OnTime 360 Blog

Blog Home

OnTime 360 News and information

4 Ways Mobile Phones Have Transformed Delivery and What's Next

Delivery driver uses smartphone for order tracking

It was immediately clear in the early-2000s that the rise of modern-day smartphones would have a significant impact on the courier/delivery industry.

Almost 20 years later, we’ve had the chance to see how delivery companies integrated mobile technology into their workflow. It takes time for each new innovation in technology to become more accessible, but soon it’s a standard offering in the industry.

This process hasn’t slowed down; new technologies and systems are constantly being developed, and there’s value in keeping up. But more on that later.

There have been four major innovations in mobile technology that have changed the logistics industry.

Collecting Signatures

June of 2000 marked the creation of the ESIGN Act, which ensured the validity of electronic signatures.

Today, all that's needed to do signature capture is a smartphone and the right app.

One advantage to using the OnTime Mobile app for signature capture is its close integration with OnTime’s desktop applications. You can give your customers easy access to signature proof of delivery through our customer web portal.

GPS Tracking

The next innovation that came along changed the industry forever—mobile GPS tracking. GPS tracking was first successfully integrated onto mobile phones in 2004. This technology can help both dispatch and drivers: it allows dispatch to assist drivers if they get lost or need to be rerouted, and it helps drivers with navigation.

OnTime’s GPS connectivity transmits drivers’ positions back to dispatch throughout the day. It’s even possible to customize settings to save the battery life of drivers’ devices.

Barcode Scanning

Thanks to advancements in mobile data capture technology, almost all smartphones designed after the late-2000s are able to decode barcodes using their built-in cameras.

In the years since, many last mile delivery businesses realized that mobile scanners are able to match the performance and reliability of dedicated scanners—while also introducing some distinct advantages.

Mobile barcode scanning was added to the OnTime Mobile app in 2006. Drivers can scan the barcode unique to each delivery. The OnTime Mobile app also makes it possible to quickly pull up orders and view directions simply by scanning a barcode.

Photo Proof of Delivery

Gone are the days of towering filing cabinets, paper trails, and uncertainty regarding product delivery status.

Drivers can now include a picture of the person or location delivered to, the package in-transit, or the intact package upon receipt. With OnTime’s solution, these photos are attached to the order, allowing dispatch to see the relevant information, no longer sorting through hundreds of photos to find the right order.

There have been many other innovations in mobile technology that we haven’t mentioned, including offline synchronization, encrypted security, and more.

There’s no reason to suspect that this rate of innovation will change any time in the near future. New technology will come along and logistics companies will have to adapt.

That’s easier said than done though. Finding the time to keep up with new technology is a difficult ask for most businesses, which is why it’s so important to find a software solution that is updated regularly.

15 years ago, OnTime was launched as the very first cloud-based courier software. We’ve seen how mobile technology revolutionized the industry, and we’ve worked to stay on the cutting edge. So when you partner with OnTime, you can be confident that you’ll be kept up-to-date with whatever new technology arrives next.

Ready to get started? Try a free demo.

Is My Business Too Small for Courier Software?

Small business owner overwhelmed by busy schedule

The last-mile delivery industry has changed substantially in recent years. In order to stay competitive in this shifting landscape, companies constantly look for ways to improve efficiency and cut logistics costs.

This can be especially challenging for small courier and delivery businesses. It's likely that you have an endless list of things to keep tabs on, from dispatching and scheduling to customer service and accounting. On top of that, you may be trying to manage your courier business using a combination of maps, sticky notes, and Excel sheets.

Is there any alternative?

Yes. Courier software can provide you with powerful tools to improve your business. For example, a high-quality software solution can automate tasks, including routes, notifications, customer requirements, customer pricing, and customer invoicing.

We estimate that courier businesses that transition to using OnTime could save up to 50% of their employees' non-driving time.

Having said that, you may already know that courier software can save time and money, but you're still hesitant to get started. The initial time investment and cost is often a barrier to entry.

Here are three common concerns about getting started with courier software—and three reasons why it is still the best choice for most businesses.

"I don't have enough time to get a software solution up and running."

Once you've determined the right solution, you will need to set it up, transition from your current system, and train your staff. This process requires time and effort. Here are a few ways that the right software solution can ease you through the transition period:

Easy data uploads. Automatically import mass amounts of your data from CSV and Excel files. This way, older company data can be brought into your account, without the need for manual entry. Some courier solutions provide import templates to help you to easily organize your data into a format that will work best.

