Dot watching

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In a recent blog written by David Picton, director of the Industry Solutions Group at Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility business, EMEA, writes: “Recently companies within the industry have also innovated using technology, including the use of mobile computers and barcode scanners to compete. Increasingly, technologies such as RFID and GPS will enable advanced services to be offered to both private and enterprise customers, including real-time local traffic advice and allowing customers to track and trace their post in real-time on a map.”

Being realistic, customers are not going to track successful deliveries as suggested. How many people want to go online and watch an item crawl across a map or see a successful signature for something already in their hand? What they want is the postal service to ensure that delivery will be ‘as promised’, and they want the service provider to notify them when a promised service level isn’t going to be met, as soon as possible.

The postal service should be taken for granted, invisible until it needs to tell you – proactively – that it has to do something differently – just for you. Tailoring the postal service to the needs of 26 million households? Yes, that is precisely what elegant recovery technology can do! So let’s use mobile computing to elegantly recover as and when issues occur and proactively get the service back on track, before the customer is affected.

This is why we approach the whole delivery system from the customer’s viewpoint. Customer wants and needs have to be considered. These then have to be modelled into a robust and secure mobile application, which is easy for the field operator to use, in order to deliver back to the in-house systems the data that is needed to reliably deal with deliveries, as well as accept the data for each individual delivery – right down to its own unique delivery promise.

For a system to be proactive in the event of ‘trouble’, an integrated application is required that can manage orders and service levels, provide visibility of what’s actually happening, spot and report when things are going wrong and provide the tools to repair the situation.

Today’s postal services need mobile computers but with the appropriate application to keep the mail flowing. Critical, though, is the elegant recovery thought process and the customer notification of changes to expectations.

Watching my dot trace itself across a map is a nice-to-have service, but I’d rather have the item I ordered, delivered to me, when I want it, where I want it, and without having to sit around waiting for it, because no news is much worse than bad news.

Joe Robinson is the business development manager of Skillweb. Skillweb offers supply chain solutions focused on tracking orders from purchase through to fulfilment.

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