Courier giant DHL claims it and customers know when shipments have arrived within three minutes thanks to the use of new "catseye" scanners.
DHL began using 70 of the devices eight months ago, supplied by Singapore-based NewsPage, which is launching itself in the New Zealand market.
Services manager Mark Benton says his couriers used to obtain a signature and then download the details of the job after a few hours.
Now, using the Telecom CDPD network, the scanners instantly transmit the data to a website.
“This system gives a greater degree of data availability within minutes. Where it really pays dividends is at the back end. We are part of the worldwide web and we are very transparent to our customers. Someone can follow their particular shipment and within three minutes of delivery [to port], they can see it’s delivered,” Auckland-based Benton says.
The scanners can also be used as a communications device, such as a pager, and DHL is talking to Telecom to switch to another network to allow this.
NewsPage business development manager John Showell says his company is moving into both New Zealand and Australia, looking for resellers, after serving Southeast Asia since 1993. DHL is his first local customer, as a result of a global deal.
NewsPage is named after its original Trade Now application, which was developed to provide latest stock information to brokers and let them trade shares in real time.
It has two main products: Express, a mobile sales and CRM application; and Tacks, a field services management application for use by couriers and other remote workers.
Parnell-based Showell says his company is "agnostic" on technologies. It can develop products using CDMA, GPRS or GSM cellular networks, which can be accessed from various devices running a number of different operating systems.
“It’s almost plug-in and play with our merchandising modules,” he says.
They are developed and made in Singapore and Malaysia.
Just “a small number of staff” will operate from both the Auckland and Sydney offices, backed by resellers, in contrast to a direct sales model which operates in Southeast Asia, Showell says.