Support staff. A capable technical support team can guide you through the transition process, freeing you up to focus on your business.

"I'm not ready to change the way I run my business to bring a software on board."

Choosing a software that can adapt to the way you run your business is essential.

Here are a few examples of ways courier software can be customized for your business:

Personalized communication. There are software solutions that allow you to customize notifications, invoices, and more. For example, with OnTime’s notification designer you can automate communications between your customers and staff and create custom notifications that are automatically sent when you choose. You are in control of who receives what information, in what format, when, and why.

Pricing. Some businesses prefer to price their shipments by distance, others by weight or zone, and most by a combination of charges. OnTime's price modifier system gives you the option to build as many unique price sets as you need.

"Courier software is too expensive."

In years past, it was difficult to find courier software that was a good fit for small businesses. These solutions were built for large logistics/transportation companies—and it was hard to find solutions for under $20,000.

Times have changed. Now, there is courier software built, and priced, with small businesses in mind. OnTime's essential plan has all the features you need, at a reasonable monthly price. If you'd like to see how much you could save with courier software, check out our savings calculator.

Ready to get started? Contact us for more information.

OnTime Mobile v3 Delivers Improved Accuracy and Productivity

We’re excited to release a new version of OnTime Mobile, our app for couriers and delivery drivers. In this release, we’ve added features highly requested by our customers. Couriers will be excited to see the new features that help them be more productive. Carriers will be eager to see the new features designed to prevent misdeliveries.

This is a free update available to any courier using OnTime and can be found within the App Store or Google Play.

More Maps, Faster Navigation

New navigation options let you move quickly from stop to stop. Simply swipe right on an order or a stop to get immediate turn by turn directions using your preferred mapping program.

Courier software swipe to navigate, pick up, and deliver.

This version makes it easy to set the mapping provider of your choice. Choose from Apple Maps, Google Maps, or Waze.

Waze navigation in courier software

In regions where street addresses are inconsistent, OnTime now supports setting the navigation source to favor geographic coordinates set on location records ahead of time. This allows precise navigation and mapping even when the street address is unavailable. OnTime administrators can adjust this setting on a per-user basis.

Driver navigation to street address or coordinates

Features to Improve Focus

OnTime Mobile helps increase productivity throughout the day by allowing drivers to remain focused on the task at hand. A new filter can simplify the items list shown. Tap the filter icon across the top to display all orders, today’s orders, or unread orders.

Courier app with order filter

Push notifications immediately notify drivers of changes in assignments and make it easy to reference the affected order.

Courier software push notifications

A new read status on orders makes it easy to see new assignments and let dispatch know drivers have seen the assignment. Toggle the read status of an order, and dispatch will see those changes immediately.

Mark assignments as read and unread

Unread orders will appear in the order list as colorized light blue, making it easier to identify new orders.

Unread driver shipments

iPhone users will see badges on the app icon, calling attention to new, unread orders that have been assigned to the courier. Badges can be hidden within iOS notification settings.

Unread orders badge in OnTime Mobile for couriers

Don’t lose your spot. Keep the screen on while viewing orders. On newer devices, this will also keep synchronization and GPS transmission regular and active.

Focus on driver assignments and jobs

Require Accuracy

If avoiding the misdelivery of a shipment is essential to your business, the following features will be of particular interest.

Proximity Validation

Proximity validation helps avoid misdeliveries by checking the driver’s current location against the location they are attempting to collect from or deliver to. If a driver is not close enough to the proper location, carriers can prevent them from collecting or delivering to the wrong address.

Proximity checks to avoid misdelivery

This is configured on a per-user basis to require that the driver is at the proper location or simply warn them.

Proximity check for couriers

Set the proximity radius in meters to control how close drivers need to be to the location they are collecting from or delivering to. The default is 400 meters or about 1/4 mile. The minimum distance is 30 meters or about 100 feet.

Set acceptable proximity for collections and deliveries

Barcode Validation

If barcode scanning is a part of your collection and delivery routine, barcode validation ensures that proper packages are delivered by requiring a valid barcode scan.

Courier barcode verification

This is configured on a per-user basis to require that the driver scans the proper barcode before marking an order as collected or delivered.

Require barcode validation on deliveries

POD Requirements

There is now added control over the contact name requirement when marking an order as collected or delivered.

Courier POD contact name

This is configured on a per-user basis.

