Smartphone-Based Logistics Apps: The Future of Package Shipment and Delivery

Over the past couple of months we’ve introduced a variety of usage scenarios where smartphone-based barcode scanning is being utilized in the enterprise. To continue the discussion, today we’ll look at how the logistics industry can leverage smartphone-based barcode scanning for package shipment and delivery apps.

The World of Package Delivery: Past and Future

Most of you have probably had a package delivered to your home in the past. Typically the delivery man is carrying a large mobile computer device with a keypad and a little screen. It looks something like a giant feature phone. He scans the package to confirm its delivery, and then if the package requires a signature he has you sign the screen. The process here is great, but the mobile computer has to go. In today’s world, smartphones have become more powerful and versatile than expensive mobile computers, reducing the need to carry this bulky external hardware. To address durability concerns, companies can include IP68 environmentally sealed and MIL-STD-810G drop-protected casing with their smartphones like that provided by Lifeproof or Seidio. These cases not only ensure the devices are waterproof, dirtproof and dustproof, but also that they can be dropped repeatedly without damage. By developing a mobile package shipment and delivery app that utilizes Scandit’s enterprise-grade Barcode Scanner SDK, logistics companies can implement durable or cased iOS or Android smartphones as a viable replacement for expensive and clunky handheld scanners.

Here’s the typical usage scenario:

    1. Customer orders a product from a catalog or website
    2. Warehouse worker scans package before shipping it out from a warehouse or distribution center.
    3. Delivery man scans package at the point of delivery

Leveraging the Bring-Your-Own-Device Trend

Recently we’ve been talking about a new trend in enterprise mobility known as “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), where employees use their own personal devices to access company apps. Logistics companies can capitalize on this trend by empowering their delivery people to check packages in and out using their own smartphones. You can even develop functionality for the app that allows for signature capture. Employees and vendors would simply gain access a company-issued app through the Apple iTunes app store or the Google Play store. To address durability concerns, companies should consider providing empoyees with IP68 and MIL-STD-810G drop-protected casing like that offered by Lifeproof or Seidio.

Adding Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK to a Package Delivery App

The Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK delivers the speed and accuracy required to bring true enterprise-grade barcode scanning to smartphones and tablets.  For those companies capitalizing on the BYOD trend, Scandit’s cross-platform capabilities and ability to capture accurate readings on device lacking autofocus make it an indispensable addition to logistics apps.  Watch the video to get a sense of the user experience.

Developing a Package Delivery App

So you’re convinced, it’s time to build app what needs to happen next?

1)      Decide if you want to build the app in house or hire a solution provider to build one.

2)      Decided which platforms you’d like the app to run on. If you are considering implementing a BYOD ecosystem plan on having your app support both the Android and iOS platforms.

3)      Assess which systems you need the app to work with. Do you use enterprise warehouse management system? How will the app connect to your database?

4)      Identify the features you need, and find the best software components for the job.
(Our Barcode Scanner SDK is perfect for providing enterprise-grade barcode scanning).

5)      Build and test your app (or watch it being built).

6)      Deploy and Enjoy.

Need help making a decision? Our sales staff is here to help. Contact us for more information.

Stay tuned for more usage scenarios including parts tracking and consumer empowerment coming soon!