DPD app uses geo-location tech to help reduce missed deliveries

Parcel carrier, DPD, is using smartphone geo-location-based technology to improve communication between its drivers and consumers awaiting a delivery.

A system built into its new mobile app means that an automatic alert will be sent to a DPD driver when a customer returns to their home address, which DPD is looking to use to avoid missed deliveries. The theory is that if a parcel could not be successfully delivered earlier in the day, the driver will be given another opportunity to complete the delivery before they finish their round.

Once put into practice, the app user will be sent a notification to advise them that their driver is returning with their parcel. Essential Retail understands that John Lewis JLAB 2014 winner, Localz, is providing the technology behind this service.

The new app, which has been labelled 'Your DPD' and is available on iOS and Android devices, including the Apple Watch, also allows users to create their own profile, set their delivery preferences and track deliveries. In addition, customers can request that drivers always avoid certain times of the day, such as the school run, in a move that is looking to personalise last-mile fulfilment.

'Your DPD' users can specify a chosen neighbour to receive deliveries in their absence, or attach a photograph of a designated 'safe place' located on their own property. Customers can also give instant feedback on the service, which filters straight into DPD's Salesforce CRM system for future records.

DPD's CEO Dwain McDonald says the organisation has a mission "to use the best technology available to put customers in complete control of their own deliveries", and he argued that the tech used by his business is "streets ahead of every other delivery company".

"For the first time, customers can genuinely create their own parcel plan and be confident that whatever happens, they will have a range of choices, up to the minute information and real-time in-flight options to ensure they never miss a delivery again," he added.

McDonald revealed the plans for the app at Metapack's Delivery Conference, earlier this year, where he described waiting for the launch as similar to being "an expectant father". At the event he also said: "We lose money on the delivery if we have to go back. We want to deliver first time, on the day."

A further innovation set to be rolled out as part of the DPD mobile offering has been labelled 'DPD Precise', which will allow consumers to pick the exact hour and the day for delivery.

The CEO said retailers partnering with DPD for this service, which is due for aunch this summer, will see no change to their online checkouts at the front end. He also revealed that fashion e-tailer and long-term DPD partner, Asos, will be the first business to offer this option to its customers.

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