Require POD contact name on pick up or delivery

More New Features That Make OnTime Mobile Better than Ever

  • Colorized icons to make the status of an order easier to see.
  • The order details view now shows a list of the items contained within the order.
  • Performance optimizations to make the app faster to use.
  • Improvements to security, reliability, and resource utilization.
  • Optimizations to extend battery life.
  • Bug fixes to make the app more reliable.

If you haven't already, download and try OnTime Mobile today. If your company has any questions about using these new features, contact us. We will be happy to discuss the details with you.

Choosing Smart Route Optimization for Your Business

Smart Courier Route Optimization for Your Transportation Business

Route optimization technology has been a game-changer in the delivery industry. For example, it is reported that UPS saves 10 million gallons of fuel a year using route optimization software that favors right-hand turns. This example demonstrates just how effective the route optimization process can be when it is paired with the right technology.

Implementing route optimization for the first time within your organization can be daunting. You are not alone if you are concerned that route optimization services seem overly complex, price prohibitive, and difficult to integrate into your current workflow. This article demonstrates that it’s very possible to implement a smart route optimization solution at a reasonable price.

What is route optimization?

Route optimization is the process of finding the most efficient route for a series of stops or waypoints. There is much more to route optimization than finding the shortest distance between two points. Smart route optimization will factor in a variety of factors, including:

  • Geography
  • Up-to-date traffic data
  • Road construction schedules
  • Mapping data, including speed limits
  • Time windows for collection and delivery
  • Starting and ending locations for routes
  • Driver schedules
  • Driver home locations

Why not use Google Maps or Bing Maps? Can they be used for route optimization?

In short, no. These mapping services are designed to provide simple point A to B directions. While they provide part of the route optimization solution, they don’t have the capabilities of purpose-build route optimization software. To benefit fully and see the most return from route optimization, use a solution that accommodates the factors listed above.

The advantages of route optimization

  • Reduce costs: Effective route optimization leads to less time spent on the road. These improvements result in savings on fuel, vehicle maintenance, and personnel costs. Some businesses see a 20% to 40% reduction in fuel costs and drive time.
  • Increase capacity: Route optimization helps couriers to maximize their fleets, enabling each driver to complete more orders. Some businesses see a 50% to 70% increase in daily capacity.
  • Improve the dispatching process: A smart route optimization system empowers dispatchers to do their job more efficiently. This can save dispatchers hours of planning and allow them to focus on improving other areas of the business.

Benefits by industry

  • Healthcare: Make good on time-sensitive appointments and satisfy unique requirements for different patients. Send customers real-time updates to inform them of their order status.
  • Logistics: Avoid late fees and long wait times behind other delivery drivers by prioritizing stops with earlier scheduled appointments at busy locations.
  • Food delivery: Create routes for recurring food orders and deal with last-minute changes on the fly.

Didn’t see your industry? Reach out to the experts at OnTime to learn how route optimization can benefit your business.  

OnTime’s route optimization

OnTime 360’s transportation management software includes a built-in route optimization system. Based on extensive research and development, our patent-pending optimization adapts a powerful algorithm used to predict genetic mutation in the natural world. This leads to optimization that is extremely capable and accurate, with unheard-of performance. Optimize hundreds of stops, with advanced parameters, within a few seconds.

OnTime’s route optimization software is the premier optimization system in the industry. It delivers high-end route optimization at a reasonable price for our customers. A stand out feature is the ability to factor in time windows, an absolute must for any shipment with precise time constraints. There is no other software solution with OnTime’s unique combination of flexibility, features, and cost-effective performance.

How it works

Route optimization and courier scheduling are fully integrated within OnTime. There is no need to import and export route optimization data between another program or website. Direct integration with the OnTime Mobile apps means that optimized routes approved by a dispatcher are transferred directly to the driver with a single click. There’s no need to pay for two different programs—OnTime includes all the functionality you’ll need.

OnTime's advanced route optimization can be added to your daily workflow in four easy steps:

  1. Launch OnTime Dispatch and navigate to the Dispatching view.
  2. From within the Drivers List, double-click a user to view all orders/stops assigned to that driver.
  3. Click the button labeled Optimize Route. When optimization is completed, the list of stops will be reorganized in the most efficient order. The ordering of stops can be manually adjusted by dragging and dropping orders/stops in the list.
  4. Click the button labeled OK to save and transmit the optimized route to the driver via OnTime Mobile.

OnTime can optimize up to 300 route stops at a time with the most advanced options. Thousands of route stops can be optimized at a time with basic settings. Within seconds, OnTime will return the results factoring in geography, mapping data, time windows, and much more.

