating in real-time with dozens of mobile applications and other systems. In each of these areas, there exists unlimited possibilities for entrepreneurs to come on board and work to fill the innovation and third party resource gaps.

Investments and acquisitions in IoT, supply chain and logistics companies are heating up. In 2014, Quintiq, another supply chain optimization startup, was acquired by Dassault Systems for $336M and Verizon recently complemented its acquisition of Networkfleet by acquiring Telogis and Fleetmatics for over $3.3 billion dollars. Companies such as Convoy ($62M) and Postmates ($278M) have only recently landed further investment.  It’s clear we are witnessing the next stage of supply chain evolution, which is far more complex than optimizing the last mile. And, companies like Route4Me, who can deliver significant value by optimizing across the links in the supply chain, may help shape our future.

About Route4Me
Founded in 2009 and now with over 5,000 clients worldwide, Route4Me, Inc. provides the world’s most-used dynamic route sequencing and optimization software platform for small and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises. Highly intuitive and easy to use, the Route4Me platform allows customers to create, share, manage, track and drive optimized routes in a matter of seconds. Route4Me was the first route optimization company to release native iOS and Android apps simultaneously and reach over 1 million downloads. The apps are consistently ranked Top 10 highest grossing apps in the Navigation category in both app stores. Completely cloud-based, Route4Me accommodates fleets of any size, parcel and service delivery, ecommerce, territory management, GPS-tracking, final-mile optimization, dynamic routing, and supports API integration with any CRM, TMS, WMS and ISV. Register for a free 7-day trial at: http://www.route4me.com

The Rise of Logistics Tech Activates Entrepreneurs

Globally, there is a demand for smarter, cost effective and sustainable operations to suit the needs of consumers who expect higher customer service levels. Business can not go on as usual. There have been major disruptions in the logistics tech market, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a dramatic impact in the industry.

For example, in the e-commerce sector, we’ve seen how the demand for online shopping purchases to be delivered quicker has seen a revamping of distribution centers, logistic technologies and the combining of resources with third party suppliers.  We have seen the rise of 3PL offering consolidation services, supply chain management, warehousing, etc. The entire way that modern retailers operate has changed thanks to innovations in logistics technologies. We have seen how entrepreneurs are jumping at the chance to offer their resources to the bigger giants, attempting to keep pace with their customer’s needs. These smaller businesses are learning to put their surplus resources to good use. Perhaps, they have a few spare trucks that could be helpful resources in a big chain’s regional warehouse?

 The combining of resources is facilitating growth for both small businesses and large corporates. These collaborations require logistics tech systems that can sync across multiple platforms and providers. This is where many new startups are stepping in with innovative products for automated order tracking, real-time analysis and ensuring products leave the warehouse quickly, to name a few.

A package might leave the warehouse on time, but now the delivery driver must face the roads. At UPS, for example, their delivery trucks make an average of 120 stops per day! Their effectiveness is directly linked to finding the least congested routes for travel.

In 2009, the startup Route4Me inadvertently cleared the way for all delivery services. Dan Khasis, the founder of Route4Me, was house hunting and realized he was zig-zagging too much around town while using his car’s navigation system. Within a few weeks after the house hunting fiasco, Khasis put together a team, and the new company released the first multi-stop route optimization app for the iPhone with route synchronization. An iPad and Android app soon followed. When gas prices skyrocketed, Route4Me became a US Top 10 highest grossing revenue mobile navigation app – and still is to this day. They had not initially realized the inherent potential of their innovation, but today, Route4Me is the world’s most used multi-stop route optimization software, with over 1.1 million downloads.

“Within hours of launching, it became obvious that what we thought was a utilitarian app to help house hunters and real-estate agents, was actually an extremely powerful business tool for logistics intensive businesses. Small business owners and Fortune 500 companies started offering us money to add more features, and we have been accommodating them,” says George Shchegolev, co-founder and VP of Operations.

The development has resulted in a powerful optimization platform that can manage routing for large and small companies, who have basic though complex needs, such as vehicle capacities, traffic, weather, driver skills, compliance, demand shaping, multi-distribution warehouse centers, and more.

With companies like Amazon, Google and UPS already set-up for drone delivery and NASA currently plotting out acceptable flight paths for them, you will see even more calls for logistic tech entrepreneurs to deliver the goods – so to speak. Can you imagine the logistics tech required to execute such an enormous task?  Amazon will have their beehives delivering to places previously impossible to reach via traditional delivery methods. They can provide other incredible services, like getting essential medicines to places rapidly to save lives. We will see an entire revolution in the supply chain industry with drone technology.

Modern logistics and supply chain software is arguably one of the most complex problems to solve because it incorporates telematics, IoT, M2M, spatial optimization, graph theory (think Good Will Hunting), statistics, data science, and machine learning to analyze, optimize, and predict seemingly endless streams of inventory and order data; weather related issues, plane and cargo ship delays, vehicle breakdowns, driver errors, and customer rescheduling. Not forgetting, all the while, communicating in real-time with dozens of mobile applications and other systems. In each of these areas, there exists unlimited possibilities for entrepreneurs to come on board and work to fill the innovation and third party resource gaps.

