“Too many POD systems just amount to a list of call points thrown on to a smartphone. They don’t take account of actual customer demands”.
In the latest issue of Fulfilment and e.logistics, David Cook, managing director of TranSend Solutions Ltd, comments on the sophistication required by customers for ePOD.
In his POD feature, editor Peter Rowlands poses the question: Why isn’t the necessary POD functionality already included in ERP or despatch management software?
David Cook has a simple explanation: “It’s because POD is a complex subject. It’s not a natural extension of a typical enterprise resource planning suite.”
TranSend offers a route editing and vehicle loading module and also has a strong relationship with a number of routing and scheduling software suppliers.”While some scheduling suppliers take a ‘black box’ approach to POD gathering, the better ones provide full integration.”
On the subject of Android as a real alternative to Windows in the mobile world for professional applications, David Cook comments, “Some operators have delayed deciding on their mobile platform until Microsoft’s road map for mobile devices becomes clear, but they simply can’t wait any longer.”
Android means that ordinary smartphones can be used for data capture, although they are more fragile than industrial handheld terminals which can be dropped many times without damage. “But drivers take more care if they’re using their own phone,” David Cook argues. ”And they’ll rarely let their own phone’s battery run flat.” He also points out that many smartphone screens are larger than those of typical handheld terminals. “So there’s more space for people to write a legible signature.”
One of the practical attractions of Android in the POD world is that it helps transport operators who regularly make use of subcontracted drivers. With TranSend, for example, subcontracted drivers can download the app to their own smartphones that will link them into the same POD system used by the company.