Dispatch route optimization included in TMS.

There are three primary methods of route optimization:

  1. Basic – This method is a general, free-of-charge, Point A to Point B optimization system. It doesn’t take mountains, rivers, oceans, or other obstacles into account, but will do a great job of showing the quickest way to run a route in straight lines.
  2. Vehicle Route – The second route optimization method is more precise than the first. It optimizes all the stops so that they are completed across the shortest possible distance along streets and roads. There’s even more information included, such as how the route should be split between days, projected start time, end time, total distance traveled, and total time taken to finish the route.
  3. Vehicle Route with Time Windows – This method is similar to the Vehicle Route method, but, in this case, delivery and collection times take precedent during optimization. This highly complex optimization is perfect for routes where time windows must take priority over geographic convenience.

Simple and predictable pay-as-you-go pricing

Forget monthly fees for users and vehicles. With OnTime, you only pay for what you use.

OnTime’s route optimization features are priced simply and predictably at $0.30 per optimized route. That’s money well spent when it’s in exchange for a 20% to 40% reduction in cost, a 50% to 70% increase in capacity, and a streamlined dispatching process.

OnTime makes use of a credit system where one route optimization requires one credit. Credits are available for purchase in bundles starting at $20. Larger bundles offer cost savings, reducing the per credit cost to as little as $0.15.

Compared to one leading provider* of route optimization, OnTime can easily reduce optimization costs by 92%. For example, 20 users cost $799 per month with a leading competitor, where OnTime would cost approximately $66 per month.

With OnTime’s route optimization, there is no setup fee, no monthly fee, and no exporting or importing to a separate routing service.

If you’re evaluating OnTime’s route optimization, you likely have more specific questions about features and support. Each courier service will have its own unique implementations. Contact us if you'd like to learn how we can find the right solution for your business.

* Comparing Route4Me’s monthly subscription program vs OnTime’s pay-for-what-you-use pricing model. 

Using OnTime as a Grocery Delivery Platform

Grocery delivery software platform with OnTime

The online grocery market has seen rapid growth in the last few years. In fact, the industry market value doubled from 2016 to 2018. This trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future (especially given the events of the past few months). Within the last week, a single grocery delivery business reached a valuation of nearly $14 billion.

It’s becoming clear that online grocery delivery is no longer just a trend—customer behaviors are changing, and it’s now expected that grocery stores offer delivery. For that reason, most grocers, whether established or newcomers to the industry, are looking to expand their delivery services to meet the new demand. In addition, newer grocery delivery services are finding ways to compete (often on a local level) with the larger companies, such as Instacart and Shipt.

Of course, all this growth comes with increased competition. Everyone is looking for the right strategy and software for their situation. Undoubtedly, all the major players in the industry—Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, etc.—are employing unique strategies to find success within their niche.

This raises a few questions: What are the keys to profitable grocery delivery? And, how can you adapt the OnTime software for your situation?

Profitable Grocery Delivery

Although the market segment as a whole is indeed growing, individual grocers are more concerned about the question: Can my grocery delivery service be profitable?

A profitable online offer is achievable, but to drive long-term profitability, grocery delivery services need to pay close attention to a few key factors.

Logistics is at the core of any effective grocery delivery strategy. A service needs to have efficient and accurate picking of in-stock products, and low cost, on-time delivery. Retailers who focus on optimizing their delivery process are benefiting from the lowest-cost operations, enabling them to serve customers more cheaply than their competitors can. It’s necessary to take into account driver management, route optimization, tracking, and more.

Implementation of software is also an essential factor (more on that later). To provide a top-of-the-line customer experience requires purpose-built technology, both customer-facing and in delivery. Poor implementations can cost time and money. Worse still, choosing technology that doesn’t fit the business model in the first place can set back an entire operation.

Continue reading to see how OnTime can improve the delivery process, whether it be an independent grocery chain, or a courier business looking to create its own version of Instacart or FreshDirect.

API Integration

Use the OnTime API to connect OnTime with other platforms, such as websites or mobile apps. For example, it’s very common for grocery delivery services to have a mobile ordering app for customers. With the API, it’s possible to connect an app to an OnTime account and transmit order information from the app into OnTime.

This feature saves dispatchers from the time-consuming task of entering this information into a delivery system manually. Our API helps to extend the efficiency of a delivery service right through to the customer’s doorstep.