Investments and acquisitions in IoT, supply chain and logistics companies are heating up. In 2014, Quintiq, another supply chain optimization startup, was acquired by Dassault Systems for $336M and Verizon recently complemented its acquisition of Networkfleet by acquiring Telogis and Fleetmatics for over $3.3 billion dollars. Companies such as Convoy ($62M) and Postmates ($278M) have only recently landed further investment.  It’s clear we are witnessing the next stage of supply chain evolution, which is far more complex than optimizing the last mile. And, companies like Route4Me, who can deliver significant value by optimizing across the links in the supply chain, may help shape our future.

BNet

Need to visit our vendor and a few clients this afternoon? You could eyeball the map to pick the best route, or you could do it the scientific way. Here’s a Web site that will find the most efficient route to all your destinations quickly and easily — complete with driving directions.

MakeUseOf

There’s no shortage of tools on the web for getting directions: Google Maps and Map Quest are amongst the most famous. These tools are all great for finding directions when you have a set order in mind. If you simply have a number of places you need to get to however, Route4Me can help you out by finding the shortest possible loop between the three points. This will not only save you time: it will save you gas and money.

Christian Science Monitor

Route4me.com won’t run your errands for you but it simplifies the task. Type in all the addresses you need to go to (up to 10), and the site will calculate the shortest route and provide directions.

Unclutterer

Have many errands to run at once? Lorie Marrero recommends the \”optimal route planner\” Route4me to determine the shortest route to take.

GeekSugar

Getting from point A to B is easy with the help of Google Maps, but what if you have a number of stops to make, and want to make your travel time as fast as possible? Point your browser to Route4Me. This website lets you enter in all of the addresses you need to visit, then gives you driving directions for the fastest loop and shortest route between point A, B, C, D, or up to 10 different locations. No more wasting gas getting around inefficiently! Plus, you can enter the addresses in any order, and Route4Me will determine where you should go to make your trip as quick as possible.

RealSimple

You need to get to the library before closing, but you also have to pick up the dry cleaning, the kids from school (can’t forget that one), and something for dinner along the way. On route4me.com, enter multiple addresses and it will calculate the shortest route to get it all done, complete with driving directions.

Teri Pacitto Group

Avoid waiting in gas-guzzling traffic jams, you can use this app to map routes for your multiple stops that doesn’t waste gas. The app will provide directions based on the shortest distance or also provide options to see alternative routes that avoid highways or even toll roads.

Kim Komando

When looking for directions, you’re not always going from A to B. You may have a dozen places to go. This app will find the optimum route to all of your stops. You’ll save time and gas.

AppScout

Route4Me is a Web app that allows you to input multiple destinations and addresses, and the app will plot the most time and travel efficient course from location to location for you.

KillerStartups

The idea is to let you avoid zigging and zagging all over town, and save time. That is one of the pivotal concerns for the vast majority of travelers I know, actually – maximizing their time. Just one hour more makes an absolute difference, and this site makes freeing time up something very straightforward.

LifeContained

Since it goes a step beyond the multiple-destination mapping feature I use all the time on Google and gives my iPhone this multiple-destination genius which it previously did not have, I heart this company.

LifeHacker

Before heading out the door, jump on the internet and enter the addresses of all the places you need to stop or fire up the iPhone app (more on that below). Route4Me plots your whole route for maximum efficiency. It will also map out a round trip so you can get back to where you started, without trying to backtrack using the initial directions.

ReadersDigest

Route4me.com lets you type in up to ten errands and their associated addresses. The website will calculate the optimal route, with driving directions. Instant gas savings!

ABC 12

.. is going to do, is, basically, give you turn-by-turn directions so you’re not wasting your time when you want to find where you want to go…, similar free applications include [..], [..] and Route4Me.

Mashable

With a nice web interface and a new iPhone app, Route4Me is a great way to create a route for trips that have more than one stop. […] Route4Me, however, lets you enter in multiple destinations, giving you the most efficient route so you can save time and energy by driving less.

AppScout

The service built its reputation on being able to calculate the most efficient route among all of your planned stops so you get from your starting point back home or to your destination in the shortest amount of time, hitting all of your stops along the way.

Route4Me announced new updates today that extend the features of its mobile apps and Web-based route planner, along with premium subscription plans that give you the ability to plan routes with hundreds of addresses, the ability to add and keep notes along with your route informati

True Car

This app optimizes your route when traveling to multiple destinations, allowing you to enter up to 200 addresses per route. Route4me claims that routes are usually 25-35% shorter after being optimized.

HV 11

Route 4 Me is a website designed to make planning your car trips fast, efficient and cheap! <br/> You can enter up to 10 different addresses on the site and it will calculate the shortest route, complete with driving directions.

Yahoo!

Route4Me is an online service that tells you the most efficient route to complete all your errands; just put in the addresses, and let it work its magic. The basic plan costs $25 a month, but there’s a 30-day free trial and a cheaper, $15 a month plan if it’s not to your liking. Free iPhone and iPad apps are available, too, so you can consult your routes on the go.

SF Examiner

This app specializes in mapping out routes for multiple stops. So if you want to check out several garage sales or open houses in an unfamiliar neighborhood, Route4Me could map out a game plan so you don’t waste gas zigzagging across town.

Popular Mechanics

Whether you’re planning the road trip of the century or just trying to get to work this summer, gas prices are likely on your mind. Your smartphone can be a powerful tool in your quest to find the cheapest way to fill up your tank and make those precious gallons last.

