Is your delivery business struggling with slow, error-prone, and outdated distribution operations?
Typically, these problems can cause delays, frustrated drivers, and worse still, unhappy customers.
Here, we’ll outline how smart devices with advanced data capture software can transform every stage of the delivery process. The result? A reduction in costs, increased productivity, and a future-proof solution.
Scroll down and we’ll demonstrate how a driver or employee can:
- Load the truck more efficiently
- Locate the right pallets and packages at the right place and time
- Handle proof of delivery accurately
- Stocktake effectively and accurately
- Reorder – reducing the risk of overstocking or understocking
- Take the delay out of returns handling
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1. Minimizing the truck-loading process
Minimizing the truck-loading process is crucial for efficient delivery operations. If done inefficiently, then the impact will be felt further down the line.
Loading can be impacted by factors such as poor warehouse organization, low staffing levels, equipment, and slow loading techniques. Here are some of the solutions:
- Accuracy: Items to be loaded need to be accurately accounted for, preventing any error in the delivery order.
- Speed: With strict delivery schedules, loading needs to be fast and efficient.
- Accessibility: A well-loaded truck should have its cargo organized according to the planned delivery route, with items that need to be unloaded first easily accessible.
How it should be done
Here, the driver can use a smart device with smart data capture software to scan multiple barcodes at once. It will then give them on-screen instructions by highlighting the right loading order on-screen.
The ability to accurately scan multiple barcodes allows for faster loading times and ensures that the first items to be unloaded are easily accessible.
2. Search and Find at the destination
The ability to quickly unload products at the destination is essential for delivery operations efficiency. Challenges to overcome include:
- Manual processes: Relying on manual processes for unloading can be slow and error-prone.
- Outdated solutions: Technologically-limited solutions result in further inefficiencies and issues, especially in challenging environments like the back of the truck.
- Documentation: Damaged barcodes or even inaccurate documentation can lead to confusion and delays when searching for specific items.
How it should be done
Error-prone manual workflows can be largely automated by incorporating smart data capture software into a smart device. This can include augmented reality to scan barcodes and highlight the right products on-screen – unavailable on outdated equipment.
High-performance barcode scanning technology is key to scanning damaged and obscured barcodes on documentation. Or in low light or tight angles.
Drivers can quickly and accurately identify and unload items, resulting in time savings. The application can even take advantage of the smart device’s ergonomic design or use haptic feedback to alert the driver to an event, such as a failed scan.
3. Obtaining proof of delivery
Obtaining proof of delivery (POD) is a crucial step in the delivery operations process. However, there can be delays and challenges for drivers when obtaining POD at the destination. Some of the typical delays and challenges are:
- Long wait times: Drivers may have to wait in long queues at the delivery points to get their packages processed and obtain the POD.
- Manual paperwork: Drivers may have to fill out manual paperwork to obtain the POD, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
- Technological limitation: A driver’s ability to perform complex POD tasks may be limited by outdated hardware and software.
How it should be done
The driver can use a smart device to minimize wait times at delivery points. For example, it can scan and verify identification documents.
The device’s ability to scan multiple barcodes simultaneously also helps automate the unloading of large delivery items. Accurate real-time notifications, such as a change in the drop-off location when scanning delivery items, can be displayed on-screen, reducing the risk of error.
Linking with other services platforms to streamline the entire process can significantly reduce the time spent on manual paperwork.
4. Stocktaking for accurate inventory management
Once the products have been removed from the truck and taken to the designated storage location, accurate stocktaking and counting is crucial.
Traditional methods of scanning individual pallets or packages one-by-one can be time-consuming and tedious, particularly when barcodes are obscured or difficult to access. Other difficulties include:
- Disruption: Stocktaking can be disruptive to daily operations leading to delays in fulfilling customer orders and increased waiting times for drivers.
- Inaccurate data: If the driver is not properly trained or equipped to perform stocktaking, there is a risk of human errors or missed scans.
- Inefficient processes: If the stocktaking process is disorganized, it can cause delays and frustrations for employees and drivers.
How it should be done
A driver can do inventory counts at the customer storage area using any smart device (phone, tablet), preventing delays in customer orders and reducing driver waiting times.
Advanced scanning technology and multiscanning ensure accurate data capture during stocktaking. Additionally, on-screen guidance can help drivers lacking extensive training or experience.