Delivery Management

As a grocery delivery service continues to grow and increase in order volume, delivery management becomes more and more important. Here are a few of the most valuable OnTime features for delivery management:

Set up signature capture for high-value items, create zone-based pricing, and add additional items to the order, such as instructions for delivery drivers.

Use our location management feature to organize all addresses that a company has either picked up from or delivered to. This list of addresses may be organized to better view a company's reach.

In our real-time tracking feature, view the status of any order in the system. Reassign orders to different drivers, while OnTime logistics software takes care of all the necessary notifications.

To learn more about what OnTime has to offer, make sure to check out our features page.

Driver Options

As we touched on in the last section, a delivery process becomes more complex as order volume increases. This means dealing with multiple drivers—and that comes with a new set of challenges, such as vehicle maintenance, tracking, and route optimization. OnTime provides the tools needed to manage these different elements successfully.

For example, OnTime Mobile allows dispatch mangers to stay in tight communication with drivers through email, text messages, or internal messaging. And OnTime’s GPS connectivity can transmit a driver's position to the dispatch manager throughout the day. Maintenance reminders, such as insurance and license dates can be kept up-to-date under the driver information section.

It’s likely that you have more specific questions about features and support. After all, each grocery service will have it’s own unique needs. Over the years, we've helped many food delivery companies successfully adapt OnTime. (For example, you've just seen a small sample of what the API can do.) Contact us if you'd like to learn how we can build a solution for your business.

Build Your Own Multi-Restaurant Food Delivery System With OnTime

Multi-Restaurant Food Delivery Software built using OnTime.

Food delivery and take-out services are two of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry. According to Forbes, the online food delivery business will soon be a 200 Billion dollar industry.

Food delivery services are in high demand—they give restaurants access to a whole new set of customer orders. Of course, each multi-restaurant chain will have its own unique needs to take into account, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all software solution. Instead, look for a flexible software platform that can grow and change with the demands of your market. Here are some tips on how to find the right solution for your business.

Benefits of an In-house Solution

Are you part of a multiple-location restaurant chain looking to branch out into delivery? If so, you might wonder about the viability of a third-party delivery option. There are a few reasons why third-party delivery can be a poor long-term option for multiple-location restaurants: These services, such as Grubhub and Uber Eats, take a large cut of the sales you're making from delivery, and they control your menu and pricing.

If you can make the investment, and if it's right for your business, hiring drivers and bringing your delivery service in-house is the best option. The upfront cost will be higher, but the returns, later on, will also be higher.

Although many businesses want to bring their delivery in-house, they may not have the time or resources to create a software solution from scratch. OnTime 360 is an ideal solution for these multi-restaurant chains, as it gives them more control without the added complexities of a custom solution. Using OnTime as a platform, you can create your own version of Grubhub, DoorDash, or Uber Eats.

Without further ado, let’s consider: What are the most important features for a multi-restaurant delivery software? And how can you adapt OnTime for your food delivery service?

1. Software Integration

It’s vital that you have a delivery software platform that can integrate with other software. The OnTime API is a versatile tool built to connect the OnTime software with other platforms, such as websites or mobile apps.

The API can be a great solution for food delivery services using an in-house or third-party food ordering software that want to submit delivery info directly into OnTime when an order is completed.

With the OnTime API, you can connect with a wide range of industry-specific software and point-of-sale (POS) systems. For example, many food delivery services already have their own mobile app for customers. With the API, it’s possible to connect an app to your OnTime account and transmit order information from the app to create orders in OnTime. With our API, there are countless possibilities to create custom solutions for your specific needs.

2. Dispatching and Order Entry

Restaurants often have a lot of information to include in their orders. Fortunately, OnTime has a high level of flexibility when it comes to order entry. In OnTime 360, several data fields are available for use, such as collection location and cost of delivery. On top of that, you can use our User Defined Fields feature to add additional items to the order, such as instructions for the kitchen staff.

Our software is ideal for food delivery services working out of multiple locations. The option to set pickup location makes it easy for services with several locations, as everyone is connected with the same delivery system.

You likely deliver to a variety of different areas both near and far. With zone-based pricing, it’s possible to generate prices by simply filling in a postal code. Or use full addresses to calculate pricing based on exact distances.

Does your food delivery service have a high-volume of orders and requests? OnTime allows for different departments and contacts to place orders whenever needed, making it much easier to oversee.

3. Driver Management

One of the unique challenges that multiple-location restaurants face is driver management. There is so much to manage! You'll have to monitor vehicle maintenance, route optimization, and tracking, just to name a few.

