The Power of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to Bring Agility and Efficiencies to the Last Mile

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The Power of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to Bring Agility and Efficiencies to the Last Mile

By Justin Corbell, Vice President of Sales, Scandit

Year-on-year growth in parcel volumes is forecasted to be between 17% and 18% to 2021, according to a survey conducted by Pitney Bowes. Key PPE (Post, Parcel & Express) market players are understandably keen to secure their share of such a booming industry, driven mainly by the upward trend in e-commerce. 

But for those operating against a constantly challenging commercial landscape – characterized by unexpected disruption, seasonal peaks, high volumes and customer demands for same day delivery – it’s a race against the clock to see who can increase last mile efficiencies and be agile enough to fulfill such exponential demand, while keeping costs down. 

The gig economy presents both challenges and opportunities. On the one hand it gives instant access to a large pool of extra resource (one-third of all US workers alone are part of the gig economy, according to Forbes) but on the other hand, increasing a workforce quickly, usually on a temporary basis, to accommodate hikes in delivery volumes, can often lead to inexperienced people being hired who most likely require training in typical, yet vital last mile workflows, including parcel-scanning or proof of delivery. 

A BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy is increasingly an attractive answer to how best to cost effectively flex up your delivery resource and onboard people quickly to meet seasonal spikes in demand. It’s a growing trend for many sectors, including PPE, with the BYOD market set to reach an eye-watering $367 billion by 2022, up from just $30 billion in 2014, according to BetaNews.

Many more reasons why BYOD makes sense in the Last Mile

Using a fast, accurate scanning-enabled mobile app on an employee’s own device automatically gives them a familiar user experience to carry out essential last mile tasks, like remote pickup or search & find. 

A BYOD strategy combined with Scandit’s assured scanning performance enables employees to quickly scan parcels, view information and redirect them immediately using their own smart device, even lower-end models. With Scandit, every driver is equipped with an enterprise-grade scanner that works in the most challenging of environments such as low light, awkward angles and damaged codes.

Once implemented, the benefits of BYOD are quickly realized in more motivated staff, faster workflows, and a reduction in costs by as much as 70% compared to using dedicated scanning hardware over the solution’s lifecycle. And with no need to own, stock, manage or maintain company devices, it’s not surprising cost savings are made – even after taking account of any BYOD employee incentive schemes (such as a data usage reimbursement policy).

BYOD also opens up accessibility to local pick up locations as they no longer need to invest in dedicated scanning hardware. Employees simply download the company’s mobile app to start scanning. This increases the potential of extra customers using locations that were previously out of reach.

Yodel successfully delivered BYOD with super-fast smartphone scanning from Scandit

Forward-thinking PPE businesses have already discovered the sweet spot of opportunity BYOD offers to sprint the last mile. For instance, premium UK delivery service company Yodel, replaced hand-held terminals with a mobile app running on a smartphone powered by Scandit barcode scanning and augmented reality (AR).  The app, deployed seamlessly to 600 users initially, has transformed Yodel’s on-the-road courier experience: 

“The app allows us to scan as soon as you get near the barcode – no more having to zoom in and out or making sure the parcel is out of any light – it’s even scanning broken barcodes. I seem to be delivering faster, as this technology is speeding me up.” Tania Pinkerton, courier for Yodel

Scandit support was considered essential to the success of the programme that will continue in 2020 with a clear roadmap for future innovation. Read more about Yodel’s switch to smartphone scanning.

Three key considerations for BYOD in the last mile

Like Yodel, Scandit has helped many PPE businesses run successful BYOD strategies, increase agility and drive efficiency, with superior scanning integrated into enterprise apps. We’ve helped enterprises deploy a BYOD approach on many thousands of active smart devices worldwide, including over 2,000 different device models. 

Drawing on this experience from helping the likes of Nacex, PostNL and DPD Russia,, here are some important considerations when weighing up the value of a BYOD strategy to your last mile digital transformation. 

1. Consider an employee incentive plan

Developing an incentive plan for employees is quite common to support successful BYOD adoption. Reimbursing data usage, offering device discounts and providing accessories like chargers and phone cases are among ways of engaging staff. Reimbursement costs are on average one-tenth of the cost of a dedicated scanner. So even after factoring in generous incentives, you’ll find the cost of BYOD is still considerably less that the cost of providing dedicated scanners.

2. Consider security and usage

There is no doubt in our digital world, device security is top of the agenda, especially given the rise in cybercrime over recent years. Scandit recommends a clear security and usage policy combined with a robust mobile device management (MDM) solution. Invariably businesses using mobile communication already have an MDM in place that can easily be reconfigured for employee devices at no extra cost.  Benefits of an MDM include the maintenance of security control levels and control of device usage, despite them not being corporately-owned.  

3. Consider how BYOD affects device breakage and loss

The beauty of BYOD is it gives employees the much-liked option of being able to use their own familiar devices. However, one of the recurring concerns around BYOD is device loss or damage and the perceived spiralling costs of device replacement. 

This perception isn’t borne out by real world deployments. When comparing company-owned devices, some of Scandit’s clients actually experience lower breakage and loss rates with BYOD devices. This is mainly because employees are more inclined to look after their own personal device than they would a company device. And even if a BYOD device is broken or lost, you’d need to replace three or four mobile devices to equal the cost of a single dedicated scanning device. 

“Using the smartphone for Last Mile delivery is so inexpensive that its effectively free to replace if the driver loses or breaks it.” Sven Poppelmann, CTO, Farmdrop

BYOD best practice to unlock savings, satisfy staff and tackle peaks

Learn more about best practice considerations and implementation for BYOD in the Last Mile in our guide here.

Do you want to learn more about how Scandit mobile computer vision can help you sprint the Last Mile? Contact us today.