We are happy to announce that the new OnTime Mobile apps for iOS and Android support push notifications. Push notifications are a faster and more reliable method of transmission than notifications sent via email and SMS text message. This helps provide the assurance your dispatchers need. Push notifications are sent directly to the driver’s device. You can be confident that your drivers receive all notifications they are issued with the most up-to-date information.
Whereas receiving a traditional SMS text message requires a connection to your mobile cell provider; push notifications can be received across any internet connection. If OnTime Mobile has access to any internet connection, such as mobile data service or WiFi, push notifications can be received. If your driver's phone is turned off or set to airplane mode, push notifications are staged and delivered the next time the phone is powered on.
Additionally, push notifications allow more customization, with up to 1,500 characters permitted. SMS messages are typically limited to around 160 characters.
Instead of forcing generic notifications upon you, OnTime's Workflow Notification Designer is a powerful tool for customizing notifications. Push notifications are built and customized within this tool, allowing a wide array of options. You customize push notifications to behave in the way you want, containing the information you want.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve communication between your workforce. The availability of push notifications within OnTime Mobile is another example of OnTime's commitment to your success.
Our second look at the features of the new OnTime Mobile app will focus on the processing of orders. We are confident that these features will save you time and money.
- ATTACH PHOTOS: Save photos with an order at collection, delivery, or any stage in between. Proof of documentation is as important as it has ever been. Drivers can now include a picture of the person or location delivered to, damage upon receipt of the package, or any damage incurred in-transit. These photos are attached to the order, allowing the office to automatically see all pertinent information, no longer sorting through hundreds of photos to find the correct ones to match each order.
- COLLECT SIGNATURES: Capture signatures using the touchscreen on your device.
- EDIT ORDERS: Make adjustments to an order while on the go, without contacting dispatch. For example, the shipper may not have known the size and weight of the package being delivered. The driver can measure and enter this information into the app, making adjustments on the go, streamlining the future billing process.
- SELF DISPATCH: Access the unassigned order list to assign an order to yourself, or transfer to another driver. This feature is especially beneficial to a small company with limited staff. A driver can now play the role of dispatcher, as needed, while on the go. Now your office can keep running, even without you there.
- BARCODE SCANNING: Use the camera on your device to quickly read a barcode from any label, allowing for scanning of any tracking information. Scan barcodes generated by OnTime, or use barcodes and numbers generated by another party. The app will find the corresponding order on your list and offer appropriate actions. Barcode scanning allows the driver to quickly see instructions unique to each delivery. Drivers scan the barcode and partial or complete matches are made against the following order fields: Tracking number, Reference number, Purchase order number, Incoming tracking number, and Outgoing tracking number.
We believe your company will have great success using the features introduced in Parts 1 and 2 of this series. Go download yours today at the Google Play store and the Apple App Store!
Using the new OnTime Mobile app will contribute to greater productivity and an operational edge in the courier field. Let’s introduce you to some of its features.
- SIGNAL AVAILABILITY: A driver can quickly and easily set their current availability, and can include a description of their current status, and when this is expected to change. This can be done as often as necessary.
- GPS: Let dispatch know where drivers are with accurate and consistent location tracking. The GPS tracking is reliable, allowing the feature to work even when the phone or device is asleep. Customization of the GPS features allows the ability to set how frequently the GPS information is tracked and sent, enabling users to save battery life of their devices. No longer worry about a device dying in the middle of the day. The control is in your hands. Set the transmission of location down to 5 seconds, beating our competitors’ claims that 12 seconds is the industry best.
- MAP ROUTING: Use Google Maps or Apple Maps to plot a route from your current position to the address of your next stop.
- OFFLINE SYNCHRONIZATION: Continue to work quickly with or without an internet connection. Features continue to work even when offline, and will automatically synchronize the results once an internet connection becomes available. This is especially useful during deliveries to locations where connections are limited or unavailable, such as in hospitals. Now drivers can enter delivery information into the app as usual, and then sync within seconds when an internet connection becomes available again. No longer will they have to keep track separately and enter upon connection.
- SECURE: Data is transmitted to and from the app securely with encryption. This added protection helps you to meet regulatory requirements, for instance, HIPAA compliance. Financial and legal firms will also appreciate the privacy afforded by this added security.