The OnTime 360 Mobile App for delivery drivers comes with GPS tracking, barcode scanning, and options for collecting signatures. You can also track driver fees, tips, amounts owed for orders, and delivery times.

Route optimization is one of those details that can significantly improve the efficiency of a delivery service. With OnTime's route optimization, you can optimize hundreds of stops within a few seconds. There's no extra software needed, and it's always up-to-date.

If you’re considering OnTime as an option for your restaurant, then it’s likely that you have a lot of questions about features and support. Over the years, we've helped many food delivery companies successfully adapt OnTime. (In this post, we've barely scratched the surface of all the OnTime features available). Contact us if you'd like to learn how we can adapt our software to your business.

OnTime 5 Now Available

ontime-version-5

OnTime version 5 is generally available starting October 23. The latest version of OnTime Management Suite and OnTime Dispatch are packed with new features and enhancements.

Download and try the new features today!

After 11 months of research and development, the team at Vesigo is excited to release our most significant update in years. This release focused on implementing the feedback received from hundreds of users. Additionally, substantial improvements were made to the fundamentals of performance and reliability. For example, the Tracking view is up to 80x faster than in previous versions. The programs are more responsive and efficient, especially for companies dealing with large volume.

You’ll also find a tremendous number of new additions that make working with your data faster and more flexible. Here is a list of some of the new features and enhancements:

Record change history and auditing

Previously, history was available for only one type of record: orders. Now easily view past changes made to most records, including:

  • Users
  • Locations
  • Zones
  • Price Sets
  • Customers
  • Orders
  • Invoices
  • Payments
  • Vehicles

In addition to expanding the types of records for which you audit, we developed a whole new way of viewing changes made to records. Previously, a handful of columns were displayed, and the user was required to scan and compare them to detect differences. Now OnTime intelligently scans for the differences and only shows changes. Instead of a handful of columns, all columns of data are scanned for differences. This ensures that auditing is simple, direct, clear, and easy to understand.

Customers subscribed to Enterprise Plus can audit changes 90 days in the past. All other accounts can audit up to 30 days in the past.

History of changes made to a record can be accessed by selecting a record, right-clicking, and choosing “History” from within the context menu. Record history details the data changed, including the user that made the change, grouped by the timestamp of the change. Grouping can be changed to Property name by right-clicking within the list and choosing Group By > Property.

user-history

New events and special fields within the Workflow Notification Designer

New events include an event for new orders created through the Customer Web Portal and an event for orders transferred between drivers. New special fields include a list of selected price modifiers associated with an order, user defined fields, and an order tracking link.

new-workflow-events

Powerful new lists to display data

  • Advanced Search has a new home: The Filter Editor. This simplified view is easier to read and far more powerful. All features that were in the previous Advanced Search area are available in the new Filter Editor. Unlimited compound expressions make it possible to filter data to a very specific level. Then, as was possible in previous versions, these advanced searches can be saved for later use as a Quick View.
  • All new grid view for main lists within desktop applications. This new grid offers access to more data, streamlined data updates, and significantly improved performance.
  • New grid views support advanced filtering on any single column or combination of columns. Use compound expressions to filter data to a very specific level.
  • New Filter Row makes searching on any column quick and easy.
  • Grid view filtering that supports more than just “equals” comparison. Now use comparisons such as Equals, Does not equal, Contains, Does not contain, Is like, Is not like, Begins with, Ends with, Is greater than, Is greater than or equal to, Is less than, and Is less than or equal to.
  • Grid views now support a Best Fit auto sizing of columns.
  • Grid views now support sorting by more than one column. Right-click on a column header to choose sorting for a column and then repeat that step on each additional column for which sorting should be applied.
  • Grid views now support grouping by any column. Right-click on a column header to group by that column. Multiple columns may be used for grouping.
  • Advanced filtering through the Filter Editor window. Right-click a column header to open the Filter Editor. Within the Filter Editor, any combination of comparisons can be defined to filter data to a very specific level.

filter-editor

For those migrating from OnTime 4, explore some of the changes to the Tracking view in this brief video:

Enhanced Tracking View performance

A new function automatically calculates an optimal number of orders to display within the Tracking view. This option is turned on by default. Previously, a default of the top 500 most recent orders would be displayed. With this version, the performance was improved to allow for the 80,000 most recent records to be displayed without performance degradation. The number of records chosen does not affect searches or filters, which will always search across all available records.