CBS MoneyWatch

This application improves your route when traveling to multiple places to find the best one to your destinations, allowing for 25 to 35 percent better optimized directions. This application is free and available on the iPhone [HINT: and iPad too]

CBS TV News

The next time you have to run errands, go to Route4Me.com to find the most efficient way to get everything done. Enter up to 10 different addresses on the site and it will calculate the shortest route, complete with driving directions. It is totally free and also available as an iPhone app.

USA Today

The app could be particularly helpful for small business owners who regularly make multiple deliveries in a single trip. To map out routes that have more than 10 stops, however, the app costs $15 a month

Wall Street Journal

Route4me optimizes your route when traveling to multiple destinations, allowing you to enter up to 200 addresses per route. Route4me claims that routes are usually 25-35% shorter after being optimized.

CNN Money

This paid app maps out routes for your multi-stop trip. Instead of driving back and forth across town, or unknowingly taking the long way to run errands, you can map the fastest or shortest path with Route4Me. Once you take the optimized route, the app claims, you’ll save 30% on gas and time. Route4Me can optimize a route for up to 200 addresses — a $100 per month option that seems pointed at heavy-driving workers like truckers — but a 25-address, 25-route plan is available for $15 per month.

The Rise of Logistics Tech Activates Entrepreneurs

Globally, there is a demand for smarter, cost effective and sustainable operations to suit the needs of consumers who expect higher customer service levels. Business can not go on as usual. There have been major disruptions in the logistics tech market, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a dramatic impact in the industry.

For example, in the e-commerce sector, we’ve seen how the demand for online shopping purchases to be delivered quicker has seen a revamping of distribution centers, logistic technologies and the combining of resources with third party suppliers. We have seen the rise of 3PL offering consolidation services, supply chain management, warehousing, etc. The entire way that modern retailers operate has changed thanks to innovations in logistics technologies. We have seen how entrepreneurs are jumping at the chance to offer their resources to the bigger giants, attempting to keep pace with their customer’s needs. These smaller businesses are learning to put their surplus resources to good use. Perhaps, they have a few spare trucks that could be helpful resources in a big chain’s regional warehouse?

The combining of resources is facilitating growth for both small businesses and large corporates. These collaborations require logistics tech systems that can sync across multiple platforms and providers. This is where many new startups are stepping in with innovative products for automated order tracking, real-time analysis and ensuring products leave the warehouse quickly, to name a few.

A package might leave the warehouse on time, but now the delivery driver must face the roads. At UPS, for example, their delivery trucks make an average of 120 stops per day! Their effectiveness is directly linked to finding the least congested routes for travel.

In 2009, the startup Route4Me inadvertently cleared the way for all delivery services. Dan Khasis, the founder of Route4Me, was house hunting and realized he was zig-zagging too much around town while using his car’s navigation system. Within a few weeks after the house hunting fiasco, Khasis put together a team, and the new company released the first multi-stop route optimization app for the iPhone with route synchronization. An iPad and Android app soon followed. When gas prices skyrocketed, Route4Me became a US Top 10 highest grossing revenue mobile navigation app – and still is to this day. They had not initially realized the inherent potential of their innovation, but today, Route4Me is the world’s most used multi-stop route optimization software, with over 1.1 million downloads.

“Within hours of launching, it became obvious that what we thought was a utilitarian app to help house hunters and real-estate agents, was actually an extremely powerful business tool for logistics intensive businesses. Small business owners and Fortune 500 companies started offering us money to add more features, and we have been accommodating them,” says George Shchegolev, co-founder and VP of Operations.

The development has resulted in a powerful optimization platform that can manage routing for large and small companies, who have basic though complex needs, such as vehicle capacities, traffic, weather, driver skills, compliance, demand shaping, multi-distribution warehouse centers, and more.

With companies like Amazon, Google and UPS already set-up for drone delivery and NASA currently plotting out acceptable flight paths for them, you will see even more calls for logistic tech entrepreneurs to deliver the goods – so to speak. Can you imagine the logistics tech required to execute such an enormous task? Amazon will have their beehives delivering to places previously impossible to reach via traditional delivery methods. They can provide other incredible services, like getting essential medicines to places rapidly to save lives. We will see an entire revolution in the supply chain industry with drone technology.

Modern logistics and supply chain software is arguably one of the most complex problems to solve because it incorporates telematics, IoT, M2M, spatial optimization, graph theory (think Good Will Hunting), statistics, data science, and machine learning to analyze, optimize, and predict seemingly endless streams of inventory and order data; weather related issues, plane and cargo ship delays, vehicle breakdowns, driver errors, and customer rescheduling. Not forgetting, all the while, communicating in real-time with dozens of mobile applications and other systems. In each of these areas, there exists unlimited possibilities for entrepreneurs to come on board and work to fill the innovation and third party resource gaps.

Investments and acquisitions in IoT, supply chain and logistics companies are heating up. In 2014, Quintiq, another supply chain optimization startup, was acquired by Dassault Systems for $336M and Verizon recently complemented its acquisition of Networkfleet by acquiring Telogis and Fleetmatics for over $3.3 billion dollars. Companies such as Convoy ($62M) and Postmates ($278M) have only recently landed further investment. It’s clear we are witnessing the next stage of supply chain evolution, which is far more complex than optimizing the last mile. And, companies like Route4Me, who can deliver significant value by optimizing across the links in the supply chain, may help shape our future.

