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Case Studies

Saudi Post and Intermec: Together delivering the ideal postal technology solution

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Saudi PostSaudi Post is the largest mail delivery and postal administration in Saudi Arabia, with a commitment to providing innovative and efficient methods of delivering mail that directly benefit the customer.

Encompassing an area nearly four times the size of France, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest states in the region, requiring a robust logistics operation to provide a daily mail service.

In the last few years, Saudi Post Corporation has taken some giant steps in implementing technology and it won the World Mail Award for Transformation and the World Mail Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in 2007. It has also been recognized with multiple technical awards from international companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco.

Eng. Majed Al-Esmail, GM of IT & Telecommunication at Saudi Post explains: “ We focused on creating a powerful IT infrastructure and a standardized postal addressing system which provides a unique address for each building which gives us more speed and efficiency in the delivery process. And we developed a smart navigation software solution (LocatorNav) that works based on this postal addressing system and can be installed on any device with GPS. In addition as one of the largest ever RFID projects we installed more than 2 million RFID tags in mailboxes distributed according to this addressing system to control the pickup/delivery process via this integrated IT system.

The Problem

Saudi Post had previously been using three separate devices to track mail and parcels, provide navigation to delivery men and register successful delivery of items. Among the devices used was a mobile computer which was used to record proof of delivery data. This, however, crucially lacked GPRS connectivity, making it difficult to send or receive data whilst on the road, severely impeding productivity - primarily because delivery staff needed to upload the data once they returned to their DPO (Delivery Point Office). The legacy devices were approaching the end of their usable life and Saudi Post began to research the industrial mobile computer market for replacement devices that would offer both wireless connectivity and physical durability.

With their emphasis on business needs and reliability, Saudi Post had a clear idea of what they needed to achieve with a new IT solution comprising hardware and software as a complete package that would provide the right technology with a diverse feature set, proven reliability and an easy-to-use interface.

The Solution

After thoroughly researching the market, Saudi Post selected the Intermec CN3 as a single device for tracking mail and proof of delivery data as well vehicle tracking and navigation. This solution is helping Saudi Post to avoid a number of issues experienced with the previous solution of separated devices and software integration. As part of Saudi Post’s drive for greater efficiency, the Intermec solution has seamlessly integrated with Saudi Post’s PDS (Postal Delivery System).

Saudi Post developed an intelligent bespoke software solution which acts as the core for their pickup and delivery solution and makes full use of the CN3’s features and technologies. The PDS will handle the majority of the solution because of its smart integration with CRM systems, sorting machines and Saudi Post’s portal. The CN3’s rugged build quality was a vital factor in the decision with the Intermec device also being smaller and physically easier to handle.

The PDS mobile application used on the CN3 provides the delivery men with clear information on their work for each day. Another core component of Saudi Post’s proof of delivery solution is the installation of “E-Boxes” which utilise passive RFID tags - to insure the delivery man places the mail in the correct E-Box. This installation was the biggest Passive RFID network in the world. A key differentiator was the flexibility of Intermec’s IP30 add-on RFID handle, which attaches to the body of the CN3 to provide it with full RFID functionality.

The CN3’s GPS receiver can be used to provide the exact location which helps LocatorNav to calculate the most direct and economical route to any given destination. The GPS also helps delivery men to ensure they are in the right location if an RFID tag is not available at a particular address.

The Intermec CN3 is fully equipped with multiple wireless communication standards, allowing full high-speed data and voice connections with Saudi Post distribution centres. The CN3’s GPRS connectivity significantly reduces the time required to update and synchronise data to the PDS system, as well as revolutionising the service that Saudi Post offers its customers: with the parcel tracking information being sent back to the PDS system on a regular basis, customers can view the progress of their package online and in near real-time. The Intermec solution satisfied Saudi Post’s every requirement.

The Results

Saudi Post has been using the Intermec devices since December 2008, and has already seen major improvements in productivity, quality and customer service.

Majed Bin Anzzan,e-business Director at Saudi Post, explains the benefits that the Intermec solution has provided: “Each delivery man was using 3 different devices for different tasks during the course of a working day. We were also wasting time at the end of the day, when delivery men were required to return their devices to upload mail/parcel tracking and Proof of Delivery data onto our database. The functionality and connectivity and the physical size of the CN3 has allowed us to solve these problems, all in one device. We have noticed an increase in customer satisfaction as it enables us to immediately show our customers that a letter or package has been delivered; the confirmation of delivery is detailed on the Saudi Post website.”