Hardware graphics acceleration

To help improve the performance and rendering of large data, OnTime can now take advantage of a video card's processing power. This results in faster and smoother performance across the application. This feature requires a DirectX compatible video card and 64-bit Windows 8, 10, or higher. DirectX graphics acceleration can be disabled from within General Options or Program Options. If the hardware of the PC does not support graphics acceleration, the option will be disabled.

API usage headers

The OnTime API now includes additional headers for rate limits. If rate limits are reached, the response headers will include rate limit information, such as the number of API transactions used, number of remaining transactions, when rate limits will be reset, and when to next retry. Our knowledge base contains more details about these headers and how to use them.

Barcode scanning to update status and assigned user

bar1__38426.1411512866.1280.1280A new desktop or console barcode scanning extension designed to change the status of an order when scanned with a variety of standalone barcode scanning equipment. This extension will be especially useful in warehouses, hubs, and offices.

Scanning can cross-reference multiple identification numbers including tracking number, reference number, purchase order number, incoming tracking number, and outgoing tracking number. Status labels can be specified, making it possible to create detailed descriptions for shippers to view the progress of their orders. The currently assigned driver can also be changed as part of the scan. This OnTime extension can be downloaded at no additional charge for current subscribers.

A large number of commonly available barcode scanners are supported. For a full list, see the device compatibility list.

Search box (Ctrl + F)

A new way of performing quick searches across most columns is to use the search box in the upper right corner of the application. A useful shortcut to this search box is CTRL + F on the keyboard. This method of quick search is available from all main lists. When using the Search box, matches will be located across most columns, and the matching text will be highlighted in yellow.

When using the Search box within the Tracking view, this method of search still checks for matches across multiple columns, causing search results to take longer. For the fastest results, use the Tracking view’s Advanced Search where possible.

Dark mode improvements

The Dark theme is now supported consistently across more of the desktop applications.

Courier software dark mode

These are just a few of the new features and enhancements that are part of OnTime 5. We are excited to offer these highly requested features to our customers. If you have any questions about how to use these new features, you’ll find helpful information within the OnTime User Guide and the OnTime Knowledge Base. Or feel free to contact the OnTime customer support department, where a friendly support representative will be happy to assist you.

Preview OnTime 5.0 Today

Vesigo Studios is excited to announce the release of OnTime version 5.0 into preview. Beginning September 30th, this latest version of OnTime Management Suite and OnTime Dispatch are available through our preview channel. Download and try the new features today!

After 10 months of research and development, the team at Vesigo is excited to release our most significant update in years. This release focused on substantial improvements to the fundamentals of performance and reliability. For example, the Tracking view is up to 80x faster than in previous versions. The programs are more responsive and efficient, especially for companies dealing with large volume.

You’ll also find a tremendous number of new additions that make working with your data faster and more flexible. Here’s a quick mention of some of the new features and enhancements you can start using today:

  • Record change history and auditing: Easily view past changes made to most records. History of changes made to a record can be accessed by selecting a record, right-clicking, and choosing “History” from within the context menu. Record history details the data changed, including the user that made the change, grouped by the timestamp of the change. Grouping can be changed to Property name by right-clicking within the list and choosing Group By > Property. History is available for the following records: users, locations, zones, price sets, customers, orders, invoices, payments, and vehicles.

    user-history

  • New events and special fields within the Workflow Notification Designer: New events include an event for new orders created through the Customer Web Portal and an event for orders transferred between drivers. New special fields include a list of selected price modifiers associated with an order, user defined fields, and an order tracking link.

    new-workflow-events

  • Powerful new lists to display data:
    • Advanced Search has a new home: The Filter Editor. This simplified view is easier to read and far more powerful. All features that were in the previous Advanced Search area are available in the new Filter Editor. Unlimited compound expressions make it possible to filter data to a very specific level. Then, as was possible in previous versions, these advanced searches can be saved for later use as a Quick View.
    • All new grid view for main lists within desktop applications. This new grid offers access to more data, streamlined data updates, and significantly improved performance.
    • New grid views support advanced filtering on any single column or combination of columns. Use compound expressions to filter data to a very specific level.
    • New Filter Row makes searching on any column quick and easy.
    • Grid view filtering that supports more than just “equals” comparison. Now use comparisons such as Equals, Does not equal, Contains, Does not contain, Is like, Is not like, Begins with, Ends with, Is greater than, Is greater than or equal to, Is less than, and Is less than or equal to.
    • Grid views now support a Best Fit auto sizing of columns.
    • Grid views now support sorting by more than one column. Right-click on a column header to choose sorting for a column and then repeat that step on each additional column for which sorting should be applied.
    • Grid views now support grouping by any column. Right-click on a column header to group by that column. Multiple columns may be used for grouping.
    • Advanced filtering through the Filter Editor window. Right-click a column header to open the Filter Editor. Within the Filter Editor, any combination of comparisons can be defined to filter data to a very specific level.