How Good Logistics Makes eCommerce Companies Great

According to the National Retail Federation, the eCommerce industry is growing at an incredible rate of an estimated 8-12 percent in 2017. Total retail sales are expected to grow 3.7-4.2percent in 2017, excluding cars, gas stations, and restaurant sales, according to CNBC. And consumer expectations are also getting more demanding, with a recent report finding that 70 percent of executives see supply chain costs continuing to rise as they scramble to provide the delivery options demanded by customers. With 70 percent say that the cost of fulfilling and delivering online orders erodes gross margins, according to the Seventh Annual State of the Retail Supply Chain report from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), what can eretailers do to help improve the last mile of delivery for efficiency and cost-effectiveness?

According to route sequencing and optimization software platform provider Route4Me, when you have a route planner, it’s much easier to satisfy these demands. Using a route planner can help retailers:

  • Plan routes effortlessly. Route planning can be complicated, particularly when drivers must figure in traffic, weather, construction, customer availability, and other factors. Using a Using a road trip planner with multiple stops ensures that your routes are accurate and efficient, ensuring timely delivery. And while manual route planning can take hours, a driving route planner can do the job in just 30 seconds.
  • Catch mistakes before they cause problems. Typing in “Road” instead of “Drive” could cost your drivers valuable delivery time, putting them behind schedule and wasting resources. Using a route planner app helps to catch errors before they can affect the route. And when paired with the best route mapping software, you can connect to your eCommerce platform and access customer data directly, saving time and eliminating the risk of data entry errors.
  • Track your drivers and vehicles. Real-time vehicle tracking capabilities ensure that your drivers are where they are supposed to be and how fast they are getting there. This allows you to check in with a particular driver to ensure that they are staying on schedule.

In just one example of how such platforms can help, online ethical food retailer Ten Mile Menu recently adopted dynamic route planning and scheduling software from Maxoptra and has seen significant reduction in the time it takes to route and schedule its weekly deliveries and in the actual delivery times, as Van Fleet World reported.

Steve Sidhu, founder of Ten Mile Menu, said: “Since implementing Maxoptra, the time taken to plan weekly deliveries has been reduced by 75 percent, and the time taken to complete the delivery schedule has been slashed by up to an hour and half a day. Interestingly, on our rural routes, the changes made by Maxoptra were relatively simple, but they have had a big impact on efficiency and idling times and, without Maxoptra, the planning of city center routes would simply be impossible.

“As we continue to expand, I am confident that Maxoptra will come into its own as a management tool. From any connected device, anywhere in the world, I will be able to keep an eye on deliveries, making sure drivers stick to their schedules and exhibit appropriate driving behavior.”

How Amazon is changing supply chain thinking … and mayhap trucking too.

So now that that the initial hoopla surrounding Amazon’s purchase of high-end grocery store chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion – a company with 431 supermarkets and 91,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom that is also Amazon’s largest acquisition to date – it’s time to start thinking about this deal’s supply chain implications.

And make no mistake: those implications will impact trucking big time as well.

Let’s start with some observations by Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International and a well-known supply chain and retail operations strategy expert.

He noted in a recent white paper – entitled Food Fight: Discovering Eight Truths of the New Era of Retail – that the “foundation” for Amazon’s growth model to date has been the realization that forward deployed inventory on a massive scale produces unit delivery costs that are lower, shipping distances that are shorter, and customer satisfaction that is higher.

“The real genius behind Amazon’s model was the insight to turn its supply chain infrastructure into a collaborative platform,” Tompkins pointed out. “Greater volumes drive lower costs and lower prices, thereby attracting higher volumes.”

That’s a critical insight because “one needs to be aware that the margins in food retailing [are] substantially lower than in non-food retailing,” he stressed.

Yet the total retail and food service market is big business in the U.S., with revenues topping $5.32 trillion in 2015, which is what is makes the “food business” attractive to any company. And while online grocery sales are only a very tiny portion of that market – they topped just $20 billion in 2016, which is only expected to hit $100 billion by 2025 – George Shchegolev, co-founder and vice president of operations at software provider Route4Me, believes that Amazon is looking to use its Whole Foods acquisition in a very “non-traditional” manner, at least where grocery stores are concerned.

“Amazon rarely moves in a straightforward way. They’re strategic thinkers, chess players. They plan ahead,” he explained recently.

“Amazon has been able to convince people to pay for its Amazon Prime service by offering free two-day shipping to subscribers [and] that offer will be harder to fulfill as more and more people sign up.”

Yet as noted previously, Whole Foods has over 460 stores worldwide – and those stores now belong to Amazon, which can now use their physical spaces as distribution centers for all kinds of deliveries.

“These locations offer quality in addition to quantity,” Shchegolev noted.

“Whole Foods isn’t Walmart. It’s a high-end store with high prices to match, so they’re generally located in affluent areas where residents have disposable income to throw around,” he pointed out. “That demographic – high income, urban residence – is more likely to sign up for Amazon Prime than most. By snatching up Whole Foods and hundreds of centrally-located stores, Amazon has improved its physical infrastructure significantly. Delivering orders within one to two days will be much easier for them, even as they continue to grow.”

