Hermes replaces handheld computers with smartphones

Hermes UK has implemented mobile barcode scanning on smartphones for verification and proof of delivery. This is using technology developed by Scandit, a mobile computer vision expert firm.
In the next five years Hermes UK will replace 15,000 barcode scanners with smartphones that have the Scandit Android app.

Delivery staff will then do many of the tasks they do with handheld computers with smartphones instead. It is designed to save on time and money, streamline the delivery process and provide a mobile platform for rapid roll-out of future service improvements that further enhance operations and customer experience.

During the migration period, Hermes UK couriers will also begin using additional Scandit software features, MatrixScan and augmented reality (AR) overlays. This means couriers will scan multiple barcodes at once to search for and find a specific item really quickly and view parcel/customer information overlaid on the device screen. Hermes is currently implementing the use of MatrixScan-AR overlays for code identification, delivering efficiency and productivity gains.

“A key component of our digital transformation strategy, known as Digital Futures, is to replace dedicated barcode scanners with smartphones that provide couriers with real-time data to improve the customer experience,” said Chris Ashworth, CIO from Hermes UK. “Enabling couriers to carry a smartphone not only helps us to improve operational efficiency, but also improves the working lives of couriers who can now use their own phone, or a Hermes provided phone, rather than having to carry a barcode scanner.”

“The project with Scandit has gone incredibly smoothly so far,” Ashworth continued. “We’ve been able to add new mobile handsets and retire old barcode scanners gradually, ensuring that there is no disruption to our operations. We look forward to working closely with Scandit to implement more functionalities such as augmented reality and MatrixScan once this stage of our digital transformation is complete.”

“The customer experience doesn’t end once a shopper has clicked the ‘buy now’ button,” said Samuel Mueller, CEO and co-founder of Scandit. “Third party couriers like Hermes are an extension of brands; as such, any delivery problems can undo all the work done by a retailer in nurturing the customer relationship. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to strengthen that relationship further. We’re proud to be helping Hermes UK do just this for its retail partners.”


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