How La Poste Went Smarter in the Last Mile (Video)
Smart data capture technology can trigger many improvements in the last mile. From improving efficiency and enhancing customer experience – to creating new enterprise services.
La Poste has made all of this happen. Since the early 2010s, it has been implementing smart data capture on smartphones to orchestrate deliveries in a whole new way.
In a recent Scandit webinar, we spoke with La Poste innovation manager Jose Vazquez about the company’s Factéo project to hand smart devices to all 18,000 delivery staff.
Key points include:
- How La Poste created an app for 18,000 delivery workers making 4m daily scans.
- How it developed and implemented the app – and what it learned along the way.
- How its Scandit-powered application goes beyond empowering workers.
He told us about the objectives, lessons learned, and how smart data capture can go beyond helping just postal delivery workers.
Here are some highlights from the webinar.
La Poste began its transformation to smart devices back in 2011. The aim was simple: modernize itself in the same way as it did when it replaced paper processes 30-to-40 years ago.
In the video Vazquez outlines:
- The aims behind the Factéo project.
- How this transformation was the biggest since the PCs and networks were introduced.
- The aim to change the way the company works.
Vazquez added: “The company wanted to connect much more easily with its customers and improve the quality of its service and boost customer relationships with end users and large companies.”
Transformation – creating new opportunities
Ultimately, the program was about making postal workers’ jobs easier. The smartphone’s many capabilities can be brought into play once it is able to accurately capture data.
And this brings additional commercial opportunities.
“When you deliver signed letters with a mobile device, you can do much more,” Vazquez said. “You can create services. For example, taking timed pictures or legal validations. This can become a new service that you can sell.”
The benefits of building a smart data capture application
La Poste has discovered it can be more adaptable in its services, and customers are noticing. It is not just about allowing customers to sign via mobile phones.
- Improved branding in the eyes of customers.
- The ability to be more agile while the post is out for delivery.
- More empowered postal delivery workers.
He said: “We are now able to be much more agile. You can expect a delivery at one address and then if you want, you can change the address or change the timing of the delivery.”
‘Test and Learn’ from a standing start
La Poste spent the project’s first two years in testing and development. At this point – in the 2010s – there were relatively few mobile projects deployed.
In this ‘test and learn’ phase. La Poste looked at:
- The mobile ecosystem – Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone.
- Put a plan in motion to test on 2,000 devices and get up to 90,000.
- Speaking with Google about adding more enterprise features.
Vazquez said: “During the first two years, we were more in the test and learn phase because of course at that time there were not so many mobile projects deployed.
“So we were the first in France, we were one of the first in Europe. And also the mobile ecosystem was not so ready.”
Importance of high-performance barcode scanning
Testing with end users is always crucial and reveals things that were missed in the development process. In this case, the postal workers flagged some serious issues with the barcode scanning, using an open source barcode scanner SDK.
Key video highlights:
- Postal workers complained about the barcode scanning in terms of speed and performance.
- They could only scan from front-on. Angles were a problem.
- Why La Poste benchmarked the options and opted for Scandit.
Vazquez said: “In 2018 we decided to embed the Scandit solution in our application. End users were satisfied with this new solution.
“They tested it in different conditions, sunny conditions, dark conditions, sometimes reflecting on the barcode. And we were happy to say that the Scandit technology was easier to use, and faster in terms of performance.”
La Poste’s application is in the hands of 18,000 delivery workers who collectively make 4 million scans a day. In peak periods, the number goes even higher.
To do this, the technology has to work. Both for the customers and the delivery workers themselves.
While the application is important. The fact the test app users flagged up the poor quality of the open source scanning engine proves the fundamentals need to be right.
Once that is in place, a whole new range of services can come into play.
Go here if you want to find out more about what Scandit did for La Poste. Or contact us to see how we can take your enterprise delivery application to the next level.