That’s a view echoed by David Ross, managing director of the transportation & logistics research group at Stifel Capital Markets, who emphasized that in addition to opening a “new cache” of fresh, organic produce and specialty grocery to its customer base, Amazon deliveries originating from the Whole Foods’ store infrastructure would provide baseload density upon which it can “layer” conventional parcels, which translates into lower last mile delivery costs.

“That same brick-and-mortar presence gives Amazon an immediate network of locations for in-store pickup, drop-off locations for consolidating returns, and new locations to install parcel lockers for 24-hour service and/or customers that don’t want to wait in line,” he pointed out in a research note issued back in late June.

“Faster delivery is often cost-prohibitive, as existing national and super-regional parcel delivery networks were not set up for same day or even next day speed on a relatively low-cost basis,” Ross said.

“Consumers are usually unwilling to pay up for the extra service, in our view, which means that for now, same day remains only a niche,” he stressed. “The solution that Amazon has found, in our view, is to drive inventory closer and closer to the consumer, thus reducing the length and cost of the last mile stem. Theoretically, Whole Foods’ existing store infrastructure is the next evolution of that model, allowing Amazon to position not just grocery and fresh foods, but also traditional e-commerce inventory at the neighborhood level.”

So how does trucking get affected by all of this? Think about tractor-trailers and straight trucks not only resupplying Whole Foods stories with groceries but also using them as pickup and drop-off locations for all sorts of other goods being bought and returned by Amazon customers online.

And there’s potentially a lot of extra value in closer management of a “reverse logistics” chain, Ross noted.

“Even though 10% to 40% of goods bought online today are returned, depending on company and product segment, this is still an area typically neglected,” he said. “Most – over half – of items returned are in salable condition and should be put back in inventory as soon as possible to keep inventories low, while maintaining margins and avoiding stock-outs.”

And it that is all part of providing consumers with “maximum choice,” Ross stressed, whether they are buying a product or returning it.

“Of course, choice has a cost: choice means higher inventory costs, higher transport costs, and higher returns,” Ross explained. “So we wonder if this will be reflected in higher pricing at some point. We believe it should.”

And maybe – just maybe – truckers will get a piece of that “higher pricing” too, in lanes that are more short-haul in nature and thus conceivably more attractive to drivers.

We’ll see what develops.

Dynamic route optimization solution

Route4Me, Inc., Fort Lee, N.J., launched Dynamic Route Optimization, a comprehensive platform that uses big data, data science and machine learning to optimize multi-driver/multi-destination routes. Furthermore, Dynamic Route Optimization is now available on the Geotab Marketplace, which provides customers with dynamic route sequencing and optimization software integrated with Geotab’s real-time vehicle tracking platform.

Key features of the Route4Me and Geotab platform integration are:

Mobile app. Companies can send routes directly from Route4Me to the driver’s Route4Me mobile app and benefit from proof-of-delivery, signature capture and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation.

High-speed real-time dynamic route optimization. This automatically creates multi-driver, multi-depot routes, accounting for variables such as predictive traffic, predictive weather, dynamic orders, dynamic dispatch, recurring routes, multiple customer time windows, volumetric and capacitated planning and load sequencing.

Interactive customer alerts and portal. End-users can see the location of an inbound Geotab-enabled vehicle on their smartphone, as well as receive alerts by SMS, email and voice call notifying them of inbound or scheduled driver visits, while interacting with the system to cancel or delay visits without human intervention.

Visualize and analyze route performance. Route4Me uses Geotab vehicle tracking data to reveal on a map, in real-time, how vehicles and drivers actually drive their routes compared to how the optimized routes were planned. Route deviations, late arrivals, time window violations and other alerts are tracked, displayed and trended using dashboards and reports.

Route4Me, Inc.
888-552-9045

http://route4me.com

How Will Amazon Buying Whole Foods Affect The Delivery Industry?

It’s hard to imagine now, but Amazon used to be nothing more than an online bookstore.

That was back in 1994. Since then, Amazon has started selling DVDs, clothes, furniture, and just about everything else you can imagine.

They do more than just sell stuff online now, too. Amazon has become a big player in the cloud computing, video streaming, and film production industries.

Surely you’ve already heard about their latest move. On June 16, Amazon announced that they were buying grocery chain, Whole Foods, for $13.7 billion. This acquisition has huge implications for not just the food delivery industry, but the delivery industry in general.

WHAT’S MORE VALUABLE: GROCERY STORES OR DISTRIBUTION HUBS?

Amazon has been in the food delivery game for a couple years now with AmazonFresh. So, buying Whole Foods seems on the service to be mostly about gaining a bigger share of the grocery market.

That makes sense. After all, online grocery sales topped $20 billion in 2016, and that figure is expected to hit $100 billion by 2025. There’s a lot of money to be made here. But Amazon rarely moves in a straightforward way. They’re strategic thinkers, chess players. They plan ahead.

Amazon has been able to convince people to pay for its Amazon Prime service by offering free two-day shipping to subscribers. That offer will be harder to fulfill as more and more people sign up.

Whole Foods has over 460 stores worldwide. These stores now belong to Amazon, and Amazon can use these physical spaces as distribution centers for deliveries. These locations offer quality in addition to quantity. Whole Foods isn’t Walmart. It’s a high-end store with high prices to match, so they’re generally located in affluent areas where residents have disposable income to throw around.