Download the app today on the Google Play store and the Apple App Store. We are excited to see the benefits these features will bring to your business.
We are pleased to announce the release of the new OnTime Mobile app for iOS and Android. We’ve designed and built these apps to be faster and more dependable than ever before.
OnTime Mobile gives couriers the tools they need in the field. Process your assigned orders and keep in constant communication with dispatch. What are some of the new features your delivery drivers can look forward to?
Keep dispatch informed where you are at, when you are available, and when you expect that to change. Great for independent contractors!
Save photos with an order at collection, delivery, or any stage in between.
Capture signatures using the touchscreen on your device.
Make adjustments to an order while on the go, without contacting dispatch.
Access the unassigned order list to assign an order to yourself, or transfer to another driver.
Let dispatch know where you are with accurate and consistent location tracking.
Use the camera on your device to quickly read a barcode from any label. The app will find the corresponding order on your list and offer appropriate actions.
Use Google Maps or Apple Maps to plot a route from your current position to the address of your next stop.
Continue to work quickly with or without an internet connection. Features continue to work even when offline and will automatically synchronize the results once an internet connection becomes available.
Data is transmitted to and from the app securely with encryption.
These exciting new features are available across all subscription plans, from Standard to Enterprise. Keep on the lookout for details on the benefits of each feature in future posts.
Download the app to your device and increase productivity today.
Beginning today, OnTime offers a new feature to help improve communication between drivers and dispatchers. In the past, it has not always been easy for dispatchers to know when and for how long a driver is available for work. This can be further complicated when drivers are independent contractors and do not have a set schedule. To solve this problem, OnTime now includes an Availability feature.
This allows a driver to quickly and easily set their current availability from one of the OnTime Mobile apps. In addition to setting their status as “available” or “not available”, drivers can include a description of their current status and a time at which they expect their next status to change.
A driver can change their availability by tapping on the yellow or green bar across the home screen of an OnTime Mobile app.
A driver can update their availability details as often as necessary. This information is immediately relayed back to users of OnTime Dispatch.
The new Availability feature allows a dispatcher to see the current availability of all drivers. Perhaps more importantly, a dispatcher can see a description of each driver’s current status and when that’s expected to next change. This helps the dispatcher to more accurately predict availability in the future.
Here are a few examples of how this feature may be used:
Example: Lunch break
A driver has just started his lunch break and is unavailable for the next hour.
Example: Shift over and on vacation until Tuesday.
A driver has just ended their shift and due to a planned vacation, will not return at the normal time the following week.
This feature is available in the following apps:
- OnTime Mobile Web
- OnTime Mobile for Android
- OnTime Mobile for iOS
- OnTime Dispatch
Vesigo Studios is proud to release the fourth major version of OnTime Management Suite and OnTime Dispatch. The last major version (3) alone saw over 180 releases, each adding to the software. This new major version includes significant new features. Here’s a sampling of what’s included:
A more secure, reliable, and performant platform
OnTime Management Suite and Dispatch now run on Microsoft’s .NET Framework 4.6, making for a better experience on Windows 7, 8, and 10. Expect to see a smoother experience across many areas of OnTime, including the full use of multi-core processors and better memory management.
Support for extensions written by the community
OnTime Extensions are an exciting new part of OnTime version 4. Extensions can be created to perform custom tasks and are deeply integrated into OnTime. And now these extensions can be created by programmers in the development community. These extensions will make it possible to tightly integrate OnTime accounts with other software systems and sites.
Build your own custom extensions
The OnTime SDK provides a powerful application programming interface (API) that allows a developer to control many of the basic functions of an OnTime account. This makes it possible to control how data is read, created, and updated. Using this approach, a programmer can easily extend the functionality of OnTime desktop applications such as OnTime Management Suite and OnTime Dispatch. These extensions become part of the OnTime application and can offer deep integration with other software systems. You’ll be able to create, read, and update data from most areas of an OnTime account.
A great new look for 4k screens
High resolution and high DPI support for 4K monitors. Icons, text, and other UI elements have been remastered and optimized for display on high-density screens. OnTime will look better than ever on such screens.
