courier on a scooter

Combining ID and Barcode scanners in a single mobile device for Couriers

Thomas Mörtl Zimmerer

Account Executive at Anyline

Oct 18, 2021

Online sales have seen a gigantic increase in volume and revenue in the last couple of years, driven by the covid-19 pandemic when shopping in-store was not an option. But more than the growth of e-commerce, the industry has witnessed a shift in the consumers’ habits online. If items purchased online were previously mostly non-perishable goods, online shoppers are now ordering far more groceries, including restricted items such as alcohol, tobacco and medical prescriptions.

While this shift is beneficial to online businesses, it creates an added challenge for last-mile delivery companies as more items being delivered now fall under an age restriction set by national and federal legislation. It is evident that drop off couriers need new tools now.

For couriers and delivery employees, it’s now essential that they can verify the age of recipients during restricted item deliveries, without creating additional friction and costing delivery efficiency.

2. Why should couriers scan IDs?

It may seem that verifying the customer’s ID is all that’s needed to determine if a courier can deliver an order. However, it’s possible to misread an ID card, which places a last mile delivery company at great risk when the order includes an age-restricted item like alcohol, tobacco or medical prescriptions.

Furthermore, many delivery companies are relaxing their rules for signature and identification due to the pandemic, according to Forbes. However, this change provides fraudsters with a better opportunity to claim they didn’t receive their order.

A process that automatically scans IDs, verifies age and records the results helps these companies minimize fraud while also avoiding the serious legal and financial consequences of delivering age-restricted items to someone who can’t legally receive them.

3. How can ID and barcode scanning solutions limit TCO?

Couriers need to manage deliveries for all orders, but it’s especially important to do so for age-restricted products. This process generally involves tracking the order, including when and where it was delivered. Delivery management may use many tools such as the following:

Every tool needs to be linked for last mile delivery companies and couriers to perform their job at its best potential, but this often results in multiple devices being used, which brings many disadvantages:

  • Having to switch between devices to perform different tasks burdens employees’ workflow
  • Employees have to learn how to use every device, and for less tech-savvy employees, it can be a challenge. Also, if employees don’t know how to use their tools correctly, errors might be made or some processes may be overlooked.
  • The multiplication of devices also comes with a greater total cost of ownership for businesses: it requires companies to invest in scanners, GPS and software, and to maintain those tools.

With new trends such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), last mile delivery companies can limit TCO. However, it requires them to integrate what multiple devices previously did into a single mobile device, like a smartphone or a tablet. Many delivery companies already use GPS Apps or delivery management Apps, but might still have to use other devices for ID or barcode scanning.

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