That demographic – high income, urban residence – is more likely to sign up for Amazon Prime than most. By snatching up Whole Foods and hundreds of centrally-located stores, Amazon has improved its physical infrastructure significantly. Delivering orders within one to two days will be much easier for them, even as they continue to grow. Courier companies everywhere need to watch out. Amazon is coming.

It can be difficult to turn a decent profit with all this competition. To thrive, you’ll need to make your business more efficient with high-tech tools like route planning and GPS tracking software.

車輛管理App Route4Me在Geotab市集上架

Route4Me宣布在開放式物聯網車輛管理平台Geotab市集上架,Geotab客戶將可下載Route4Me的導航與路線優化軟體,並與Geotab的即時車輛追蹤平台進行整合。

FleetOwner報導,Route4Me和Geotab整合後將可提供許多功能,例如公司可以直接從 Route4Me傳送路線到司機的Route4Me行動App,這樣司機可以證實完成送貨、簽名,並且可以詳細的導航。

另外,即時的動態路線優化,可自動提供多位司機路線指引,並考量各種變數,包括預測性交通、氣候等。互動式客戶警示,讓使用者用智慧型手機掌握車輛位置,並透過訊息、E-mail或語音通知車輛抵達。

Route4Me使用Geotab的車輛追蹤數據,可以及時顯示司機真正開車的路線,並與最優化的路線做比對。透過儀表板和報告,可以清楚看到路線偏移、遲到、違反時間規定、以及其他事件。

Geotab和Route4Me整合了彼此的解決方案,讓中小企業與大型企業都能使用即時的車用資通訊和動態路線優化功能。Route4Me執行長Dan Khasis表示,Geotab的高精準度GPS追蹤,讓客戶隨時保持連線,自動取得資訊;而Route4Me的預測分析,確保企業可以得到最優化結果。

Geotab執行長Neil Cawse表示,Route4Me讓Geotab客戶能使用最符合直覺的路徑優化軟體,這樣的整合,可以提升客戶滿意度,並降低車輛的里程與駕駛時間,進而提升企業生產力與獲利。

Cloud-based platform optimizes route planning, navigation

Route4Me Inc., a route-optimization-as-a-service company established in 2009, updated its route planning, sequencing and optimization platform, Route Optimization Solution, which is designed to help people and companies find the most efficient route to their destinations, from single trips to multiple destinations. The system provides essential coordinates and real-time updates to help mobile workers and companies with large fleets plan and complete trips.

Route4Me

By capturing locations from smartphones and third-party telematics systems, the Route4Me platform enables business owners to track drivers in real time. Drivers’ mobile apps, connected to a Route4Me company account, automatically update travel and arrival times in a continuously updated manifest.

“Route4Me’s mobile Android and iPhone apps synchronize routes, enable two-way communication with drivers and offer turn-by-turn directions and delivery confirmation,” said Parker Woodward, Vice President of Strategic Relationships at Route4Me. “Our operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning and big data to plan, optimize and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.”

Automated check-in, geo-fencing

Route4Me noted that its auto check-in feature facilitates automatic check-ins and measures performance against dynamic estimated arrival times. The system logs in arrivals and can detect when drivers deviate from planned routes. It also improves safety by eliminating the need for drivers to manually check in to destinations using their mobile phones.

A geo-fencing module enables planners to notify customers by text or phone call when a driver is approaching or is behind schedule. The location-based technology uses the global positioning system, cellular tower triangulation, Wi-Fi signal detection and radio frequency identification to define geographical boundaries and create a virtual zone that helps drivers efficiently and automatically plan their routes, the company stated.

Combining auto check-in with geo-fencing can save businesses with fleets of 100 drivers as much as 55 hours a day, which is equivalent to adding seven drivers to a fleet at no additional cost, Woodward noted.

Route sequencing simplified

Route4Me said it can help businesses and drivers optimize their routes by properly sequencing multiple destinations. The technology organizes a sequence of addresses according to the shortest distance and shortest time by detecting traffic patterns in real time while planning a route. The system’s planning engine assigns routes to registered users and can be integrated into third-party applications such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Xero and Salesforce.com. Users can upload spreadsheet data directly into the app to manage multiple team members, vehicles and routes. The company’s route optimization system also includes vehicle management and tracking, route management, driving directions, financial reporting, data exporting and importing, heat density maps, and synchronized notes. The system supports spreadsheet files containing raw data, addresses and various fixed attributes and custom information.

Freemium-to-premium plans

Prospective subscribers can choose from plans and subscriptions available at Route4Me’s website, Apple’s App Store or the Google Play app store. Plans can be tailored to meet the needs of individual users and organizations, and include a free, seven-day trial option. Route4Me described the subscription types as follows:

  • Mobile subscriptions: Apps for mobile subscriptions, which enable users to plan up to 10 unique routes per month at no charge, can be downloaded for free from the Apple and Google app stores. Mobile-only users who exceed monthly minimums can enroll in mobile subscription plans within the mobile apps. These apps provide a complete mobile experience on connected devices.
  • Web subscriptions: Route4Me web plans offer advanced features and functionality and can be purchased directly from the Route4Me website. Web subscribers can upload multiple address spreadsheets and manage routing for multiple drivers using live maps.

