Royal Mail invest in hand-held tracking tech

Royal Mail hand-held devicesRoyal Mail have announced an investment of around £130 million over five years in hand-held technology to provide more flexible delivery for customers and better tracking capability.

The investment means Royal Mail will begin rolling out around 76,000 next generation hand-held devices to postmen and women in 2015. The roll-out is expected to be completed in the 2016/17 financial year.

Through its Field Force Automation services, BT Global Services will work with Royal Mail to decide which hand-held device to deploy. Royal Mail will roll out the new hand-held scanners to postmen and women in 2015.

The contract with BT also covers the day-to-day management of the current and new devices and operating platform for a five-year period.

This programme is part of Royal Mail’s IT transformation programme, a key objective of which is to support the delivery of their parcels strategy. Delivery companies are increasingly technology companies, as they seek to provide better tracking and delivery solutions and Royal Mail need to keep pace with their competitors.

The investment will have the following expected benefits:

  • More flexible delivery for customers not at home when we attempt to deliver a parcel, e.g, by enabling them to tell Royal Mail safe location to leave the item if they are not at home
  • Improved management information and enhanced tracking for parcels customers by adding information rich barcodes to shipping labels
  • Earlier this year, Royal Mail launched a new parcels shipping and tracking platform to enable e-retailers to improve integration between their IT systems and Royal Mail

This is key for the success of Royal Mail as they face increasing competition from Click & Collect and Locker or shop based services. There’s nothing more annoying than a parcel to collect from the Delivery Office which could just as easily have been left in the shed or in the porch if only there had been a way to give the Postie permission to do so.

Personally I can’t wait for it to be rolled out in my local area.