Data capture plays an essential role in today’s supply chain, for instance for tracking parcels across delivery with mobile barcode scanning. Traditionally, data capture for logistics is achieved with dedicated scanning hardware. However, modern logistics providers are increasingly replacing these with smartphone-based mobile scanners to improve efficiency and service throughout the last mile.
So what advantages do these mobile scanners offer for last mile logistics? And how can your company take advantage of these to gain a competitive edge? Let’s dive a bit deeper into how mobile scanners affect the last mile to find those answers.
The Evolution of Data Capture for Last Mile Logistics
The last mile of delivery is the most crucial step of the delivery process, where parcels and packages make their final journey into the hands of recipients. In an era of social distancing and surging eCommerce, the demand for seamless, accurate, and contact-free deliveries has never been higher. But as retailers and logistics providers deploy more workers and drivers to keep pace with this peak in demand, coordinating those deliveries and providing the quality of service customers expect becomes more challenging as well.
The solution for many logistics teams is surprisingly simple: replacing traditional scanning hardware with smart device-based mobile scanners. Thanks to advancements in mobile data capture technology, almost any camera-equipped smart device (from smartphones to tablets) can be transformed into a powerful data capture tool. These mobile scanning solutions match the performance and reliability of dedicated scanners—while introducing unique advantages to make last mile deliveries faster, safer, and infinitely scalable.
1. Scanning Efficiency
One of the greatest advantages of mobile scanners is that they can match the enterprise-grade performance of conventional scanning hardware, while leveraging new and innovative technologies to transform processes and further improve data capture efficiency. For example, rather than having to push a button when scanning each package with a conventional scanner, with a software-scanning solution you can upload the loading manifesto into the app, activate continuous scan mode and quickly capture multiple packages in one sequence to ensure loading is complete and accurate. It’s more ergonomic and efficient.
Another example is Scandit’s MatrixScan which allows users to locate, track, and decode several barcodes in a single scan, using visual feedback in the form of Augmented Reality overlays to communicate which barcodes have been successfully scanned.
This “multi-scanning” feature is invaluable for last mile delivery workflows, including identification and sorting of parcels. With a single scan of a pile of parcels with their smart devices, fleet drivers can use MatrixScan to more quickly load their vehicles with the correct packages at the warehouse or identify the correct item in seconds at the point of delivery, enabling highly efficient and dependable scanning operations.
Note: Want to see a real-world example of how Scandit technology makes last mile scanning more efficient? Explore our NACEX case study to learn how our solution doubled the scanning speeds of their last mile delivery drivers—and delivered significant time savings at each stop.
2. Contact-Free Deliveries
Mobile barcode scanning software allows last mile fleet drivers to sort and load their vehicles using their own camera-equipped smart devices—eliminating all physical contact with company-owned hardware. Mobile computer vision supports safe, contact-free delivery operations along every step of the last mile, from loading and sorting packages at the warehouse to capturing proof of delivery (PoD).
Proof of delivery is an essential step in verifying that customers receive the correct parcels. However, due to the need for social distancing, traditional proof of delivery (i.e. scanning paper delivery notes or signing for the delivery on the driver’s device) is no longer safe for drivers or recipients. That’s why last mile logistics teams are deploying smartphone-based mobile scanners to capture proof of delivery electronically and without any physical contact.
Our mobile scanning solution can also work in tandem with a contactless PoD web app to keep customers and delivery drivers safe and comfortable during this final phase of the last mile. All recipients have to do is open the web app on their own mobile device, then scan and sign for their package to complete the delivery. This innovative system eliminates paperwork and human error across PoD workflows, while ensuring proof of delivery is safely and accurately recorded, contact-free.
3. Reduced TCO
Another core advantage of mobile scanners for last mile logistics is their scalability and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to hardware-based solutions. Smart device-based scanners are significantly more affordable than traditional scanning hardware—allowing delivery teams to scale up operations without investing in expensive equipment for each temporary worker. In fact, mobile data capture software can even empower last mile workers to use their own smart devices as enterprise-grade handheld scanners.
This BYOD (bring your own device) approach dramatically reduces TCO for last mile logistics, enabling up to twice the savings versus dedicated scanning hardware. Best of all, with the Scandit solution, you won’t have to sacrifice speed or performance to achieve those IT cost savings. Our barcode scanning software is the fastest and most accurate technology of its kind, turning even the most basic smart devices into cost-efficient, high-performance data capture tools.
4. Ruggedness & Battery Performance
Thanks to the nature of last mile deliveries, fleet drivers need rugged and long-lasting scanning tools that can cope with heavy usage and the toughest conditions on the road. Thankfully, new-generation smart devices are becoming more and more rugged, with comparable drop and sealing specs vs. dedicated scanning devices. Scandit-powered smart devices can also be equipped with inexpensive, ultra-durable cases to excel across any last mile use case.
The latest generation of rugged smart devices also offer exceptional battery performance when powered by Scandit—in fact, the average number of scans per charge on a Samsung XCover Pro is 12,760, more than six times the average daily scan of around 2,000 per shift. Pair this with their remarkable scanning performance, and it’s no surprise why logistics teams worldwide leverage our solution throughout last mile workflows.
Master the Last Mile with Scandit
Ready to learn exactly how your enterprise can use mobile scanners to master the last mile and enable cost-effective digital transformation? Then be sure to read our free e-book on the subject. This best practices guide will teach you about the latest trends driving last mile innovation—and how your team can start taking advantage of mobile barcode scanning quickly with minimal up-front investment.
If you have additional questions or need more information, then connect with us today.