Monday, October 22. 2012
Package tracking software has allowed businesses to improve in several different areas. In addition to simplifying manual receiving by using a bar code scanner to automate the process, and preventing loss by creating a searchable chain of custody for all packages received, cloud based tracking software has opened up a critical area of improvement – communications within a business and it's customers.
How much time does your business spend simply communicating information to staff and employees? It's difficult to measure, but most people can agree on “far too much”. It has to be done – a customer needs to know when their order is ready, staff needs to know when critical components arrive, etc. But these simple notification tasks can be accomplished without using valuable staff time that can be used elsewhere – the SQBX cloud based tracking system does these tasks automatically. Even more importantly, the tasks can be scheduled, so that an alert to a production manager to pick up a pallet of goods can be scheduled for 15 minutes after they arrive, allowing the receiving staff time to process everything. Similarly, an alert can be sent to a customer that their order is ready. By scheduling a delay on this alert, staff is relieved of making tedious and time consuming phone calls, a record of notifications is maintained, and the timing of these notices can be customized to your business needs.
Auto alerts are present in SQBX package tracking systems, however time savings features such as this exist in all of our products, from mail tracking to inventory software. Call us for a free demonstration of how SQBX will help your business.
Monday, October 1. 2012
Many businesses have been using package tracking software for several years, and as the markets change, so do their tracking needs. Until recently, making any changes to existing software required downtime, new equipment, and extensive training. Cloud based package tracking software like SQBX makes changing an existing system much easier – no downtime, no new software to install, live training and support available with the click of a mouse.
Sometimes new equipment becomes available that can shave time off your existing process, and it makes sense to modify your system. A terrific example is the recent release of mobile bar code printers, which can be belt mounted and work in conjunction with mobile hand held scanners. Instead of making trips back and forth to a printer in a stationary location, personnel can print a label on the spot and move on to their next task. These devices can be painlessly added to your system and put in use right away.
Occasionally a business decides to share the benefits of tracking software with other areas of their operation. Once a system is in place to record a chain of custody for mail and packages, it's a simple and logical decision to start tracking company assets such as computers, furniture and machinery. Instead of a long, expensive installation and training process, cloud based software makes it possible to modify your system by placing an order over the phone for asset tracking.
Of course, SQBX is constantly updated, and users are notified of any improvements when they sign on. Now that package tracking software is taking full advantage of the cloud, you should too!
Friday, September 21. 2012
In addition to tracking packages, many different business processes can be tracked using SQBX. Various stages of manufacturing, work orders, or even the status of a loan application can be tracked by you and viewed by your customers who want to follow the course of events. A history of all completed stages with time stamps
By creating and naming different statuses common to your work flow, SQBX provides a time stamped history of all events related to your process. They can track how long each stage of a process takes, identify bottlenecks, and even backtrack a recalled item to see who handled it, where, and when.
For example, a commercial repair facility that rebuilds appliances can automatically update the status of a repair by scanning a bar coded tag associated with that unit. Any employee with access can instantly look up the current status of a particular work order. Similarly, a lending institution can update the status of a loan application from “Application Review” to “Conditional Approval”.
Just as importantly, a business can provide it's customers with direct access to their information via a portal, or window into their work orders. A manager in New York can look up the statuses of all work orders contracted to a facility in California without making a phone call or even sending an e-mail. Or, to simplify things even further, SQBX can send an automatic notification to a customer the minute a particular status is scanned, for example “REPAIR COMPLETED, SHIPPING TO CUSTOMER TODAY”.
Cloud technology has opened the door to information open wider than ever. If you don't think you're taking full advantage of the power of a cloud based tracking system, call us for a demo and we'll show you how.
Wednesday, September 19. 2012
Have you ever wondered how much staff
Automating your process with package
Manually notifying package recipients
Yet another source of wasted time can
Staff time is valuable. If you're
Monday, September 17. 2012
Although they are usually referred to as “package tracking systems”, a good tracking system can be used as mail tracking software, an asset tracking system, and even as a system to track stages of a process. There are many instances where recording a chain of custody will be beneficial, and new applications come up frequently where a bar code scanner is all you need to keep crucial information.
