Tuesday, August 28. 2012
How valuable is an original document, specimen, sample, or package to your organization? Can your organization benefit from chain of custody tracking procedures? If your organization has processes, research, specimens, data, or documents that may be subject to litigation then the answer is a resounding yes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states in its course on chain of custody that “For purposes of litigation, regulatory agencies must be able to prove the legal integrity of all samples and data introduced as evidence. This means it is necessary to have an accurate written record to track the possession, handling, and location of samples and data from collection through reporting. Verification of who has possessed the samples and data and where the samples have been is easier if you follow chain-of-custody procedures.” - http://www.epa.gov/apti/coc/
Many fields outside the government require chain of custody processes for various business functions; one example would include tracking the movement and custody of an original legal document through an attorneys office. Attorneys and businesses that deal with original collateral loan and mortgage documents are subject to stringent servicing standards in order to mitigate lost documents. Increasingly organizations and firms are finding the need to improve their internal chain of custody methodology.
Our SQBX package tracking software has a powerful, customizable, automated, signature collecting, CHAIN OF CUSTODY tool. That can be easily be customized to your business work flows. Coupled with the fact that SQBX can attach multiple pictures, attachments, and records every modification made with in the chain of custody record makes it an easy peace of mind solution for your organization's processes that require chain of custody. Happy Tracking!!
Monday, August 27. 2012
A painstaking amount of research usually goes into the acquisition of a package tracking system, but rarely is much thought put into the system after that. Lease renewal is often automatic, even though the system is outdated and was designed to fit your requirements from years ago. The economy has changed drastically in the last few years; haven't your needs changed too?
One way to assess your changing needs is to look in your mail room. Often after a needs assessment you may find that the system you purchased/ leased several years ago may have outgrown or is no longer meeting your needs. Does your tracking software provide proof of delivery, or do you have to obtain signatures on paper? Does your I.T. department need to spend time maintaining the software? Are your scanners automatically notifying recipients that their packages have arrived?
Package tracking software has changed greatly in the last few years. Like most technology, it's gotten better AND cheaper with time. The availability of cloud based tracking systems like SQBX offer a huge upgrade in speed and security from systems requiring installation. They provide a chain of custody that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. And of course, web based tracking software means your data is safe if you experience an in-house disaster such as flooding, fire, or other unforseeable events.
Paying invoices for outdated systems without even questioning their performance seems like such an obvious mistake, but it happens all the time. Exploring package tracking software designed for your current needs is smart, and easy to do. Personally, I wouldn't pay full price for a 5 year old cell phone if I can get a new one at that price, and I wouldn't do it with a tracking system either. Would you?
Monday, August 27. 2012
Not only if it is a picture of Sasquatch or of a UFO but also if it is a record of a damaged or mystery package delivered to your receiving area. A Package Tracking System with the latest package tracking software can take multiple pictures of the item including contents, the address label, multiple angle shots of the package and the license plate of the delivery vehicle or the ID of the delivery person. All could be critically important later and all can be automatically attached to the package file of your package tracking system. The best package tracking solutions also allow pictures to be added later plus you can add files such as damage claims or replacement invoices to the file at any time. Will they be worth one thousand words? Probably much more!
Monday, August 27. 2012
There seems to be two schools of thoughts when it comes to receiving goods into and organization against purchase orders. On one hand, warehouse personnel want their receiving software to be fast and efficient by allowing them to quickly agree to the items received. For example, perhaps the quantity received field is pre-populated with the amount expected based on open purchase order quantities. If a quantity received actually matches the operator simply acknowledges the items perhaps by as a little as a mouse click. In some cases warehouse personnel even want a single button that states that all items on the open PO were received so that they don't have to physically acknowledge each line item. Of course this is dangerous since less attentive operators may simply acknowledge purchase order receipts without spending time matching item counts.
The other school of thought is to not pre-populate item quantities and to have the operator physically enter the quantities received against each purchase order line item. There are no shortcuts to receiving goods in such as a single button to receive all goods in. This is the most financially accurate method, but does slow the receiving process down.
It's challenging for software developers to find a happy medium between these two methods.What are your thoughts?
Monday, August 27. 2012
"Ease of Use" "User Friendly" These are bold claims but when it comes down to it few delivery tracking applications live up to these claims.
The next time you have an opportunity to evaluate parcel tracking software and "Ease of Use" is one of your top criteria you don't have to
look any further than the software's home page or "dashboard". This first look will tell you quite a bit about the the rest of this delivery software.
