mCourier provides all the necessary tools that allow the modern courier to perform any type of job including package delivery, item collection, cash on delivery checking and mobile cash desk in order to retrieve cash payments, voucher printing and item identification. Courier can now take a more active role in the courier service chain by having a powerful tool that automates all his business tasks. Collections and deliveries with their business rules (like cash on delivery, service charge, multiple items, surcharges etc.) can now be sent directly from the back office system (e.g. the call center, or the courier assignment system) to the user. The system uses the latest technology handhelds equipped with the windows mobile operating system and Oracle Lite client.
The courier uses the handheld device to check and perform all the assigned tasks. But mCourier enhances even further the courier service experience by providing Customer GPS tracking location mechanism that helps the courier find his way to the customer’s address. The system also allows collection optimization by sending the incoming collection request to the nearest courier. Moreover the office operator has the ability to send text messages through Oracle Lite mechanisms directly to the courier’s handheld device. Price calculation and various other services are provided remotely from the server by means of web services.
mCourier provides a helpful Multilanguage graphical user interface which is extremely easy to use even for the novice courier. The software includes visual signals that help the courier identify the terms of the delivery like cash payment, cash on delivery, cheques and other important points in order to eliminate the possibility of user error. The handheld can then synchronize all the transactions back to the server through Oracle Lite without the courier operator intervening at all. mCourier improves the courier’s job cycle speed by synchronizing the transactions of the collections or deliveries directly with the main system. The system provides the necessary mechanisms that allow the office operator to send jobs (e.g. item collections) while the courier is on the move directly to his handheld device through the cellular network.
Furthermore, the new mCourier user may now capture on the handheld the signature of the customer providing proof of delivery. These signatures are transferred in the back office system and are maintained for future reference in case of a dispute. The courier can use the software to control his cash desk by printing several helpful reports. Receipts and reports can be printed on the courier’s mobile Bluetooth printer. Item collections are accomplished in a very simple way now by printing the vouchers on sticker labels which are placed on the item itself. The label includes a barcode which improves the item’s traceability. In collaboration with the server, the handheld now has the ability to calculate the route that the item must take in order to reach the designated target. Since the routes are calculated automatically and the operators do not need to enter the jobs, the required back office tasks are eliminated.
Technology used provides all the necessary tools that assist in implementing a completely mobile system and allowing handhelds to synchronize remotely through cellular networks with the server while on the move. Remote updating the handhelds can be now accomplished in a very easy, fast and reliable manner.
Finally, it worths mentioning that the mCourier is a dynamically developed system with more features designed and added based on the customer’s needs. In the future courier and item GPS tracking will be also added together with a loyalty card system scheme. The later, will help the courier companies approach their target customers by providing bonus gifts and discounts if they accumulate a specified number of points. Therefore customers will be more eager to remain “loyal” in the courier company since the more points they collect, the more they earn. Loyalty cards can be accessed through magnetic swipe card reader on the couriers handheld while mobile. The Courier business sector is an area which requires the maximum level of mobility as provided by the mCourier system through the Oracle Lite tools.mCourier has been already thoroughly tested and deployed successfully in the largest Courier and Express Delivery Operator in Cyprus, serving over than fifty couriers.