The Swedish logistics and transport company ASG
has invested in more than 1,000 handheld PCs for its Domestic & Parcel business area.
The computers will be installed in all distribution vehicles in order to rationalize
production, reduce costs and reinforce the market value of ASG's services, according to
project manager Ulf Dahlbäcker.
Mobitex in the driver's seat
The handheld computers will enable the responsibility for delivery validation to be transferred from local ASG office personnel to the drivers. The driver scans in the barcodes from his forwarding documents and is in charge of his own loading procedure and administration, minimizing waiting time at the terminals.
Once the goods are loaded, the driver places the handheld PC in the vehicle's docking station and simply presses "send". The data containing information about the cargo is sent via the Mobitex network and a mainframe computer to ASG. When the goods are delivered to the customer, the barcode on the invoice is scanned in and the handheld computer is placed in the docking station. In a matter of seconds, the sender can see that the goods have arrived at their destination either through ASG's on-line system or the Internet.
"Data can be downloaded to the computers either via the Mobitex network or via servers at the nearest ASG terminal. However, our preferred alternative is wireless communication via Mobitex," states Ulf Dahlbäcker.
Mobitex terminals aren't new to ASG drivers. They have previously been used to receive customer pick-up orders. The handheld PC project is phase two in the development of the Mobitex application.
It is important that the handheld computers validate the transferred data accurately. However, should there be any difficulties, the driver is guided by various error messages. Each ASG office has staff that can answer questions from users, and the users can also contact WM-data, the company responsible for monitoring and operating ASG's system.