Background and Challenge
AB&R® and OnTrac formed a strategic partnership to address issues in mobility and package tracking. Since that time both teams have worked tirelessly on developing a solution to tackle these problems. It started off with the AB&R® services team performing a System Requirements Design Study (SRDS) to understand where the pit falls were and what solutions were viable. Once they discussed the results of the SRDS with OnTrac it was easy to narrow down the areas of improvement to 5 specific points.
Application responsiveness – Improve touch capabilities.
Better use of color – Create a more visually appealing application that’s easier to navigate.
More effective data transmission – Reduce screen load times and prevent data loss.
Ability to rearrange routes – Allow drivers to custom build routes making it easier to add on-call pick ups.
Google Maps integration with turn by turn navigation – Ensure address accuracy and increase route speed.
Applying these solutions would increase delivery rates, decrease data errors, and improve overall ROI.
Upgrading OnTrac’s Scanners
Outdated, clunky scanners were a problem for OnTrac. Fading displays, aging processors, poor touch response, etc. meant they were due for an upgrade. The TC75 rugged mobile computer was the perfect fit. These sleek devices with their 4.7″ High Definition displays and dual mode capacitive touch will handle a stylus, bare finger, or gloved finger. This upgrade knocked out the first 2 improvement points and gave OnTrac a powerful device to handle future software upgrades.
Making The Switch To Android™
One reason AB&R® and OnTrac chose the TC75 computers was that they were Android™ enabled. The Android™ operating system (OS) provides a low-cost open-source platform that’s easily customizable. This openness appeals to many businesses that are now choosing to migrate to Android™ over other operating systems. Another big driver for the switch from Windows was Android’s Snackbar feature. Snackbar is a pop-up notification function on the bottom of the screen. It contains a message and a call-to-action. As seen in the image to the right, drivers can receive “Oncall” alerts for pickups that are near their route. They have the option to respond to it immediately or ignore it until later. Snackbar notifications don’t prohibit users from continuing normal app use without a response and it shifts the app screen up so no buttons are covered. A big plus when a driver is trying to finish a task.
Finalizing The Functionality
Once OnTrac had the perfect devices and the best OS for the job, AB&R®’s team of programmers were able to develop the final three pieces to the puzzle. The new, more effective data transmission software caches information offline so when devices aren’t connected to the internet data won’t be lost. Cache storage clears itself as soon as an internet connection is restored and the data is sent to a database. Turn by turn navigation allows them to deliver goods more efficiently and keeps them out of heavily trafficked routes.
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