Route4Me has over 5,000 customers in 100 countries and offers customized and packaged plans for a broad range of businesses, industries and distributors. “We help anyone from a small merchant to a multibillion-dollar hub and work with numerous sales channel partners and resellers,” Woodward stated.

Route Optimization Solution [New Products]

Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Optimization technology accommodates routes of varying complexity having any number of routes or stops per route.

The software is designed to save hours of daily route planning time, while reducing operating costs by up to 40%. Route4Me is currently available on the iPhone, Android and Web.

Feature highlights include:

• Individual driver routing;

• Multiple driver routing;

• Multiple driver routing with advanced constraints;

• iPhone, iPad, Android synchronization;

• Real-time tracking and breadcrumbs;

• Team management;

• Projected ETAs;

• Customer mapping;

• Automatic route eliminator;

• Real-time dynamic ETAs;

• Sign-on glass electronic signatures;

• Visual route timeline.

Route4Me Inc.

Geotab telematics marketplace adds Route4Me application

Route optimization software provider Route4Me Inc. will now offer its product on the Geotab Marketplace, a collection of commercial telematics applications.

Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Optimization platform uses big data, data science, and machine learning to optimize multidriver and multidestination routes, the Fort Lee, N.J.-based company said.

Route4Me’s route sequencing and optimization software will now be integrated with Geotab Inc.’s real-time vehicle tracking platform. Together, the platforms will enable users to increase the number of deliveries per route while cutting mileage and drive time, Geotab CEO Neil Cawse said in a release.

Toronto-based Geotab provides open-platform fleet management solutions that help businesses manage their drivers and vehicles by extracting intelligence from real-time and historical trips data. Geotab makes both hardware, with its global positioning system (GPS) vehicle tracking device, and software, with its MyGeotab web-based fleet management platform.

The company complements those products with its Geotab Marketplace, a collection of about 200 third party applications that provide customers with a variety of commercial telematics add-ons. In addition to Route4Me, other products in the Geotab Marketplace include integrations ranging from TMW Systems Inc.’s transportation management software (TMS) to FourKites Inc.’s real-time load tracking service and others.

“Geotab and Route4Me have brought together two powerful solutions that drive value to help SMB through enterprise level businesses, such as last-mile delivery companies, field service, field marketing, and field sales organizations to get the combined benefit of real-time telematics and dynamic route optimization,” Route4Me CEO Dan Khasis said in a release.

“Geotab’s high-precision GPS tracking enables customers to stay synchronized, ensuring that the optimal dispatch sequence is safely and automatically accessible,” Khasis said. “Furthermore, Geotab’s rich vehicle data coupled with Route4Me’s predictive analytics solution enables businesses to take action and optimize results.”

Route4Me adds driver auto check-in feature for route planning

Route4Me recently announced that it has added an auto check-in feature for drivers to its cloud-based route sequencing and optimization platform.

The new feature uses dynamic geo-fencing to eliminate the need for drivers to check in and out of multiple locations manually every day.

“When combined with our high-speed route sequencing and optimization capabilities, the new feature enhances an already powerful tool by showing users a planned versus actual route in real-time,” says George Shchegolev, Route4Me’s co-founder and vice president of operations. “Auto check-in also provides tighter control over field personnel, virtually eliminating
the need for more training and hours of non-billable wasted time.”

Route4Me’s new auto check-in feature lets businesses specify a proximity shape and size for stops on their
route and the amount of time it takes to trigger an automatic check in either in seconds or as a percentage of the
expected time on site.

In addition, the feature updates dynamic estimated arrival times in the manifest and log when a driver deviates from a planned route, enabling businesses to detect when drivers are “freestyling.” Drivers can still manually enter their arrival and departure time, and both data sets are stored and available for analysis.

“The more drivers a business has, the bigger the savings,” says Shchegolev. “Businesses with 100 drivers
visiting 100 locations a day each will save about 55 hours per day using this feature. Productivity-wise, it’s like
adding seven drivers to a fleet at no additional cost.”

The new feature also improves safety on the road, because drivers using Route4Me do not have to look at their
phone to manually “check in.” Route4Me plans to link its geo-fencing capability with its forthcoming customer
messaging and notification module. The module will automatically notify customers by text message or phone
call when a driver is approaching or is going to be late.

Route4Me Announces New Program To Help MapPoint Users

Route4Me, Inc. recently introduced a new onboarding program designed specifically to help Microsoft MapPoint users move to Route4Me.

“Our new onboarding program makes the transition to Route4Me quick and painless,” says Bjorn Orvar, the director of marketing.  “Every MapPoint user gets free onboarding and training from an assigned small business routing expert. Plus, they have a single point of contact throughout the process. Route4Me proprietary route sequence optimization engine has already eliminated over 40 billion wasted driving miles, making it ideal for today’s business owners.”

As an added incentive, Route4Me is also providing MapPoint users a free 7-day trial period—with no credit card needed. Businesses can take immediate advantage of Route4Me’s new program by calling 1-888-552-9045 or visiting the company’s newly created MapPoint center.

