Portech launches contactless Proof of Delivery app safePOD as businesses return to normal during COVID-19

Mobile enterprise app developer Portech Systems has launched a new contactless point of delivery (POD) app called safePOD that is designed to make delivery safer as business levels start to return to normal amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

As deliveries increase and with traffic volumes in the UK approaching levels seen before lockdown began[1], logistics firms/teams and fleet operators (especially those that are managing wholesaler to retailer delivery) are looking to keep employees safe while minimising business disruption through potential illness.

The new safePOD Contactless POD app is available to any business that requires a proof of delivery, but does not want to make changes to existing IT infrastructure. The app does not require additional servers or networking to inform all parties of a successful delivery, it is simply installed on both a delivery driver’s and the recipient’s devices.

The whole process is straightforward – warehouse operatives find an order on their Warehouse Management System (WMS), export it to the cloud, and the driver and consignee open the free app and easily confirm delivery. Prior to delivery the recipient will receive an alert that they consignment has left. Upon receipt, the recipient verifies the information on his/her device against the delivery and if the packages are in order, signs on their own mobile. If amendment is required to the delivery information the driver and customer can make the adjustment and both need to sign on their own mobiles.

Supported by a desktop application, the easy-to-use app records information that is received by both sender and recipient back offices via the cloud. The POD with signature capture can be synced to any  supported Warehouse Management Solutions (WMS).

Shaz Naeem, Managing Director of Portech Systems said: “To maximise safety of drivers, Portech Systems recommends the implementation of contactless deliveries and simplified proof of delivery flows.

“The coronavirus pandemic has put pressure on logistics teams to increase driver and consignee safety. Traditional paper-based or signature on device options are not in line with the current social distancing guidelines, so we have developed safePOD which is easy to install and operate.”

For businesses that are still using paper the app is an easy entry point to track successful delivery, monitor driver performance and improve employee productivity by reducing paperwork and administration tasks.

Without a true contactless POD which includes a customer’s signature, companies are resorting to time-consuming and awkward safety procedures, such as:

  • Once the driver is acknowledged, the consignee should be asked whether they will sign for the item as per the normal delivery process or whether they would prefer not to sign
  • In the event of a delivery without signature, the driver will enter the recipient’s name on the hand-held device
  • The customer may be okay to sign the device themselves, so the device would be left at a safe distance for signature before retrieval by the driver.

The simple Portech Contactless POD solution has been developed by Portech Systems’ enterprise mobile specialists who have delivered an array of mobile apps for a range of companies, including Vimto Out of Home using the company’s Field Service Executive workflow management system, while meter reading company Lowri Beck turned to Portech to deliver a cost-effective mobile workforce solution.

Portech also recently launched its Urgent Android Migration service for organisations that have not started the planning process to migrate their Windows Embedded Mobile 6.5 devices and scanners.

The Portech Contactless POD app is free for the first month.

For more information, please visit: www.portech.co.uk

[1] https://uk.motor1.com/news/427064/traffic-approaching-pre-lockdown-levels/

Portech launches Urgent Android Migration service for Windows embedded devices

Businesses using discontinued Microsoft Windows Embedded OS devices are vulnerable to attacks and data loss, so Portech Systems, an expert in bespoke solutions for the enterprise mobile workforce, has launched the Urgent Android Migration service for organisations that have not started the planning process to migrate their Windows Embedded Mobile 6.5 devices and scanners.

Any business that is still using Microsoft Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, particularly in the warehouse, manufacturing and retail sectors, will be affected as support will come to an end in January 2020.

Alarmingly, a recent enterprise mobility study revealed that more than 50 percent of decision-makers said they will remain on legacy Windows after the End of Life phase or are still evaluating their options. This means that organisations will be running software that’s no longer supported or patched, resulting in the potential for data compromise and financial losses.

The Urgent Android Migration service will help organisations to make timely, business-critical decisions to ensure business continuity and minimise the cost of the transition to a new Android Operating System (OS).

It includes an analysis of current device landscape, functionality and requirements for solutions and apps, guidance with selecting an appropriate device, migration and post-migration support.

Director of Portech, Shaz Naeem, a mobile industry veteran with 40 years’ experience, explains: “Sadly, we know of businesses that are not being proactive about the end of support for Windows, but once devices start to fail, that’s when the problems arise. Over the last quarter, more and more IT teams have approached us about looking to move away from Windows. While there is no quick fix for migration especially with complex and large installations, there is a compelling case for us to launch a service that helps companies to start the process now, so that productivity losses are minimised during the smooth migration to the Android operating system.”

The Android OS is the number one platform that organisations are choosing to replace legacy Windows, with key features including:

As an open-source platform, Android OS enables developers to respond quickly when users need new functionality or need to scale their deployments. These include custom security APIs, hardware integration APIs, and more robust mobile device management features.

Android is currently the most used mobile OS in the world. Most members of a workforce are already familiar with the platform and that ease of use and familiarity makes the transition much easier.

There is a wide selection of Android-compatible hardware that is rugged and designed for high-volume use in industrial settings.

Google and its Android platform partners have been investing heavily in application development to expand and improve applications.

Portech has launched the service to complement its work in developing enterprise mobile enterprise applications and support. With over 25 years’ experience, Portech has clients that are confident in the team’s ability to deliver a wide range of projects, from logistics, warehousing, retail, merchandising to field service and much more.

Naeem concludes: “The release of Microsoft’s Pocket PC OS in 2000 revolutionised the use of mobile devices in the workplace. Portech was there to witness this revolution and from the onset began to develop and distribute new applications to function on the new OS. Along with the new applications, we helped companies port across their existing desktop and laptop applications to function on these new devices. This experience puts all those looking to migrate from Windows in very good hands.”




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HTC to unveil HTC 10 phone with enterprise-friendly features

HTC is expected to unveil its latest flagship smartphone, the 10, at an online launch event scheduled for April 12.

Features of the new HTC 10 phone of interest to enterprise users include Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 820 chip with Adreno 530 graphics, 4GB of RAM and 23GB of free internal storage supplemented by a microSD slot, which should bump up storage to around 32GB in total (minus operating system and preloaded software), according to VentureBeat’s Evan Bass, who had spoken to a source who had seen the prototype.

The 5.1-inch HTC 10 is expected to run Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and have HTC’s Sense 8.0 user interface and a 1440 x 2560 QHD display. It will feature a rear-facing camera with 12-pixel resolution and laser-assisted autofocus. Both the front-facing and rear-facing lenses offer optical image stabilization, according to Bass.

HTC is counting on the HTC 10 to be a big hit to help it rebound from several quarters of losses, reported Diana Goovaerts with WirelessWeek. In its most recent quarter, HTC reported an operating loss of $126.8 million on $794.8 million in revenue, the third consecutive quarterly loss for the Taiwan-based


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