The UK's Royal Mail Sees Value in Devices to Mobilise the Field Workforce

Royal Mail in the UK has announced the selection of Zebra Technologies as the provider of a new range of hand-held mobile devices, called Postal Digital Assistants (PDAs), following a supplier selection process led by BT.

The provision of the 76,000 next-generation TC75 devices is at the heart of a £130million technology investment programme, which will be implemented over a five year period.

The PDA investment will bring a new dimension to operational efficiency in the processing, delivery and collection services of Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide. Deployment of the new mobile devices will begin in summer 2015.

The new next-generation TC75 devices are set to improve customer service, by providing sender and recipient with greater visibility on the journey of their parcels. The PDA will also be used to scan all barcoded items from processing to delivery

Additionally, the devices will enable a better customer experience on the doorstep, as a result of the larger HD screen with improved signature capture technology, as well as further increases in operational productivity with faster scanning, extended 10-hour battery life and robust, lightweight units.

Zebra Technologies was selected following a competitive process and extensive testing by front-line staff and across different scenarios to ensure the suitability of the technology.

The supplier selection and procurement process was led by BT on behalf of Royal Mail, and forms part of its managed service agreement with Royal Mail. BT is also expected to provide on-going maintenance for the devices through its Field Force Automation service.

The new PDAs and technologies are aligned with Royal Mail's investment in automated parcel sortation, which also involves scanning technology and is being rolled out at around 20 of the UK's busiest Mail Centres.

"This is an exciting phase in the transformation of our parcels service. The launch of our new hand-held devices will deliver immediate impact for our customers, and our postmen and women. We are pleased to be supported by Zebra and BT as Royal Mail continues to innovate and preserve our leading position in the UK parcels market," said Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels.

Emer Timmons, President of BT Global Services UK, added, "Businesses perform best when their people and technology work in harmony to achieve their goals. So we worked with Royal Mail to understand the needs of its postmen and women and used this insight to test competing devices. We found that Zebra's TC75 was an excellent match and our BT Field Force Automation team is now looking forward to rolling it out with Royal Mail nationwide."