Route4Me’s MapPoint program consists of four easy steps. The steps are:

  • Your Route4Me trial account is created and set-up
  • Route4Me helps you import your data from Map Point
  • A routing expert will plan your first routes by remote screen-sharing
  • Route4Me opperators will train you, your employees and provide support through process for free

Once the onboarding is completed, former MapPoint users gain access to one of the most reachable customer support department in the route planning industry. Support options include live chat support, e-mail support, an extensive knowledge base with videos, weekly open question and answer sessions, and business hours phone support.

“Small businesses are often hesitant to make unnecessary software changes due to perceived costs and risks. The good news is that Route4Me works in a regular web-browser and on iPhone/Android devices, so businesses can now get state-of-the-art mapping and optimization software without fear that it won’t work on their existing office computers. The customer will never have to purchase a server,” said George Shchegelov, VP operations and co-founder.

Microsoft discontinued MapPoint in 2014 and is no longer offering map updates or improving optimization algorithms. Route4Me says that the program is simple and easy to use, it is available on the Mac, PC, iPhone, iPads, Android. Route4Me says that it optimally sequences routes of almost any size in seconds and geocodes tens of thousands of addresses in minutes.

5 Free Apps to Save You Money on Gas

Whether you’re planning the road trip of the century or just trying to get to work this summer, gas prices are likely on your mind. Your smartphone can be a powerful tool in your quest to find the cheapest way to fill up your tank and make those precious gallons last.

Waze

Platform: iOSAndroidWindows Phone If you’ve got a long drive ahead, then Waze is about to become your best friend. The mobile app will direct you around traffic and let you know if you’re approaching an accident or red light camera. When you need fuel, Waze will show you the closest station and lowest price nearby. Focus your search on stations that are on your travel route, so you don’t waste gas backtracking or traveling off course. Or have the app just show you a particular brand of stations so you can maximize the credit card rewards points. And when you do find the perfect spot, Waze offers discounts at several stations.

GasBuddy

Platform:iOSAndroidWindows PhoneBlackBerryWeb GasBuddy is the mother of all gas apps; it can help you find a station based on gas prices or distance, and relies on its users to keep prices up to date. On the web version you can check out the average cost of a gallon in your town (or the destination of your next road trip), as well as view a heat map of what gas prices look like right now across the nation.

GasGuru

Platform:iOSAndroid GasGuru was created by YP (yes, as in YellowPages). In addition to finding cheap gas near you, GasGuru has a cool feature that allows you to save locations so you can check out the gas prices where you’re going as well. For instance, you might save your home and office address into GasGuru, and pull up both to figure out where it will be cheaper to fill up.

MyMPG

Platform:iOS Saving gas money isn’t just about finding the cheapest price at the pump. It also has a lot to do with how you drive. MyMPG is an iOS app that tracks your driving techniques and offers suggestions on how you could be more efficient behind the wheel. If you’re wasting gas by being a little too heavy on the accelerator, for instance, the app can warn you by playing a tone. RELATED: 20 Ways to Save Gas This Summer Small adjustments each time you drive can add up to big savings in the long term. The company estimates that changing how you use the accelerator in your car could save you up to $650 a year in fuel. The app tracks your improvement over time and can manage data for up to four different vehicles simultaneously.

Route4Me

Platform: iOSAndroid Sure, Google Maps can be great when you want to find the most efficient route to one location, but what do you do when you need to make a dozen stops? Route4Me helps you save time and gas by creating the most efficient route that hits all the stops you need (up to 200 at a time!). That means you won’t end up zig-zagging across town to do errands or drop off friends after an event.

Route4Me: Route and optimize showings on the go

Realtors drive a lot. No big secret there.

Previewing or showing homes to your real estate clients can be a real pain sometimes depending on the number of homes, tight time frames, dealing with other agents and tenants schedules, etc.

So, how cool would it be to have an app that allowed you to put in multiple destinations, and be able to optimize a route for you based on distance, time or traffic issues?

I’ll answer that for you.  It’s REALLY cool.

Route4Me makes multi-destination trips quick and easy though. Unlike traditional maps or navigation systems, Route4Me gives you the most optimal route when you need to go more than one place.

Check out the demo video below to see Route4Me in action:

Save time, money, and miles by optimizing your routes. Download Route4Me today.

Is Route4Me the Solution to Routes with Multiple Destinations?

 

If you ever use a mapping app to get you from one place to another you have probably wished at some point to be able to create a route with more than one destination. In Maps, you can create bookmarks for multiple locations and reorder them, but there isn’t a way to plot more than one at a time to make a logical route from beginning to end.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life’s Tip of the Day Newsletter and we’ll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Route4Me is a free iOS app that allows me to input up to 10 addresses and then sit back while the app generates a starting and ending point. Although many of the mapping apps I have will allow inputting more than one address, only Route4Me will optimize the order in which I visit them.

Unfortunately the app does not include voice-guided navigation (it may be included in later updates), but does include written directions. So the way I use this app is to generate the order of stops in Route4Me, then bookmark the locations in Maps in that order. Then when I am done at one location, I simply tap the next bookmark and let Maps navigate me from where I am to my next location. It is a bit of a work around, but still is a great time saver.

Imagine you are on vacation and want to take a day trip to see a number of sites. Since you most likely are not familiar with the area, rather than spend a long time trying to plot out the shortest route, just let Route4Me do it for you.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life’s Tip of the Day Newsletter and we’ll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.