The business case for integrated satellite navigation

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In an industry where reputations are made on the promise of timely and accurate delivery, an internet tracking website – where progress can be monitored from depot to door – is the latest battleground in customer service.

Key to this battleground is the delivery driver. How they are managed and monitored is now a major component in enterprise mobility strategy. Managed correctly and with the right tools they can improve business efficiency and deliver better customer service. It is here that satellite navigation plays an important role.

In 2008, Royal Mail rolled out a project designed to simplify the delivery process for their Special Delivery and Recorded Signed For services that would provide near real time location data suitable for use on their customer portal. To this end, 26,000 delivery drivers were equipped with the GPS enabled Intermec CN3, a multi-functional ruggedised mobile device. Each came loaded with a fully integrated version of CoPilot Live Professional satellite navigation and job dispatch, management and proof of delivery application Delivery Connect from Blackbay.

Address data is now managed centrally and sent via the mobile internet direct to Delivery Connect on the driver’s device. The driver then simply taps the Navigate button on the device screen to launch CoPilot Live, taking the driver directly to their next delivery appointment with full visual mapping and turn-by-turn instructions. Data relating to the delivery can be viewed by the customer online.

On arrival, the same device is used for proof of delivery signature capture. On job completion, the next address is sent through and the process is repeated. What CoPilot Live provides in this context is consistency in the delivery experience. There is no need for the driver to manually enter address details so avoiding mistakes and any driver, whether familiar with the route or providing relief cover, is receiving predictable, reliable navigation to each destination.

As Royal Mail has demonstrated, there is a difference between making satellite navigation a key component within the business process and issuing a mobile workforce with a dedicated standalone device. As well as being a significant capital investment on top of the standard issue mobile phone and laptop, the dedicated system becomes an additional device to lose, break or simply ignore.

By integrating satellite navigation into staff’s mobile phones, companies can save significant money both in up-front costs as there is no need to buy additional hardware, and in the long-term as satellite navigation software like CoPilot Live can be integrated with other software on the device to streamline business processes. So as well as saving enterprises money, CoPilot Live can also help increase productivity and thereby potentially have a positive benefit on the environment and bottom line.

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