CDL Last Mile Solutions is a high-volume overnight distribution service with a regional footprint, covering the New York/New Jersey Tri-State area. The company also extends its business down the Eastern Seaboard through Northern Virginia via third-party partnerships.
Timing Is Everything
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. Most delivery drivers are contractors, although some are corporate employees. The company provides easy access to accurate tracking for clients of all sizes through an advanced tracking API with real-time integration.
Keeping Up with Challenges
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. Over a period of about 15 years, CDL built a proprietary mobile barcode scanning solution that ran on dedicated scanning devices.
However, as the capabilities of CDL’s in-house mobile barcode scanning solution grew, and customer expectations for tracking rose accordingly, CDL was unable to keep up and retain any kind of coherence in the system. Therefore, the company decided to implement a third-party mobile barcode scanning application.
Mobile Data Capture Delivers the Goods
CDL turned to MobileTek, a leading developer of smartphone-based barcode scanning apps for the carrier industry, to replace its proprietary solution for tracking and analyzing deliveries. 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 Scandit Advantage
According to Autera, the integration of Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK into the MobileTek DE and MobileTek CORE apps has been crucial to the success of its mobile proof of delivery efforts.
“Scandit integration into MobileTek was the game-changer for us,” said Autera. “Before that level of functionality and speed was available to us,we could not be confident that our mobile driver applications would everpay the dividends that they are paying now. The speed and ease are truly amazing. A fast, accurate optical solution was what it took to make mobile apps like MobileTek CORE and MobileTek DE so much more user-friendly.”
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.”
Autera said CDL experiences even greater internal savings by enabling drivers to easily take control of proof of delivery management.
“We feel that, with the drivers doing the heavy lifting with proof of delivery entry, we can focus our in-house employees’ attentions elsewhere, saving money,” stated Autera.
Currently, 85-89% of CDL drivers use the MobileTek mobile barcode scanning solution. Most CDL drivers use the MobileTek DE app. However, a specific group of drivers servicing market segments utilizes MobileTek CORE, which includes enhanced functionality such as customer-specific settings. CDL is in the process of consolidating more drivers onto the MobileTek CORE platform, which should also increase overall usage of iOS/Android smartphones.
The cost savings are substantial. 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.
Adam F. Autera
IT/Operations at CDL Last Mile Solutions