La Poste is by far the largest mail delivery provider in France and postal activities make up more than half of its revenue.
The company employs over 90,000 mail and parcel carriers in offices and distribution centres. La Poste are responsible for delivering 23 billion items per year, so optimising operational and delivery efficiency is a major priority.
La Poste’s mail and parcel carriers had previously relied on lower-end smartphones using an Android application, integrated with open-source barcode scanning software, for proof of delivery, track and trace and other workflows. Scanning speed and precision is essential to help drivers complete their routes efficiently, and any scanning errors can lead to a piece of mail being mishandled or mistakenly delivered to the wrong address, costing La Poste time, money and reputation.
Upgrading application and delivery performance by replacing open source scanning
“Scanning accuracy is a critical component of our delivery process. Any mistakes or incorrect scans can result in post being delivered to the wrong locations,” explained Pierre Prygoda, IT manager La Poste. “We were seeing high error rates with the open source scanning software, so we decided to investigate if integrating a proprietary scanning solution from Scandit into our employee app could boost performance and reduce mistakes. We quickly determined it could,” said Pierre Prygoda, IT Manager at La Poste.
La Poste wanted to directly compare the performance of smartphones using open source scanning against those using proprietary software across a wide variety of devices, under a range of challenging real-world conditions. A trial was conducted by La Poste, equipping a number of mail carriers with a version of the application integrated with the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK.
During La Poste’s extensive trial, Scandit outperformed the open source alternative in every facet, across all the Android models tested. Carriers who used the Scandit-powered app had very positive feedback. They confirmed that the scanning was much faster, generated fewer incorrect scans and provided a more satisfactory, reliable tool to work with. Scandit also performed better than other proprietary software options being tested. Open source and alternative proprietary scanning solutions suffered from problems including autofocus delays, difficulty scanning at a range of angles and an inability to scan consistently in varying lighting conditions – all of which can slow down deliveries. None of these factors were problems for the Scandit software.
Up to 55% faster document processing with Scandit
During extensive testing conducted by La Poste in real-world conditions, Scandit proved significantly faster than open source software.
La Poste compared Scandit and open source alternatives by timing mail carriers processing documents in batches of 50 on a variety of devices, including Samsung and Huawei models. The results showed that using the Scandit-enabled app was up to 55% quicker per document processed. With millions of scans per month across France, these seconds rapidly add up into significant efficiency gains.
Reduce errors and increase delivery speed with high performance smartphone scanning
Following the successful trial, La Poste were convinced to deploy the Scandit-powered app on 90,000 smartphone devices over the next three years. As the Scandit solution can perform concurrently with La Poste’s existing data capture capability and devices, the rollout can be managed incrementally with minimum disruption.
“Scandit technology immediately delivered a level of performance that open source mobile scanning simply couldn’t match. Our mail and parcel carriers now complete deliveries with greater speed and accuracy, with fewer scanning errors that lead to costly mishandled or misdelivered mail. When the trial was completed, the participants loved using the Scandit-powered app so much they didn’t want to return to the old version.”
With Scandit, every scan, on every device, during every delivery is faster: scanning speeds during La Poste’s testing were up to 55% quicker than with the open source software, across a wide range of devices. La Poste carriers perform several millions of scans per month, so speed has big implications, with the time savings rapidly adding up as delivery routes are completed more quickly.
La Poste also saw a dramatic reduction in the number of scanning errors, resulting in far fewer pieces of mail and parcels being delivered incorrectly, reducing the myriad of apparent and hidden costs associated with misdelivered mail.
Quick and seamless integration into the La Poste app – providing a platform for future improvements
Integration with the employee-facing La Poste app was straightforward. Internal developers conducted the integration and managed the trial in-house, including training employees, reporting that it was very simple, requiring no extra effort.
The Scandit integration was included as part of a larger overall update of the La Poste app, meaning overall development only took around 3-6 months. The developers appreciated the ease with which they can integrate new releases of the Scandit software, delivering future value as scanning efficiency continues to improve.