Posted by Guru Rao

The average U.S. consumer spends five hours per day on a mobile device, according to analytics firm Flurry. This isn’t shocking considering the long and growing list of things you can do on a smartphone – pay rent, buy a car, check your thermostat, review your security camera footage, watch the World Series, track your online orders, so on and so forth. Users aren’t just checking Facebook and email anymore; they’re completing tasks more efficiently and intuitively than ever with pocket-sized computers.

It’s sort of astonishing, except we’re so used to mobile that we sometimes take it for granted – especially in business. Case in point: downstream delivery operations. Most of the personnel in your delivery network probably already have smartphones. Whether you’re using that existing infrastructure to your advantage, though, is a different story.

A use case: AIT Worldwide Logistics

As a global air, ocean and ground freight provider, AIT Worldwide Logistics is not immune to the demands of our “culture of now,” which has been enabled, in large part, by the ability to pull out a smartphone and order almost anything we want when we want it (whether that’s an Uber or an Amazon PrimeNow package). The pecking order for a company like AIT probably looks familiar to you: AIT answers to business clients; those clients answer to consumers. If the consumer is dissatisfied with a delivery experience, that circles back around to AIT.

Faced with this struggle, AIT concluded that mobile is the solution for the very problem it helped create. Just as smartphones let consumers access on-demand services, they can give a logistics company immediate information about its own processes. With this in mind, AIT transitioned to a cloud-based delivery tracking application that relies on real-time, geo-locational routing data to provide complete visibility into downstream operations. This helps with central supply chain management, but it also provides route optimization and exception management features for the boots on the ground (and on the sea and in the air, for that matter).

Not to mention, data access goes both ways. A delivery driver can hand a customer her device and have that customer sign for proof of delivery and even fill out a very brief satisfaction survey. Everything a driver might need to gather the necessary information to send back to base is right there, in the palm of her hand. See how it works in the video below.

Does your logistics network fit inside your pocket? It should