      filter-editor

  • Enhanced tracking view performance: New option to automatically calculate an optimal number of orders to display within the Tracking view. This option is turned on by default. Previously, a default of the top 500 most recent orders would be displayed. With this version, the performance was improved to allow for the 80,000 most recent records to be displayed without system slow down. The number of records chosen does not affect searches or filters, which will always search across all available records.
  • API usage headers: The OnTime API now includes additional headers for rate limits. If rate limits are reached, the response headers will include rate limit information, such as the number of API transactions used, number of remaining transactions, when rate limits will be reset, and when to next retry.

We appreciate the feedback from our amazing customers who have helped shape OnTime into the premier courier software. There is much more to announce. We’ll be posting more information in the coming days and weeks. It’s a great time to be a user of OnTime!

Support for FreshBooks and Xero Accounting

Business concept with agenda, mobile phone and calculator

Vesigo Studios is proud to announce the release of two new extensions: the OnTime FreshBooks Extension and the OnTime Xero Extension. These extensions join our lineup of account software extensions, including QuickBooks desktop and QuickBooks Online. With these new FreshBooks and Xero extensions, you can easily transfer customers, invoices, and received payments from an OnTime account to a FreshBooks or Xero account.

Just as our QuickBooks Online extension is available at no additional charge, these new FreshBooks and Xero extensions are made available to our customers for FREE.

Follow these steps to access the FreshBooks or Xero extensions within OnTime Management Suite:

  1. Open the Tools tab in OnTime Management Suite
  2. Click the button labeled Find Extensions
  3. Click the link labeled Xero Extension or FreshBooks extension. This will prompt a download of a file named Xero.otex or FreshBooks.otex
  4. Return to the Tools tab in OnTime Management Suite
  5. Click the button labeled Install Extension. When prompted, select and open the file downloaded in the preceding steps

Once the extension has been installed, you may post to FreshBooks or Xero. This can be done by navigating to the Invoices or Payments lists in the Billing area. Select an invoice or payment, right-click, and choose Post to FreshBooks or Post to Xero.

How to Get Started with Courier Software

OnTime courier software

If you are just getting started with courier software or are looking to change for the first time in a long time, the landscape may be intimidating. With so many options that have so many differences, how do you begin? In this article, we will explore what you can expect and what you should do when getting started with courier software.

Define Your Needs

Before you begin looking at different courier software solutions, you should determine why you are considering using software and what aspects of your company require the most improvement by that software.

Once you have defined your company’s weaknesses, you should consider how many people at your company will be using the software and for what purpose, what aspects of your company currently work and should not change, what you expect for the future, and what type of hardware you currently have available.

These considerations will affect whether you should seek a custom-developed solution, a basic package, or something in between. Additionally, you will be able to outline your budget better and more effectively assess what solution may be right for you.

Determine Your Budget

As mentioned, your budget will be affected by what your company needs. If your needs are more elaborate, you may require a larger budget or a more specific solution; however, more simple needs can generally be covered by a small monthly budget. If you foresee the need to change or upgrade your current hardware, this will also need to be factored into your initial investment.

Another important consideration regarding your budget will be your ability to grow with your chosen software solution. Consider the different ways you expect to expand your business in the future and see if your software will be able to accommodate your budgetary needs and provide the features necessary to meet these expectations.

Try and Compare Options

Before you commit to a delivery management solution, you will want to invest some time into researching the various options available to you and comparing the features that these options offer. Consider which areas of your business need the most improvement to assess which features align best with your needs. Many solutions offer trial versions, which you can download for free to better determine whether or not a software is right for you. For more information about what to look for during your evaluation, refer to 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating Courier Software and 5 More Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating Courier Software.

Dedicate Transition Time

Once you have researched a few solutions, you will likely have discovered one that fits your needs. Before you can effectively include your new software in your day-to-day business processes, you will need to set up the solution, transition from your current system, and train your staff. This process will require time and effort, so determine how much of your own and your employees time you can reasonably dedicate to the transition. Find out if your courier software provider offers assistance with this transition and if their technical support staff is capable and helpful enough to guide you through this process in the time that you need.