Pallet network Fortec has begun the roll-out of a new signature capture Android App, Fortec Connect, to its members after a successful trial.

Developed by Vita Software, Fortec conducted trials of the App in September with several hauliers in an attempt to make available to members fully featured POD technology on, compared with bespoke devices, an affordable format.

Using Fortec Connect, signatures collected on smart phones are automatically time, date and GPS stamped. The information is then uploaded in real-time to both Fortec and local customer systems.

Fortec said it expected this to eliminate the need for manual POD scanning.

Andrew Knowles, national operations and compliance director at Fortec said: “The introduction of our ground-breaking android-based App takes customer service to a new level and keeps the Fortec Distribution Network ahead of the competition.

“We have always been very proud of the high levels of service which our licensees offer and with Fortec Connect, we can now give our customers a far clearer picture of what is happening with their deliveries, in real time,” he added.

Fortec Connect handset

Fortec Connect - App functionality

The App allows the pallet network’s member depots to track the progress of their vehicles in real time, and pictures taken on the device are automatically linked to the relevant consignment and uploaded.

The phones chosen for the project are enclosed in a hard shell and waterproof. Customers can sign using their finger or a stylus.

According to Fortec the software also allows drivers to organise their schedule for the day, allowing them to re-sort deliveries into any order and interact with the device’s satellite navigation for help getting to delivery points. The phone itself also prompts drivers to carry out vehicle safety checks before the start of the journey, such as checking tyre pressure, fuel locks, lights and the condition of load.

Fortec’s IT manager Dave Thorpe said: “The new app can be used on any Android device so the project can be easily rolled out throughout Europe. It also offers our members the flexibility to access it from their own Android phones if they wish, and can also accept freight from any other system.”