California Overnight Upgrades Wireless Data System - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications

California Overnight Upgrades Wireless Data System

Package-delivery company is retooling its wireless infrastructure to improve business processes and customer service.

Regional package-delivery company California Overnight is in the midst of retooling its entire wireless infrastructure to improve business processes and customer service.

The 14-year-old privately held company, which serves California, Arizona, and Nevada, is no newcomer to wireless. The company in 1999 deployed dozens of Dolphin 7200 portable data terminals from Hand Held Products Inc. Delivery information would be transmitted, via a wireless service provider, to California Overnight's back-office systems after drivers cradled the terminal when they returned to their truck.

The problem, says Tim Elder, director of IT for California Overnight, was that harried drivers would often forget to dock their device, or the device would be docked in areas where the wireless network couldn't be accessed, resulting in critical delivery information not being sent. "Delivery Information held within on our devices wouldn't get sent to us as quickly as we needed," Elder says. California Overnight delivers roughly 50,000 packages each night.

As a result, California Overnight is now deploying Symbol Technologies Inc.'s MC-9000 handheld units, running Windows Mobile 2003, to each of its 1,000 drivers. About 500 units already have reached the drivers, and another 500 are expected to be deployed within the next two months, Elder says. The Symbol device transmits data without needing to be placed in a cradle.

California Overnight is using Countermind LLC's Mobile Intelligence Platform to build a customized proof-of-delivery application integrated with the Symbol devices and California Overnight's back-end systems. "It now takes less than a minute from the time the delivery information is scanned, including signature, to being available on our Web site to our customers," says Elder.

The technology will reduce the number of customer-service calls California Overnight gets from customers checking delivery status. "Customers can now get the information they need about their deliveries as soon as possible, and our drivers will be able to focus on making deliveries rather than tracking down information about packages they've already delivered," says Elder.

California Overnight plans future enhancements to its wireless system, he says. With the population growth and new neighborhood development in the regions the company serves, it's common for drivers to call dispatchers for directions to their next delivery. So the company plans to make it possible for drivers to request directions to their next stop the very moment they scan the package they're delivering.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
Get Your Enterprise Ready for 5G
Mary E. Shacklett, Mary E. Shacklett,  1/14/2020
Commentary
Modern App Dev: An Enterprise Guide
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  1/5/2020
Slideshows
9 Ways to Improve IT and Operational Efficiencies in 2020
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/2/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll