Reasons Why Supply Chains Needs Rugged Devices

Reasons Why Supply Chains Needs Rugged Devices

The exponential growth of E-commerce was expected during the lockdowns. From 2020 to 2021, businesses and consumers increasingly became “digital”. This change led to a growth of global trade from 14% to 17% just in 2020 alone, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. This growth in e-commerce also meant tremendous development in the supply chain industry. Today, we will share why supply chains need rugged devices and how they can help sustain the demanding market.

Why Rugged Devices Are Perfect For the Supply Chain

There are numerous ways rugged devices can benefit the supply chain industry. It helps for easier communications, security, and more. In addition, it helps in monitoring any situation in the areas like warehouses, retail stores, shipyards, delivery, the last mile, and more. Finally, rugged devices allow for management to instantly collect, feed, and access information and data within a mobile-integrated enterprise.

Supply Chains Needs Rugged Devices for Mobility

Most activities in the supply chain happen along the borders of the central network and get into warehouses, into shipyards, across roads, into stores and front doors. At any of these points, supply chain data must be continuously updated securely and accurately. Furthermore, they are also areas in the supply chain that can be challenging – so everything must be stored on point.

This means warehousing employees, fleet drivers, retail store clerks and more will need a reliable device that will allow them to enter critical data anytime and anywhere. These devices must be tough enough to work in any kind of environment and withstand demanding conditions. As a result, rugged devices are the perfect choice for the supply chain.

Unfortunately, despite the challenges faced by the supply chain, more than half of the companies operating in this industry are still using regular devices. In fact, in a recent survey of 185 purchasing managers in this industry, 55% says they need to provide employees with more suitable devices.

The same survey done by Peerless Research Group shares that two-thirds of the companies increased their investment in mobile devices. In addition, more and more companies are shifting away from regular commercial-grade devices and using rugged devices. Rugged devices may be more expensive up front, however, the lifespan of these devices and their significantly lower failure rates will allow companies to save more.

In another survey titled, “Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies,” some of the most common applications which mobile devices are used include the following

  • 59% - Barcode scanning for inventory management and tracking   
  • 56% - Inventory tracking and management
  • 39% - Restocking and put-away
  • 56% - Picking, packing, and sorting
  • 37% - Item, pallet, or container-level tagging and management
  • 28% - Quality control
  • 27% - Asset management
  • 56% - Shipping and receiving

Rugged Android Smartphones

Supply Chains Needs Rugged Devices To Keep Workers Connected

Within the supply chain, an employee’s duties may vary. However, no matter what duties these workers are doing, they need devices that have the correct capabilities.

  • Fast and Reliable 4G LTE connectivity
  • Modern SIM Technology
  • Reliable GPS and Wireless Capabilities
  • Dependable connections in any type of environments
  • Option to switch communication modes
  • Multi-carrier modems
  • Low Failure rates and high-performance standard
  • A security feature that provides protection for connectivity, data, and the device
  • Excellent tech support and warranty plans

Different Uses of Rugged Devices In the Supply Chain

Within the supply chain industry, workers constantly need to keep up with tasks and productivity. This is critical as the supply chain heavily depends on staff completing routine day to day tasks. Additionally, in a survey, rugged devices can be a crucial tool in ensuring the supply chain can carry out tasks such as:

  • Asset management
  • Barcode scanning for tracking and inventory management
  • Container level tagging and management
  • Inventory tracking and management
  • Picking, sorting and packing
  • Quality control inspection
  • Restocking and waste management
  • Shipping and receiving

Is your supply chain operations ready to achieve growth? Furthermore, do you have the right tools such as rugged devices to sustain this growth? Conker Rugged Devices are an excellent choice offering companies an option to choose between Android or Windows operating system.

Ways Technology Is Changing

Ways Technology Is Changing The Delivery and Courier Industry

Over the past decade, the logistics industry has undergone a significant transformation, largely due to advancements in technology, internet connectivity and the rapid rise of e-commerce. These changes have had a massive impact on the way the industry operates today, with evidence showing that technology plays a crucial role in improving the customer experience, particularly during the last mile of delivery. As a result, many companies are adopting technological developments to meet the evolving demands of customers and to stay ahead of the competition.

Regardless of what type of product or service a company provides, whether it's delivering flowers, money, food, medical supplies, parcels or anything else, the ultimate goal of the delivery and courier industry is to ensure that each item is delivered to the end-user without any complications. Achieving this goal is not an impossible task, especially with the help of the latest technology.

Real-time tracking is a critical tool in ensuring a smooth delivery service. By providing customers with the ability to track their deliveries in real-time, companies can have the edge and respond quickly to any unexpected issues, ensuring that deliveries are made on time. Additionally, this technology also enables businesses to optimise route planning and scheduling, leading to greater efficiency and cost savings.

Current Changes In Delivery and Courier Industry

Starting in 2020, delivery and courier companies scrambled to meet skyrocketing demands. As closures around the world paused the quality of human life and delivery and courier services became extremely important to society. In a survey published by Technomic, 32% of people want to avoid leaving their homes. the study shows that 13% of these same consumers buy restaurant food through delivery.

Delivery sales for restaurants grew by 8.7% in February 2021. According to a study by Gordon Haskett, up to 30% of consumers used online grocery pickup or delivery to get their everyday supplies. As a result, huge growth in the delivery and courier industry is expected. This only reinforces the importance of delivery and courier services.

The increasing demand for delivery services has opened up a significant opportunity for businesses operating in this industry. To remain competitive and meet customer expectations, companies must focus on critical areas and embrace developments in technology in the customer service, logistics and delivery indsutries. By prioritizing these aspects, businesses can ensure that their customers receive their orders on time, enhancing their overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Businesses must ensure customer service is top-notch. This means delivering the order on time, having good customer support, and offering incentives for loyal customers. Technology can be a great asset when it comes to delivery services. Companies should consider using automated systems and technologies that are easy to use and that integrate with their existing infrastructure.

Understanding the Challenges of Last-mile Delivery For Customer Experience

The complete product journey starting from warehouse shelves to the customer’s doorstep is known as the ‘Last Mile.' The easiest way to understand this is to think of the Last Mile as a final step in the delivery system. As a result, the last mile is a must-have for the entire supply chain market, from e-commerce to warehouse operators to delivery and courier services.

The last-mile delivery is widely regarded as the most critical yet least efficient part of the supply chain. Even the most prominent players in the industry encounter difficulties due to the complex nature of last-mile delivery. According to a research report published by McKinsey, last-mile delivery presents several challenges, including its high cost, which can account for up to 28% of the total delivery cost. As the final stage of the customer journey, last-mile delivery is particularly challenging, and the following are some of the obstacles companies may face:

  • Poor infrastructure – delivery and courier companies find it challenging to complete their services in metropolitan areas that have poorly designed roads, and extensive traffic. In addition, for remote areas, long journeys and time are common challenges.

  • Fuel price increases – Fuel cost combined with poor infrastructure will increase delivery costs.

  • Driver management technology – Delivery and courier industries find it expensive to allocate drivers to bookings dynamically.

  • Type of goods – Delivery types can create issues. For example, when delivering perishables, flammable or toxic substances this adds to the complexity of deliveries.

  • Customer variablesCustomer variables can significantly impact last-mile delivery efficiency. For instance, delivering a single package per delivery can result in increased fuel costs. Additionally, incorrect addresses, changes of mind, returns, lack of parking, and other factors can all impact the delivery process. Such variables can lead to delays, which can negatively impact customer satisfaction and increase costs for the company.

Conker delivery and courier services

Three Ways Technology Can Help

To improve last-mile delivery and give your company the edge, it is essential to leverage the right technology. There are various technological solutions available that can be easily integrated into delivery operations. For instance, using rugged devices can help monitor goods and enhance driver management. Automated dispatch software can assist in quickly assigning drivers to bookings and managing deliveries efficiently. GPS tracking systems can provide real-time updates on driver locations, leading to better customer service. Additionally, apps like Delivery Tracker can enable customers to track their orders in real-time and receive accurate estimated time of arrivals. By embracing cutting edge technology, companies can streamline their last-mile delivery processes, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Improve Route Planning

In the delivery and courier industry, time is of the essence. Therefore, it is crucial to plan routes efficiently to save time. The introduction of effective route-planning can ensure packages are delivered to customers promptly. Luckily, there are several ways to achieve this, such as using advanced satellite navigation systems like GPS. By leveraging GPS technology, your team can proactively anticipate any potential issues, such as road closures and traffic congestion in real-time. This technology can also help drivers to avoid delays, resulting in a more reliable system overall.

Improve How You Track Goods

Providing customers with transparency and real-time updates on the location of their orders is a crucial part of improving their overall experience. By utilising technology, businesses can accurately track and display the estimated delivery time of each package. This not only gives customers peace of mind but also provides valuable insights into driver performance and overall efficiency of the delivery process.

Improve Delivery Flexibility

Technology can be extremely helpful in delivery flexibility. For instance, when customers are not home to receive the delivery, an alternate time or address can be given in time before route planning. Alternatively, packages can be stored in separate areas that are nearer to the address to free up space.

Current Technology Available for Delivery and Courier Industry

You can find a range of technology that can be developed to support the delivery and courier industry. These include:

Rugged Devices 

Rugged devices are highly recommended in the delivery and courier industry as they serve as a multi-tool that can support barcode systems, software, applications, and communications in one device. These devices are designed to withstand tough environments and can provide reliable performance even in extreme conditions. In a previous blog, we discussed extensively how barcode technology can improve warehouse operations, but it can also be used in the delivery and courier industry to streamline operations and improve efficiency's

Mobile Apps and Software

Mobile apps and software are also a popular tool in these industries. They allow real-time data entry, reporting, tracking at a glance, and more. With these tools, customers have instant access to the status of their deliveries at all times. Additionally, mobile technology gives courier companies the advantage of knowing when their deliveries have been made, giving them the ability to provide better customer service. Furthermore, mobile apps enable customers to track their packages on a real-time basis, allowing for improved communication and streamlined operations.

Barcode Scanners

Barcode scanners improve business operations by recording information efficiently. Correctly recorded packages allow the entire supply chain to easily track each item. With these tools, businesses can ensure that their customers receive the right items in a timeous manner. They also help improve customer satisfaction by reducing errors during delivery.

Barcode scanners play a vital role in enhancing accuracy and security in warehouse operations. They enable businesses to have visibility into the journey of each package by scanning barcodes with precision, which ensures that packages are not misplaced or lost.

Rugged Devices For Business One of the Best Technologies

Warehouse Management Software and Applications

Software and apps help to organize everything in a supply chain. From the storage, recovery and processing of packages, to producing important reports and analysis. By utilising barcode scanners and warehouse management software, businesses can identify areas for improvement in their operations and increase efficiency. This technology also allows for real-time changes to inventory, improving accuracy and reducing operating costs.

By utilising the right technology within a supply chain, businesses can dramatically improve their operations and customer satisfaction.

Transportation Management Software and Applications 

Transportation management software can be used to manage drivers and delivery personnel effectively. By using this software, you can plan routes, create efficient delivery schedules, track driver progress and get real-time updates on traffic conditions. This can help to save time and money, while also improving customer satisfaction.

Moreover, integrating your transportation management system with other third-party applications can further improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Radio Frequency Technology

RF (Radio Frequency) technology is used to transfer information between various handheld devices in the supply chain. It helps to improve the accuracy and speed of data transfer and reduces the likelihood of human errors, thus decreasing labour costs. This technology is commonly used to track the progress of vehicles, containers, and packages during delivery. Additionally, RF technology facilitates quick and precise data entry, making it easier to analyse data and identify issues promptly.


Automation helps streamline processes by eliminating manual operations and improving business efficiency. Automating tasks can save time as well as reduce costs associated with labour, overheads and operational errors.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications can be used to manage workforce and deliveries efficiently. They provide users with real-time data on delivery locations, driver performance and traffic conditions. This helps businesses to plan their operations more accurately and deliver orders faster.

Conker Rugged Devices for the Delivery and Courier Industries

Conker is a company that produces rugged devices designed for the delivery and courier industries. These devices are IP rated and as such are built to withstand demanding environments that delivery and courier workers face on a daily basis, such as extreme temperatures, moisture, and shock.

Conker's rugged handhelds, tablets and wearables are equipped with features that make them ideal for the delivery and courier industries. For example, they have barcode scanners that can quickly and accurately scan packages, reducing the likelihood of errors. They also have built-in GPS systems that allow workers to track their routes and deliveries in real-time.

Conker's devices are also designed to be easy to use and versatile. They can be used for a variety of tasks, such as inventory management, order tracking, and proof of delivery. And because they are rugged and durable, they can withstand drops, spills, and other accidents that might occur in the course of a busy workday.

Overall, Conker's rugged devices are an excellent choice for anyone in the delivery or courier industries who need a device that can stand up to the demands of the job. With their durable design and advanced features, they can help workers stay productive and efficient, no matter what challenges they might face.

If you're struggling to find a device that meets all of your requirements for the courier and/or delivery industry, don't hesitate to get in touch with Conker today. We'll connect you with one of our experienced consultants who can guide you in the right direction. We understand the challenges that workers in the delivery and courier industries face on a daily basis, and we're committed to helping you find the right tools to stay productive and efficient.