5. Scan-to-reorder without needless delays
Logistics processing delays can affect reordering. For example, if there are delays in the delivery of products from suppliers, it can easily lead to stock-outs.
In the warehouse, staff members or drivers may need to reorder products, which often involves the time-consuming process of sorting through multiple boxes to scan or record barcodes. Other challenges include:
- Reordering errors: If the scanning process is inaccurate, it can lead to errors in the reorder request such as overstocking or understocking of products.
- Inflexible systems: Lack of system integrations may be problematic if supporting solutions are limited. This can cause further delays and system-dependent challenges.
- New to the job: Delays and errors can ensue if employees are not properly trained on how to use the reordering system.
How it should be done
The driver or worker gets out their smart device and switches it to the reordering app. Its ability to handle high-performance scanning at difficult angles or low light significantly reduces the possibility of a reordering error.
Maximizing operational procedures with flexible scanning is key – even with challenging integration systems.
The user-friendly interface and intuitive nature of a smart device application, allow new drivers to quickly understand the process.
6. Returns handling with efficiency
Returns handling can be a constraint on resources and needs to be managed efficiently. It involves receiving, processing, and handling returned products. Here are some typical issues that drivers may encounter during the returns handling process:
- Manual processes: Returns handling can be time-consuming and prone to errors when processes are primarily manual.
- Capturing the right information: The device may struggle to retrieve the returns information if a barcode is damaged.
How it should be done
Relieve the driver from the burden to capture the right information in the right format, with label verification. Here the device can use AI-powered scanning software to dynamically capture the right information. If the barcode is damaged the device can switch to text recognition.
Capturing real-time data with smart devices reduces reliance on manual data entry. Drivers or employees can process returns quickly minimizing delays and challenges associated with inaccurate or incomplete data.
How Scandit Smart Data Capture makes all of this happen
How are all of these tedious workflows and obstacles handled? The devices in question are all equipped with Scandit’s software solutions.
Scandit is flexible enough that it can be implemented on any smart device and be used to speed up the processes above, and more.
Furthermore, Scandit can supply ready-to-go solutions that can be implemented with a few lines of code, like MatrixScan Count or SparkScan. Or none at all with Scandit Express.
Or if you need a customizable solution, we have you covered with our SDK, MatrixScan Augmented Reality.
SparkScan is an out-of-the-box data capture technology that can be implemented with just a few lines of code. It provides a pre-built smartphone scanning user interface for easy integration into existing applications.
The benefits of SparkScan include an ergonomic design and a built-in interface that fits over the top of any native app, ensuring frictionless integration.
MatrixScan Count streamlines counting processes like inventory management and receiving, by enabling simultaneous scanning of multiple barcodes. It leverages multiscanning and augmented reality to count items at the tap of a button.
MatrixScan Count allows increased productivity through a single-button while taking over tedious counting tasks. Like SparkScan it can be rapidly deployed with just a few lines of code. The augmented reality overlay provides real-time feedback and even notifies the user if a scan has been missed.
MatrixScan Augmented Reality (AR)
MatrixScan AR gives businesses the freedom to customize Scandit’s Smart Data Capture capabilities into their own applications. MatrixScan AR is an innovative data capture software that combines mobile barcode scanning, text recognition, and augmented reality (AR) overlays.
MatrixScan AR offers multiple benefits in distribution operations, including accelerated workflows, real-time access to actionable insights, and improved inventory management and asset tracking accuracy. It has the added benefit of being customizable so it can be tailored to your application.
Scandit Express is a no-code barcode scanning app that instantly upgrades smartphones and tablets with a smart keyboard wedge scanner. The app offers fast and intuitive scanning with a pre-built user interface for seamless integration into existing apps.
It allows for direct scanning into any input field from the keyboard and is designed to be ergonomic and user-friendly. So high performance scanning can be added to the application without the need for any coding or development time.
Boost distribution operations with Scandit Smart Data Capture
In conclusion, smart devices are the clear winners when it comes to optimizing distribution operations and last-mile delivery workflows.
By leveraging Scandit’s Smart Data Capture technology, including SparkScan, MatrixScan Count, and MatrixScan Augmented Reality, businesses can significantly streamline their processes and improve overall efficiency.
These advanced solutions enable drivers and warehouse workers to overcome common challenges, such as manual processes, inaccurate scanning, and insufficient training.
As a result, businesses can save time, reduce errors, and enhance customer satisfaction, all while making the most of their existing applications and smart devices.