Supply chain traceability does not only involve ‘indoor’ activities carried out in production units, warehouses and retail outlets, it also involves ‘outdoor’ activities performed with mobile resources such as the fleets of vehicles used for product collection, routing and distribution. Therefore, in addition to fixed or mobile indoor data capture devices, such as bar-code (or RFID) scanners, outdoor mobile-terminal-type equipment is also required.
Logistic flow optimization has had an impact on expectations; today, information must be no more than a click away and constantly updated. It is essential that logistics companies in need of rapid product availability, for example in the fields of health, on-site repair support services, etc., be kept informed in quasi real time about whether a parcel has been delivered or delayed as this has a significant impact on the operations dependent upon the delivery of the object, and consequently on the service provided to the end customer.
In order to meet outdoor traceability needs in real time, Neopost Shipping has developed the Collect'n deliver solution.
A Service Based Solution Dedicated to Mobile Traceability
Collect'n deliver is a comprehensive mobile ‘real-time’ traceability solution for objects (parcels, pallets, envelopes, cases, mail bags, etc.) for delivery, in transit and for collection. It is implemented on ruggedised and communicating (GPRS, Wi-Fi) mobile terminals suited to use by logistics personnel on the move, and equipped with bar code scanners not only for tracking objects, but also for picture capture.
Collect'n deliver is a bundled ‘Managed Services’ solution based on a service contract including the mobile software, communicating mobile terminals, integration services, and terminal support and maintenance services.
Depending on your requirements, accessories (i.e. spare battery, vehicle cradle, fixed charging and communication cradle, etc.) can also be included in the service contract.
Collect'n deliver comes with a data exchange service for the real-time transmission of information captured by mobiles, and the management of updates for software installed on the terminal via the secure Neopost Data Center. No technical architecture maintenance is required for you to communicate with your terminals; all data passes through our servers to be delivered to you in the format of your choice via your preferred communication link.
This service-oriented approach means that you will rapidly find a tested, up-to-date solution meeting your needs. As the mobile computing environment is both complex and precise, it also means that you will not need to invest in the expert resources necessary to developing your own solution. In a word, it is the ideal formula for assisting in the development of your activity without committing to new investments in IT or personnel.
A Project Approach to Build your Customized Solution
To factor in the specific process requirements of each company, we adopt a personalized approach and provide project support overseen by a dedicated Business Support representative.
We propose the mobile terminal most suited to your company and your needs, and subsequently integrate the mobile application including only those modules necessary for the optimization of terminal resources and for ensuring operations are simple as possible for users on the move.
The Collect'n deliver Mobile Software
The Collect'n deliver mobile application installed on terminals integrates all the functions necessary for ensuring the outdoor traceability of your objects. In order to meet the needs of each company, it consists of functional modules that can be integrated on demand. Below are some examples of the kind of module that may be included:
- Downloading of delivery/collection runs using the mode of communication of your choice (LAN, WI-FI, GPRS)
- Dispatch/consignment management
- Delivery and collection portfolio management
- Tracking status management at vehicle loading, delivery and collection phases
- Photo of delivery slips for companies based on delivery documents
- Capture of digitized signatures for companies based on paperless proofs of delivery
- Taking of photographs to provide visual proof in the event of disputes, complaints or exceptions
- User alerts notifying of amounts owed at delivery
- Recording of returnable equipment collected and delivered
- Communication with the Neopost Data Center to download runs and upload all captured information in real time without human intervention
- Telephony and management of the SIM card address book, call logs, and direct calls to delivery/collection contacts for preloaded runs
- Messaging utility to facilitate exchanges between drivers and offices
The user interface is multilingual and user friendly. Functions are accessed by clicking on them with a pen or by touching them with a finger. The colors and logo can be customized to reflect your corporate identity.
The application has its own communication software, a monitoring layer and is automatically updated remotely. You can choose any of the three wireless modes of communication (GSM/GPRS, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) according to individual project needs.
Use is secured by a login page. For the non-nominative use of terminals, a user repository is managed for each site.
A Solution Leveraging GPS Technology
By helping to reduce the number of ‘wasted’ miles, geotracking and satellite navigation generate real savings. These services are much sought after by logisticians as they contribute to improving their operational efficiency. Thanks to the GPS function of its mobile terminals, the Collect'n deliver solution integrates three functionalities:
- The geographic tracking of vehicles
By capturing the GPS signals of the terminal and regularly uploading these signals by GPRS to a centralized system, you can follow the geographic location and the journey of delivery/collection vehicles on an online map. This will enable your teams to locate the vehicle closest to a customer for a one-off collection service, to control and estimate how much time it will take to deliver a parcel to an impatient customer, and to monitor the journeys and speeds of vehicles to run checks.
This solution, which entails neither investment nor complex installation procedures to equip your vehicles, allows you to monitor your entire fleet, whether driven by your own drivers or subcontractors.
- The geolocation of delivery/collection points
By capturing the GPS signal at the moment of parcel delivery, we offer you the opportunity to further corroborate proof of delivery by showing where the object was delivered. We can also upload the GPS coordinates to increase your database of logistics points for future optimization.
- Satellite Navigation
By installing navigation software on the terminal with a mapping solution suited to both light vehicles and lorries, we enable drivers to navigate to delivery/collection points. If these points have been geocoded and preloaded on the terminal, the user can launch navigation assistance directly from a waybill. If not, the software can be used on demand in much the same way as a ‘TomTom’-like device.
Natively Integrated with our Track & Trace Data Management Solutions
To manage and place all of the information captured by your mobile fleet at the disposal of your teams, customers and partners, why not complete your Collect'n deliver solution with our Track&Trace Data Management tool? This will give you access to a comprehensive traceability system implemented and operated by Neopost Shipping.
To find out more, please refer to our Track&Trace Data Management solution
Monitor Mobile Terminal Activity from the Neopost Customer Support Website
Our ‘Customer Support’ website is available to you for tracking your mobile devices and the services operated by Neopost Shipping. A management chart allows you to monitor the number of terminals connected, the number of files uploaded by mobile devices, and transfer times. Monthly reports about Neopost services (equipment returned, calls logged at our helpdesk, etc.) are made available for referral and/or downloading. Documentation and project documents are also available online.