Offline Functionality is the Key if You Want to Successfully Track a Package
If you’re looking into equipping your delivery fleets with parcel tracking applications, there are a number of features you need to consider. Is the application contractor ready? Is it scalable? Does it allow customers to easily track a package from its origin right up to their front door? Does it allow for drop shipping, creating custom shipping labels, and other features that broaden the scope of services that you can offer? But perhaps the most important yet least obvious question is: does it work offline?
In the interconnected information age, this may seem like a strange question. Content-based and social mobile apps, of course, don’t bother with offline functionality, and even some games and productivity apps don’t have great offline functionality. But a shipment tracker app for drivers is another issue entirely, because it really puts the “mobile” in “mobile app.” Always being on the move, and occasionally travelling outside of cellular service areas, it is more than likely that drivers will occasionally experience signal interruptions or total loss of service. And when that happens, you need to be ready to not lose as much as a single minute due to signal loss. An offline-capable parcel tracking app is vital to this mission.
One of your drivers—let’s call him Jeff—has a delivery on his route that falls outside of the city limits, in a rural area just outside of the service area of his mobile provider. The customer knows their package is coming—they have the power to track a package through the web and can see that it’s out for delivery. Jeff must complete the delivery to maintain the reputation of your company. But if your company is using an app that isn’t offline-capable, Jeff may no longer be able to see the address of the delivery (depending on the app). Good thing he plugged it into his GPS, but even then, upon arrival, Jeff is unable to complete the delivery properly. He’ll need to update his manifest manually later, creating an opportunity for mistakes to be made and wasting time and productivity.
However, if Jeff is equipped with a parcel tracking app that works even without an internet connection, the whole process becomes streamlined. He can access the address, scan the shipping label, and update the status of the package just like he would if he were in cellular range. Nothing about Jeff’s workflow is affected in any way, and as soon as he has a signal again, the updated package details are uploaded directly to the server, and the order is completed without missing a single step or losing any time.
When you use the right apps, you can track a package, regardless of connection status.