Inbound Package Tracking: The first application for tracking software was to automate the receiving process for parcels and packages arriving at a location. By maintaining a chain of custody for each person that signs for that package, package tracking systems are very effective in preventing loss.
Mail Tracking and Processing: It's only logical to track important mail such as certified items. In these environments, sheer volume is often the hurdle – it takes time to sort and deliver mail to the proper person when it's all being done individually by hand. Colleges have started using student mail tracking systems as an important time saver.
Asset Tracking: In spite of the seemingly endless regulations a business might have for procuring new items such as computers or furniture, it's amazing how often the process stops once an item has been received. Expensive and important business assets should be tracked, and a simple bar code tracking system is usually all it takes to prevent theft and loss.
Process Tracking: This is the newest and, in my opinion, most innovative application for a web based tracking system. Commercial repair facilities (such as contractors for repairing Boeing engines or telecommunications devices) can not track the rate of progress and other details of the process, but can also allow their customers to log in and check progress without calling on the phone. Laboratories can keep doctors updated of lab results using the same methods. The key is a cloud based tracking system, which allows global visibility to an entire company of anything they want to track.
More applications are coming up all the time. Keep checking this site for regular updates on innovative uses of web based tracking systems.
Tuesday, September 11. 2012
Package tracking systems save time by automating your receiving process, and they prevent loss by creating a chain of custody for everything you receive. But there is another major benefit that web based package tracking systems can provide: auto communications.
Communication breakdowns play a part in almost every business error, and are by far the largest reason packages get lost or delayed. Notifying recipients that a package has arrived requires at least one phone call or e-mail, sometime more. Not only are those calls time consuming, but they open the door for mistakes in communication.
Cloud based tracking software gives you the ability to auto communicate with recipients, relieving staff of this time consuming task. An e-mail or text message can be sent to a recipient the minute a bar code is scanned, or the notification can be deliberately delayed to allow staff more time to process.
Of course some packages have specific forwarding instructions to hold, forward to someone else, store in a cool area, etc. This is where strong communication really becomes critical. Some places depend on a note scribbled in a log, others post a notice somewhere on the receiving area desk. These are not dependable ways to handle important packages. You want the person receiving the package to see instructions as soon as they scan a bar code. SQBX allows users to program in alerts when a specific package is scanned, so any delivery instructions pop up on a hand held device or computer.
Use your tracking system for all it's worth. If you're not using it to streamline and improve communications, find out how by checking out our products page at http://www.ubiquia.com/Products.php
Wednesday, September 5. 2012
Inbound package tracking may not be the main topic on one's mind throughout the day – until a package is lost. And a lost package is going to be on at least 2 other people's minds: the sender and the recipient. 3 people's day ruined.
Naturally you don't want to be the one who delayed or lost an important package or piece of mail. The best way to avoid that is with a complete chain of custody.
Some systems only automate the receiving of a package, still requiring a printed paper form in order to obtain a signature upon delivery. Having a system like this can sometime cause more harm than good: in the event of a lost item, the only thing it proves is that YOU had the package last. Even if it was properly delivered, the proof of delivery can't be looked up on your system! When tracking packages you want a complete chain of custody, from the moment you first scan a bar coded package to the moment it's signed for.
Speaking of chains, any chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. If you need to buy, install, maintain and update software at your site just to operate your tracking system, how much time is it really saving you? No one WANTS to care that much about a tracking system. Like your car battery, you just want it to work and not spend a lot of time thinking about it. A cloud based system gives you that freedom to use a constantly updated system without managing the servers, backing up data, etc.
When tracking mail, packages, or other assets, make sure your system provides a trouble-free, complete chain of custody. Nothing else will hold up when you need it to.
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?
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.
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 7. 2012
Package tracking begins and ends with a bar code scan, and depending on your business a variety of scanners are available with a wide range of capabilities and prices. Under-equipped systems can leave you stuck with the same problems you wanted to solve. Conversely, a system with more equipment than necessary can easily cost 30% more than it needs to, trading one shortcoming for another. Choosing the right equipment for your package tracking needs will insure that your system does everything it should without costing more than it has to.
