For businesses delivering goods using their own fleet, differentiating their offering really relies on top-notch customer service.
Giving your drivers and back office staff the software and communication tools they need to deliver outstanding customer service every time is essential. A delivery and logistics management system like Stream Go is just the tip of the iceberg. Your drivers need the physical tools as well, to really do a great job.
Give your drivers the training they need to drive commercial vehicles confidently, and the right equipment (protective boots, gloves with grip, etc.) to safely deliver goods right where your customer wants them.
Finally, your driver needs the right mobile device for ePOD. The Stream driver app and walkaround check app can only help your drivers as long as your drivers can access it. Stream’s app is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Using a driver app saves resources on paperwork and filing, removes the likelihood of lost or damaged paperwork and keeps the entire delivery process streamlined. Customers and back-office staff always know where the goods are on their journey, and proof-of-delivery is taken quickly and accurately – and is much harder to dispute (how can you argue with a time- and location- stamped signature and photograph?). Customer service levels are improved, and you’re left with happy customers and positive feedback.
Choosing the right ePOD device
A delivery drivers’ ability to do their job (and do their job well) relies on their mobile device.
When it comes to providing or upgrading mobile devices for your fleet, you can be daunted by the myriad options available.
This one is cheaper than that one, but the other one has a longer warranty. This one is sleek and professional looking, but that one has a higher resolution screen. That one has excellent connectivity, but the other one is much lighter and comes with an in-cab charging unit. Oh wait, there’s an in-cab unit for this one too.
It is never easy to choose.
So before you start to search for the perfect phone for your fleet, you need to figure out what elements are essential to your business, and how you’re planning to use the devices.
Is this simply a way to give your drivers a professional-looking device that supports the functionality they need?
Or are you making an investment on your delivery offering and in your fleet?
Cost per month, upfront price and insurance cost and coverage, as well as the durability of the device and the additional features that could benefit your business and your drivers, need to be taken into consideration when choosing handheld ePOD devices.
Although the Stream mobile app for driver’s work on perfectly on any consumer-grade mobile device, we would recommend investigating the various rugged handheld devices on offer from Zebra.
Some of the functionality of specialist ruggedised devices for drivers can improve the efficiency and safety of your fleet: the ability to restrict calls, texts and specific app usage (for example, during driving hours); improved stability (and reduced risk of crashing) with managed upgrades; and built-in barcode scanners, making the whole delivery process more efficient and cutting down the risk of misdelivery.
If drivers drop their device, is it sturdy enough to be protected? Working in environments where dropping the phone means instant death to the screen (or worse), means a real risk of an out-of-action ePOD device. And an out-of-action ePOD device means, at best, a return to an inefficient manual paperwork system, and at worst undelivered or late-delivered items, angry customers and refunds. And if it does break, how easy and quickly can you have it replaced, and return to making efficient deliveries?
The same risk is there for phones simply running out of juice. The extra-long battery life and in-cab chargers offered with specialised devices cut out the risk of miscommunication due to a run down battery.
For Stream, we recommend the Zebra TC25, TC75, and TC56 which can all be provided as part of your Stream set up either as an outright purchase from £400 per device, or on a monthly lease basis from £15 per device, per month.
All the devices can be used just like a regular smartphone, featuring a touch screen interface, inbuilt camera, and GPS, amongst other features.
Some businesses will find that a consumer-grade Android phone is exactly the right mobile device. Other businesses through, will need a little more. The good news is that Stream’s mobile apps for drivers work on any Android device, enabling best-in-class electronic proof of delivery, proof of collection and driver tracking.
The Zebra devices include additional features not available on regular android devices, like:
- In-built,fast high-quality scanner
- Rugged,water and drop resistant
- Optional three-year, no quibble replacement warranty
- Lock down facility allowing calls, texts and app usage to be restricted
- Managed upgrades and app restrictions improve device stability
- Extended battery life
- In-cab chargers and other accessories available
ePOD is an acronym for ‘electronic proof of delivery’. ePOD automates the documentation of a delivery and replaces paperwork during the last-mile deliver process with a digital counterpart (typically a PDF). Drivers can capture a variety of information electronically, including signatures and pictures, thus eliminating paperwork and streamlining the flow of information.