The Circlon | group has a long-standing relationship with Hermes – a great advantage when it comes to new projects at this well-known parcel delivery company, such as the current device generation change. As early as 2011, the Circlon | group accompanied the launch of GPRS-based Motorola barcode scanners for 15,000 Hermes drivers. Last year, 15,000 parcel shops received Zebra Technologies‘ TC56 series touch computers for their internal logistics in a large-scale campaign. All devices have been switched to Android on schedule in addition to the retrofitting of 10,000 tablets with a route optimisation facility.
Equip parcel delivery agents quickly and smoothly
The latest equipment update with 18,000 Zebra TC75x series devices also went smoothly at Hermes Germany with the Circlon | group as a partner. All parcel delivery agents and logistics centres, depots and delivery bases were equipped. Roland Lazina, Head of Process and Systems Management at Hermes Germany, explains the objective of the project: "The large number of new handheld scanners we have introduced together with the Circlon | group are designed to optimise the processes in the last mile and better support the day-to-day work of the delivery personnel."
Hermes tested the entire Circlon | group service range for this collaboration. The project included the complete equipment service, rollout and support for the integration of MDM (mobile device management). The many years of experience and an online solution from the Circlon | group catering to all aspects of the Circlon Mobile Life Cycle Management concept, which extends from the hardware to the software through to the provision of services, were particularly advantageous here.
Device management with Circlon | Operate
Circlon | Operate is at the heart of Circlon | group's comprehensive equipment management concept. This Mobile Life Cycle Management portal for mobile computers, including accessories, not only helps logistics companies like Hermes manage hardware, but also provides meaningful data and analyses to minimise equipment failure, reduce downtime and TCO (total cost of ownership).
The portal optimises in real time the coordination of maintenance and repairs, the use of the scanners and enables the display of performance indicators for minimised downtimes in the device pool. Commenting on this subject, Roland Lazina says: "All devices are registered in the Circlon | Operate portal of the Circlon | group, which allows us to query every single device status at any time, for example detailed information on the location or condition of the device, and to respond accordingly. This reduces downtimes and TCO."
Rapid rollout including MDM integration
The new handheld scanners are running the Android operating system and a delivery app programmed by Hermes. It features a simple, multi-lingual interface that significantly increases ease of use compared to old devices because it is very similar to a smartphone. The devices' camera and the integrated scanner enable particularly fast data capture. Among other things, this will optimise the data exchange with the in-house IT systems, for example when transmitting shipment and address data.
Furthermore, the devices feature a fast 4G/LTE connection, a hi-res touch screen and a powerful battery with a long battery life. The handheld scanners are quick and easy to use with a finger or a PDA pen. Commenting on the introduction of the new devices, Roland Lazina says: "With the support of the Circlon | group, we completed the device rollout in just a few weeks, after several months of pilot testing – including MDM integration. At the same time, we introduced smart route planning."
Devices can be functionally upgraded
The devices can be upgraded with little effort at any time with new features, for example, the fully digital route planning facility for package delivery. In addition, a feature is being developed that will allow the delivery agent at the front door to send digital parcel notifications. Roland Lazina sums up: “The project work with Circlon | group is ongoing. In addition to the function for sending electronic notification cards, we are currently working on the implementation of geodata-based pedestrian navigation to get to the recipients even faster."