You know your needs better than anyone else. Make sure to explain your process in detail when considering a package or mail tracking system, so your provider can include the equipment that best fills your needs and keeps your accounting department happy. Or at least not mad.
Tuesday, February 7. 2012
SQBX has become such a versatile inbound package tracking system that many users may not realize everything it empowers them to do. A new feature to the delivery management system has been released - contents fields that allow you to record what was in a specific package. These fields can be turned on or off, named and formatted by the user, and can be updated as a package moves through different hands.
The contents fields are located in the receiving screen (go to admin/customize field names, and check "Track Package Contents") and are more than a text box to add comments - that can be done using "Notes" - they are also a search field. Search for a package by it's contents if you don't know other details. If you're looking at 15 boxes, ONE of which has the item you're looking for, searching by contents will tell you precisely which box to open.
Contents fields can be custom named so you can record specific details when receiving that other package tracking systems don't capture. For example, if you need to note different color packages, create a field called "Color". That specific piece of information will be associated with that package - and now you would be able to search for an item by color (go to "Find Package" and click on the "More" option to reveal all search fields, including your customized contents fields). Adding a new field named "Quantity" would give you the ability to confirm packing slips at the point of receipt by noting the amount of items counted, providing a level of inventory management. Yet another use would be a facility that wanted to keep record of the priority that packages were shipped to them...in this case you would add a field and name it "Priority", and use it to record UPS Blue, FedEx Ground, etc. This would allow you to search for all packages that came in, say, UPS Blue.
Contents fields provide a new angle to parcel tracking and mail delivery tracking using a simple barcode application. The logistics of your operation can now be recorded, sorted, and used to your advantage in ways not available before.
Wednesday, February 1. 2012
A growing number of businesses are using package tracking software in increasingly diverse ways. Our tracking software has developed into a powerful receiving and package management system using a cloud server network and finding uses in all major industries. Here are some of the different ways tracking software is being employed:
Hotels and Resorts: With guests coming and going daily, there is little room for error if a package is lost, damaged or even delayed. Hotels use SQBX to send automatic notifications to a guest when their package arrives. Tracking systems also help hotels generate revenue, since it's much easier to substantiate a room delivery fee if there is proof of delivery.
Law Firms and Consulting Companies: The important nature of the documents in this industry make electronic signature tracking a must. Many a law firm & consulting company has contacted us for a chain of custody system - after they went through the nightmare of losing important documents.
Colleges/Universities: Colleges handle a tremendous volume of student mail and parcel deliveries, and they spend a lot of money paying staff to write down tracking numbers all day. A mail tracking system for these busy mail rooms in order to save time is simply a matter of common sense. Many colleges also loan out laptops and other equipment to students, requiring asset tracking software to prevent loss.
Hospitals/Health Care: Expensive hospital supplies are tracked from the minute they arrive at the loading dock until they are consumed. Electronic signature devices create a chain of custody for private medical records, providing evidence of who had access to these documents. Many independent blood labs have implemented tracking systems to prevent samples from being misplaced or accidentally swapped.
Couriers: Every parcel delivery service has two important steps that need to be documented: when they accept a package, and when they deliver it to the recipient. A shipment tracking system provides this. Some couriers also use hand held devices to communicate new pick ups and deliveries to drivers, making it easy for delivery route planners to operate.
Manufacturing and Repair Facilities: An ingenious application this industry has adapted is to track the progress of an item as it goes through various stages of repair or manufacture. Web based tracking software made this application possible and cost effective because it allows managers to see current statuses of specific items - some even let their customers access the system so they can follow the progress themselves.
Cloud based tracking is here, and gaining popularity fast. Look for computerized tracking software like inbound package tracking, mail delivery tracking, and inventory management software in more and more marketplaces, including your own.
Monday, January 23. 2012
We're frequently approached by small
I'm often surprised to find out how
Can you imagine running your bank
Until recently, adapting a
Cloud computing is the answer. Like
Zenventory is a prime example of the
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