This new version is available from our Download page to any current OnTime subscriber. For more information on what is included in each release, be sure to visit our Release Notes page.
In our fourth and final post about the future of the courier industry we look at growing customer expectations. See our previous posts about e-commerce and m-commerce growth, increased competition in last mile service, and new methods and experimentation.
Some delivery options, such as sameday delivery, have become expected by online shoppers. Conversely, 4-hour delivery windows are becoming less and less acceptable for today’s fast-paced consumer. Definite, reliable, and consistent delivery options and times will be a required staple in every successful courier company soon.
Capable delivery software can prepare a courier company with the tools needed to execute tighter deadlines and complex pricing. As expectations increase for services such as digital signature capture and real-time shipment tracking, these services will start to become a new baseline. Advanced courier software will enable transportation companies to provide these services without a significant increase in overhead.
With consumers becoming more informed, issues such as environmental responsibility and fair pricing must be addressed if a company hopes to be successful in current and future climates. Reduced packaging, low-emission vehicles, and localized products are some potential changes that will help to attract intelligent and responsible customers.
Experimental approaches that innovators like Amazon and Uber are implementing are reducing delivery costs and times in ways that were recently inconceivable. Amazon’s Prime Air drone army, which is currently being put into service, intends to complete deliveries in 30 minutes or less.
Regional and local courier companies may not have the resources and reach to affect such a large change. But they can be innovative when it comes to serving customers in their territory. One cost effective way of doing this involves the use of software applications. Courier software applications are commonly implemented by small and large courier services alike to help meet the expectations of modern consumers. Working with courier software providers to create the most effective approaches will help companies remain competitive in this environment.
Innovating for customers can mean more than just clever ways to deliver a shipment. Innovation can also be demonstrated in the ways that services are marketed, the tools given to customers, and the way pricing is staged. Those who have courier software capable of backing those initiatives tend to stand out among their competitors.
Experimentation with alternate methods of deliveries will need to be thoroughly planned and executed if a company hopes to develop a reputation as an innovator itself.
In our ongoing series about the future of the courier industry we take a look at how competition is shaping the last mile service market. If you missed it, our post last week focused on how e-commerce and m-commerce growth has affected courier companies.
Localized and regional courier services that provide inexpensive and efficient options are competing heavily among themselves for the last mile: the delivery to final recipients. Companies like Amazon, McDonald’s, and Starbucks are working with regional carriers in the US (Market Realist). Because the reputation of a company utilizing these types of courier services is affected by the courier’s performance, customer service and satisfaction is encouraging this increased competitive atmosphere.
With B2C deliveries expected to surpass B2B deliveries in Asia and North America by 2020 (Accenture), customer service is integral to the future success of any courier company. Regional courier companies who will excel in competing for their local last mile will focus primarily on establishing a reputation for excellent customer service and secondarily on developing relationships with corporate entities.
The massive growth of the e-commerce industry has helped to drive the courier industry into an equally impressive state, with projections indicating 9% growth annually, reaching $343 billion globally by 2020 (Accenture). With the courier industry’s growth fueled by technological innovations, the landscape is expected to similarly evolve. What can this mean for your courier business?
Without the current availability of mail and courier services, the e-commerce industry would have been incapable of achieving the growth that it has today. Likewise, the demand that the e-commerce industry has generated continues to encouraging the growth of the courier industry. As mentioned earlier, B2C deliveries are increasing and expected to overtake B2B deliveries in volume by 2020.
The growth of the e-commerce industry and B2C deliveries present an opportunity for courier companies to increase their own market via e-commerce and direct-to-customer options. Online order placement, package tracking, and customer accounts are some services that will advantage a courier business as the industry evolves.
Ambitious companies may delve into m-commerce, or mobile commerce, a sub-industry of e-commerce, by offering branded mobile applications. When customers install these applications on their smartphones, they are ostensibly putting your brand in their pocket. A fully functional website and application will give courier companies a definite advantage in the future.
Delivery software, such as OnTime 360, can give your company the tools to succeed in this space. In addition to the off-the-shelf apps available, you can also make use of OnTime’s SDK and API toolset to deeply integrate your shipping services with any e-commerce or mobile commerce platform.