More efficient parcel delivery

Accurate tracking and accelerated processes with apps for the Swiss postal service

Zurich, 16 May 2023 - Five apps for all phases of parcel delivery: Swiss Post employees work more efficiently and conveniently with mobile applications - and Swiss Post gains deeper insights into processes. The digital experts from Merkle - a dentsu company were responsible for the app development in close cooperation with the developers from Swiss Post.

200 million parcels are sent in Switzerland every year - at peak times, it's one million per day. The delivery of parcels, letters and other deliveries is handled by the 20,000 delivery staff of Swiss Post.

Behind this is a complex and time-consuming logistics process: routes have to be planned, consignments scanned and their status recorded, and delivery locations recorded.

With the help of digital solutions, Swiss Post wanted to make the work of its employees easier and track the status of consignments more precisely - even when problems occur, for example because recipients have moved. The company wanted a digital redesign of the acceptance and delivery processes.

Swiss Post has already been working closely with the full-service agency Merkle on various topics for eight years and therefore also commissioned the digital experts for this project.

The implementation: development of the apps in close cooperation

Merkle designed and implemented a customised solution for the Swiss Post - in close cooperation with its developers. The agency relied on Scrum as an agile working method. With dailies, sprint reviews and retrospectives, flexible solutions could be created quickly and safely.

The post office's parcel delivery staff previously worked with CN51 scanners to register shipments. The apps were to track consignments more precisely and comprehensively and make work easier. For this, many different processes had to be adapted, which was complex and time-consuming.

larissa buehler

The requirements were high: "One challenge was that the apps are all business-critical and are used by a large number of users," explains Larissa Bühler, Product Owner Consultant at Merkle DACH: "The quality requirement is very high."

20,000 postal employees use the apps almost eight hours a day. Because they depend on the solutions to ensure smooth delivery, they must function correctly at all times. High performance, even at peak times, is important, especially when downloading shipment data and sending delivery information.

Merkle realised various apps for Swiss Post, all of which are already in use. Android is used because the company already uses smartphones with the operating system and the selection of devices is larger. In addition, the changeover from the CN51 scanners was less complicated.

The solution: Five different smartphone apps

Merkle realised five efficient smartphone apps for Swiss Post. Each of them is designed for a specific purpose and step in the delivery process:

  • TOVO records all items and sorts them. This allows the delivery tour to be optimally prepared and the car to be loaded more precisely. More parcels fit in, which saves distances and CO₂.
  • ZUST is used by delivery staff during the tour. They use it to record the delivery location, such as the place of residence or post office box.
  • With BACK, employees scan items in bulk mode and store information on the status.
  • With the special app MWGL, a Swiss Post service provider picks Dispoboxes.

The apps support and accelerate postal workloads. They enable precise tracking and provide the company with a comprehensive overview of all processes. Delivery problems also become visible.

The cooperation continues: New app in planning

Merkle continues to manage and develop the Swiss Post apps, sometimes with tight deadlines. Regular UX tests ensure that they all work. A pilot group of 200 people tests each new app version.

All developers also have the opportunity to accompany delivery staff and experience first-hand how they work with the apps. Furthermore, the postmen and women can give feedback on the use of the app. In this way, Merkle receives information about problems and errors and can correct them immediately.

Further applications will be added to the portfolio. Currently, the digital experts are working on a new app that calculates travel routes in advance. With it, unnecessary routes can be avoided and traffic jams bypassed. This saves fuel, CO₂ and time.

baudin

Jerome Baudin, Product Owner at Swiss Post, is very satisfied with the results: "Working with Merkle doesn't feel like a typical customer-service provider relationship. Merkle is a real sparring partner who helps us to make our products a success."