2020 is bringing great change in last mile delivery. The pandemic response demonstrates how quickly market opportunities can open up for nimble companies that act decisively. And Scandit mobile computer vision technology helps companies to pivot.
The COVID-19 crisis mirrors the challenges of scaling for holiday ramp-ups, but with the added step of keeping employees and customers safe — a crucial factor, but one that adds expense and can slow down deliveries.
Technology can help mitigate the challenge of scaling rapidly and reducing contact:
- Innovations in computer vision, machine learning and augmented reality (AR) are available in smartphones, tablets and wearables.
- These are powerful tools and familiar to most adults, shortening the time it takes for new workers to learn processes and technologies.
Scale at the Speed of Need
On one hand, last-mile delivery is a windfall to retailers as it draws in customers, but it can also be a curse because the logistics are cumbersome and expensive. Regardless, the adoption of last-mile delivery is growing at an exponential rate. So companies are faced with finding a flexible way to scale their workforce, while taking advantage of the opportunities that can appear in an instant.
Here are four ways that scanning with smart devices can help companies scale at the speed of opportunity:
1. Ramp Workers Quickly
Temporary, holiday, contract or permanent employees may come from a range of backgrounds, but most of them have used smart devices, which makes any training for tools on smart devices faster and easier.
Integrating Scandit Computer Vision scanning into delivery apps operating on smartphones and tablets is a simple way to shorten the lead time for workers to become proficient using these devices for scanning and other delivery tasks in the workflow. See how easy it is to transform workflows with high performance scanning on smart devices:
Scandit software brings high performance scanning to more than 20,000 mobile device types, so if a company employs a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy, chances are very high that Scandit will support employees’ devices.
With Scandit delivering scanning-capability, workers can now use one device for the full workflow, including, photos, mapping, text, AR, plus email and voice.
2. Technology Improves Customer Satisfaction and Saves Time
Scandit technology takes into account the nature of the delivery process and is designed to anticipate obstacles in delivery, such as changes in package delivery address or urgent instructions regarding the delivery. Over the course of a day, seconds add up and minutes tick away, making speed and accuracy that much more important.
AR and scanning can help drivers before and along the route
Scandit technology supports batch scanning, where workers scan barcodes on multiple packages at once. This hover and scan process saves time on each individual scan. Plus, the powerful scanning engine performs well even in suboptimal conditions such as in poor light, scanning from a distance and scanning at oblique angles.
The engine can scan damaged barcodes, but when those aren’t readable, Scandit’s OCR software can capture address and parcel information. See how smartphone scanning apps can match the performance or dedicated scanners:
This engine is bolstered by Scandit’s MatrixScan AR software which adds augmented reality capabilities into apps and workflows. For example, delivery companies can use it to provide real-time information about packages with clear visual indicators.
Scanning one or multiple barcodes displays any available augmented reality overlays that will instantly show important information on device screens.
This could show loading by route instructions, address changes, delivery requirements and special or urgent information, such as rerouting or hold information. These in-the-moment incremental gains of speed and accuracy improve the on-time delivery rate, and in turn, customer satisfaction.
“Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK provides scan speeds that we have not seen with open source mobile barcode scanning alternatives. The proprietary Scandit scanning engine is significantly faster and more accurate than any other mobile data capture platform we have used. We are a busy organization with a vast, complex delivery network, so the Scandit solution is a key tool for keeping operations running smoothly.”
Pavel Solovyov, Technical Support Director, DPD Russia
3. Reduce Costs
Costs are an extremely important consideration when scaling the workforce. Companies should closely examine the number of technologies or tools that must be employed for each worker throughout the workflow and seek to streamline the process and tools, recognizing that:
- One device that can be used throughout the workflow costs a fraction of the expense that multiple devices and instances of software can incur.
- Traditional scanners are typically substantially more expensive per device than rugged smartphones.
- As previously mentioned, BYOD with Scandit-powered apps offer a less expensive option, as there aren’t any device costs but high performance scanning is assured.
There are productivity savings as well. Workers need only employ their smartphones instead of seeking a dedicated scanner, moving to a computer or switching devices depending upon the task.
The scanning itself is fast, plus additional time savings are achieved whenever workers can scan multiple packages at one time via a hover or sweep over multiple barcodes. This saves additional labor, allowing more packages to be scanned faster.
By choosing smart device-based platforms, companies allow themselves greater flexibility to support new or next-generation technologies and innovations.
4. Smart Contactless Delivery: Safety is a Priority for Drivers and Customers
COVID-19 has drawn attention to worker safety throughout the delivery chain. Amazon provides updates on the company’s effort to protect workers, customers and communities via an ongoing blog. The federal government is doing its part too with published guidance on worker safety on the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA site.
Companies that seek to proactively protect employees and customers by engaging in safer practices such as frequent equipment disinfecting, the use of personal protective equipment and practicing social distancing are not only investing in worker health practices, but are also making a brand statement that the company cares about worker and customer safety.
UPS, for example, has a statement on its website that reads “As always, our highest priority is to help ensure the health and safety of our employees, customers, and suppliers while meeting our service commitments.”
Why not let the customer sign on their own device?
Scandit has addressed the dual issue of safety and security by creating a contactless proof of delivery app that allows package recipients to use their own phones to scan the barcode on their package and sign their own phone — with no need to touch a delivery person’s smart device.
The web app is available via Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK for the web and easily integrates into workflows. This web app works in the browser of any smart device. Delivery recipients don’t have to download an app to use it; it is accessed by reading a QR code or clicking on a link.
In addition to greatly cutting the risk of infection and demonstrating a commitment to worker and customer savings, yet ensures full visibility of proof of delivery. Companies can also save time and money by reducing the otherwise constant need to clean and disinfect devices.
Get a Running Start
Today’s increased demand for delivery represents opportunity. Scandit offers you flexibility, choices, and advantages to help you make future-proof choices to expand your delivery team.
Contact us today to get a demo of Scandit’s full solution in action. See how it can help you turn the last mile into a significant revenue opportunity.