In 2014, Audi won the Volkswagen Group Logistics Innovation award for Quick Check-in, a geofencing project that automates the check-in process.
Here’s how it works: drivers use the Quick Check-in app on their smartphone to connect to Audi’s control system. If they adhere to Audi’s schedule for deliveries, drivers can go right through the entry gates without stopping or filling out any paperwork or anything like that. Their check-in information is collected automatically by the app.
Every delivery business could use a way to make the check-in process more efficient. Luckily for them, geofencing technology isn’t some expensive gadget that only companies as big as Audi have access to. It’s available to businesses both big and small.
What Is Geofencing?
Geofencing is location-based technology that creates a virtual fence around an object, such as a package, vehicle, and person. This object is then monitored with GPS technology in a defined, real-world geographical boundary.
Geofencing impacts delivery operations in the following three ways:
1. Automates Check-Ins and Check-Outs
By automatically checking drivers in and out of locations, geofencing saves time, boosts productivity, and helps drivers make more stops, which means more money for your business. It also leads to improved driver safety, because drivers don’t have to look at their phones like they do when they check in manually.
The amount of time it takes to check in may seem like it’s too small to really worry about, but if you run a big operation, the minutes really add up. If you have 100 drivers that each visit around 100 locations every day, you’ll save about 55 hours daily with the auto check-in feature. Productivity wise, that’s like adding seven drivers to your fleet at zero additional cost.
2. Better Driver Management
Geofencing technology makes it easier for managers to keep track of their drivers. Packages and vehicles are tracked inside pre-defined areas and managers are notified as soon as a driver enters or leaves those areas, which allows managers to quickly see when a problem is present and helps to ensure a more seamless delivery process.
Also, according to a Georgia Tech report, supply chain glitches result in 10.66% higher expense growth, as well as 6.92% lower sales growth on average. Geofencing prevents such glitches, so you’ll have fewer expenses and stronger sales growth.
3. Lets Customers Know You’re On The Way
When a customer isn’t ready to receive a delivery, it holds your drivers up, which might make them late for the rest of the deliveries they have to make that day.
You can use geofencing to prepare customers for your arrival, as Route4Me’s last mile delivery optimization software offers a geofence-triggered SMS feature that sends an SMS to the customer when the driver is nearby. The customer will have the notice they need to get ready, which means your driver can get back on the road more quickly.
Route4Me has another feature called eSignature which is not driven by geofencing technology, but also eliminates cumbersome paperwork.
An eSignature involves customers signing off on deliveries with a stylus and smartphone screen rather than pen and paper. This’ll help you stay organized, as a print signature can be easily lost, while an eSignature is much more secure. Drivers love it because they have less paperwork, and managers love it as they have less documents to file.
So, how do you manage your delivery logs? Have you ever considered incorporating geofencing or eSignatures into your delivery operations? Let us know in the comments section below.