The “Last Mile” of a delivery is where the supply chain meets the end customer. It is a complex process, often handled by a third-party specialist, where visibility is crucial. Customers typically want to receive products next day or even sooner, necessitating a high degree of transparency to ensure smooth delivery performance and customer satisfaction.
Mobile barcode scanning is an ideal enabler for allowing both customers and Last Mile delivery providers to check on the status of deliveries as they are in transit. For customers, real-time visibility into deliveries validates guaranteed timeframes and also allows planning to receive parcels.
For Last Mile providers, real-time delivery visibility ensures that packages are traveling to the proper place at the proper time. Driver performance can be closely monitored to detect and resolve problems as or even before they happen, rather than having to wait until after the fact.
For example, New York-based CDL Last Mile Solutions is a high-volume overnight distribution service with a regional footprint, covering the New York/New Jersey Tri-State area. CDL also extends its business down the Eastern Seaboard through Northern Virginia via third-party partnerships.
CDL specializes in providing time-critical, ‘last mile’ delivery services on a same-day, next day or overnight basis, and boasts a 98% on-time delivery rate. The company provides client access to delivery data through an advanced tracking API with real-time integration. The extreme time sensitivity of CDL’s deliveries, as well as the high degree of visibility it offers clients, requires the company to closely monitor driver performance.
Using the MobileTek DE (Delivery Express) and MobileTek CORE apps, both of which are integrated with the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK scanning engine, CDL measures performance of drivers through GPS functions, proof of delivery activity, and scan accuracy. Supported by Scandit barcode scanning functionality, the MobileTek apps allow CDL customer service representatives and dispatchers, as well as customers, to have real-time visibility into deliveries.
Adam F. Autera, IT/Operations at CDL, cited the ease of using one device for both communications/GPS purposes and proof of delivery scanning.
“Making deliveries, a driver who has to hold a phone in one hand, and a hardware scanner in the other, has no more hands to handle the packages,” said Autera. “It is very clumsy and awkward.”
The analytical insight from real-time mobile barcode scanning enables CDL to identify strong and weak routes. In addition, since CDL uses a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, shifting scanning from dedicated devices to smartphones reduces driver costs while increasing compliance.
“The cost savings are substantial,’ said Autera. “Rather than lease an expensive mobile computer, like a Zebra MC65, from the company, the driver brings his own. The cost of weekly device rental, which is usually between $35-$45 per month, goes away. Multiplied by 150 drivers, that monthly savings is around $6000. Just as important is the savings in maintenance and headaches for the company in owning and leasing these devices out to the drivers.”