What you should look for after you log into your application is the home page or the dashboard. You should be able to immediately see next step functionality for starters.
But it gets more interesting as you start clicking the mouse to perform some of these functions. Most software takes you to a new page and with a few clicks of the mouse you are now
far removed from that home page. At this point your tracking software starts to become less and less user friendly.
When you log into your software that home screen should always stay there no matter what functions you choose. You will always know where you're at and what the next step will be.
There is no guessing, frustration or waste of time with SQBX delivery software. That first screen tells it all. If you are confused then most likely you are going to experience
the same as you keep on evaluating delivery management software.
Tuesday, August 21. 2012
Most companies assume that switching to a new package tracking system is too much trouble to implement. It's easy to understand their concerns when you consider what they went through to install their current system. Most tracking software requires the purchase and maintenance of an on-site, dedicated server and a complicated software installation, as well as inevitable support calls to get the system up and running. As a result, instead of switching to a better (and sometimes more affordable) system they decide to renew their lease of outdated software, with the justification that it's better than nothing.
Cloud computing changed the game for business information technology. It made upgrading to a better system easy. It eliminates the need for installing software, and system maintenance is done by the provider, not your I.T. personnel. Data storage and system speed are, for all intents and purposes, limitless. And as for ease of implementation – the software is already up and running as you read these words.
Do you know anyone who went back to dial-up internet access after they converted to a high speed connection? Of course not! It's the same with cloud based technology. Upgrading to a cloud based tracking system is easy, and once you make the switch you'll never look back.
Monday, August 20. 2012
Here at Ubiquia we offer web based, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications where storage is cloud based. Our SQBX package tracking software enables clients to track not only packages but processes as well. SaaS cloud package tracking software offers many benefits to an organization.
Recently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published sp800-146 Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations. NIST sp800-146 had this to say about SaaS clouds, "Compared with traditional computing and software distribution solutions, SaaS clouds provide scalability and also shift significant burdens from consumers to providers, resulting in a number of opportunities for greater efficiency and, in some cases, performance".
This is especially important for businesses that are experiencing growth as well as businesses who experience seasonal business shifts and need a package tracking software that can meet their changing business demands.
The NIST sp800-146 report detailed several additional key benefits for SaaS clouds:
Monday, August 20. 2012
It may not be enough to just track the package. You may need to actually track what was inside the package. Many times packages have several parts or components that arrive in a single shipment. This creates a challenge for the receiving clerk to know what individual parts came in and which package those parts are associated with. Typically the process is done manually with a visual inspection of the shipment and some type of record keeping or data entry of the package contents. The problem lies in the research portion of the process. How is one able to quickly find out if a particular item has been received amongst a large number of shipments? The answer is, "Not very easily." Essentially, to automate the process you would need to be able to record each line item for the individual components of each shipment. This can be accomplished inside a package tracking solution like SQBX. Receiving a package and its contents is a simple process that will ultimately allow for a quick search of any package or any individual component of that shipment. Take the guess work out of finding an item that was received. Implement an automated system and see how much smoother the process can be. Call us today to schedule a time to see how SQBX package tracking system can help your receiving department track package contents as well as the package itself.
Sunday, August 19. 2012
Your package tracking software should provide the primary processes of receiving and delivering packages. Whether using a hand held device or a desktop computer, most solutions scan the tracking number barcode on packages delivered by the carrier. At that time the recipient, department, or location are noted in the package tracking software.
However prior to delivery, some packages may need to be grouped so that their statuses can be updated en masse. For example, perhaps a pallet of packages is built for one particular location. This pallet will be delivered by a company owned vehicle. Let's say 100 packages are scanned onto the pallet. Your package tracking software should note that these 100 packages now have two statuses: received and palletized. Hopefully when moving this pallet all 100 packages do not need to be scanned.
The best practice for moving these packages now should be to create a single barcode/pallet label that associates all of the packages on that pallet. Here are two ways to do that:
License Plating: You package tracking software should allow you to group packages together and print one barcode label for all of the packages on the pallet. updating the status of all the packages on the pallet is now simply done by scanning the pallet label. For example, now the pallet can be scanned to show:
Routing: Companies that have multiple people delivering packages may have them deliver to the same locations each day. In this case your package tracking software should let you map out delivery routes. Systems that do this usually create a route manifest which essentially license plates all the packages for that route onto the manifest.The route manifest can be used to mass update package statuses.
