or companies with field service operations, route planning is at the core of service provision. This is because it offers the possibility to optimise any available resources. Unnecessary detours or downtimes are kept as low as possible with best-of-breed software solutions and the administrative effort for scheduling also remains low. Once a company has decided on the right software for route planning, it is additionally faced with the choice of whether to purchase the software or to use Software as a Service, or SaaS for short, as a cloud-based solution.
SAAS ROUTE PLANNING WITH A LOW START-UP INVESTMENT
The SaaS model offers companies a key advantage of low start-up investment, and route planning software is no different. The purchasing organisation does not have the inital outlay of an investment in expensive IT infrastructure, and can rely upon managed servers and minimal downtimes to enjoy a smooth user experience. Rather, access to the cloud and the software's tools and features is simply established through web services. Even companies with a small budget and a small or outsourced IT department can easily benefit from the advantages of modern systems.
A QUICK START WITH SAAS - CLOUD-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASED FLEXIBILITY
Long lead times for the introduction of new software may be eliminated with SaaS. This is because the system is already fully implemented on the cloud with updates and bug fixes already pushed through, in the background. Finance a C-Level teams can be further assured that costs stay in line with budgets as setting up access to the cloud is usually done in just a few minutes and the company can get a jump-start with scheduling training and route dispatch.
FURTHER ADVANTAGES OF SAAS FOR IT DEPARTMENTS
As soon as a company purchases route and tour planning software on-premise, it becomes responsible for its own IT administration - at least with first- and second-line support. Especially for small companies, this task is hardly manageable and finding the necessary specialised staff is a cost risk. Choosing the SaaS model means companies of any size can use their route planning software investment without worry. Selecting the right software provider means selecting 'always on' support channels for IT administration. This saves the user a considerable amount of effort and thus also reduces internal pressures that may spill over into everyday service. Such valuable services include;
- Problem solving as requirements change, such as new ERP and CRM
Dashboards and developer tools mean a quick response to an error and 99.9% uptime. Regular and highly-tested updates keep the route planning software up to date and when available, expand it with innovative functions.
TRANSPARENT COSTS THROUGH A SAAS SUBSCRIPTION MODEL
When purchasing a route planning software on-premise, it can be difficult to precisely estimate the costs for ongoing operation. This is because they fluctuate, sometimes considerably, when licenses go unused, or when hardware becomes outdated. With SaaS, providers give access to the services actually used and provide tracking data for management information. In this way, organisations keep their costs under control and can also learn quickly of their return on investment.
If, contrary to expectations, there is no advantage to be gained from using the route planning software (such as a change of structure or services offered), the services can be cancelled promptly. The cost risk for the introduction of a route planning software is therefore low.
ACCESS FROM ALL DEVICES AND LOCATIONS - REDUCING VPN COSTS
With a cloud solution, access to the route planning software is straightforward through web services. Therefore, from deployment day, all devices and all locations can access the software. This paperless way of working cuts costs between customer services, head office dispatch, and of course, field staff (field employees can access works data and communicate back at any time).
MORE TIME FOR THE IMPORTANT THINGS
SaaS in the appointment scheduling and route planning arena offers companies the opportunity to concentrate on important strategic objectives. When the requirement for optimised scheduling becomes elevated to decision makers, companies should not feel it necessary to worry that ongoing hosting and maintenance will be at the cost of other business departments.
CONCLUSION: SAAS AS A FUTURE-PROOF MODEL
SaaS has long been held as a promising, future-proofed model for many industries. It continues to offer simplified access to best-of-breed software solutions through a low initial investment, low administration costs, and high cost transparency. In addition, SaaS is very quickly adopted and deployed. Regular updates and rapid bug-fixing ensure that the system is always up to date. Furthermore, new functions are integrated at regular intervals (with the opportunity to test them first), so that companies may always remain at the cutting edge of technology, and gain quickly from their competitive advantage.