The difference between these two is that route manifest are uniquely tied to a specific delivery route where license plating is more flexible since any package can be grouped regardless of the route. One example of this is when groups of packages are being stored temporarily.
If your package tracking system is flexible enough to be used for process tracking then it must provide a license plating feature. Process tracking rarely requires a routing mechanism since the sole purpose of process tracking is to know where an item is in a process. Read our blog on process tracking for more on this.
Thursday, August 16. 2012
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In September 2011 NIST published the NIST special edition 800-145 defining cloud computing. According to the official NIST definition, "cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction." - http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-145/SP800-145.pdf
Here at Ubiquia (notice ubiquitous in the definition above) we strive to deliver package tracking software that has all the merits listed above: convenience, easy access, ready on demand, speed, and simple deployment with no software to install. Our package tracking software is a fully managed web based solution offering cloud data backup and storage. Package tracking software in the cloud, is it time for your organization to evaluate a new solution for package tracking? A solution that resides in a cloud? Yes. Yes, it is. .... Happy Tracking!
Wednesday, August 15. 2012
An inbound package tracking system is often viewed as a necessary expense/tool for a company,
and the responsibility of finding one is often decided through a purchasing process designed
to find the lowest cost possible. This is appropriate for some businesses, but far too often
a company invests in a tracking system that doesn't do what they need it to. The best way to
determine what is needed vs. what can be spent is to take a simple approach.
"Hire" a tracking system the same way you would hire an employee. Ultimately, this boils down
to two questions:
1) WHAT DO I NEED?: Determine what you need to accomplish when receiving mail and packages.
What records are maintained? Does your current system provide this information without requiring
heavy staff involvement? Your accounts payables department also depends on a reliable process,
otherwise they'll spend a lot of time going back through receiving documents to confirm that an
invoice should be paid. Your next employee - a tracking system - has to do these things.
2) HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH TO ME?: First, look at what you are paying already. Many tracking systems
still require staff involvement to complete common tasks such as notifying recipients that a
package has arrived, looking up the status of a package or obtaining proof of delivery. If your
current software isn't performing these tasks, your employees are. So, when hiring your tracking
system "employee", you don't want to bring in underqualified applicants, tempting as their price
Answer these two questions, and you'll know if you have the right tracking system
Tuesday, August 14. 2012
A 2D scanner can be an excellent tool to save time and eliminate errors when
Tuesday, August 14. 2012
How can package tracking make your hotel more money? In the on demand world we live in today customers are used to paying for all different types of services. Turning your mail center into a profit center for your property is as easy as assessing a small charge for the receiving and handling of guest packages. These tiny amounts can add up quickly and are a small price to pay for a guest to ensure that their precious cargo is delivered safely and on time. The mechanics behind charging for each package that comes into a hotel mail center does not have to be complicated. An automated solution for receiving should be in place to assist in the process. Packages are scanned into the system, the charge is automatically recorded against the recipient, and the report is sent to accounting for processing. It is actually quite simple when you put technology to work for you. There are many solutions out there that can help you accomplish this idea of making money in the mail center. SQBX inbound package tracking system is a web based application that will allow you to charge the guest bast on the weight of the package. The more the package weighs the greater the fee. This is a standard practice in the hotel and conference center receiving departments. If you would like to know more about why SQBX is the perfect solution for this process please contact us today to see the power of SQBX first hand.
Monday, August 13. 2012
Sunday, August 12. 2012
We often hear that warehouse managers are cautious to alert employees of packages received for them. Most package tracking software systems are capable of sending an email to the employee on receipt. However warehouse managers are not always happy with this because employees tend to want to know the status of the package right away. In some instances as soon as they receive an email they're calling down to the receiving dock to find out when delivery will be made. This may be disruptive since the receiving staff have not finished receiving all packages into their system. As a result some warehouse managers choose not to alert the employee at all.
Your package tracking software should be customizable enough to provide information about the package to the recipient then schedule emails to go out after the all packages have been received. An advanced messaging system not only schedules emails, but can also create different types of emails based on the employees job type. For example executives may get a different email message than staff do. Perhaps certain employees can pick their package up while others are delivered.
Another way that you can provide information to employees about their packages is to provide a portal that gives visibility over the receiving and delivery process. Employees can then check the status of their packages at will. The portal should be capable of filtering visibility for just the employee. If allowed perhaps the employee can also view packages for his department as well.
Check out SQBX if you'd like to see the all these options in action!
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