As part of its IT transformation programme to support e-commerce businesses, the Royal Mail has signed a deal with BT to refresh its mobile devices.
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Royal Mail said the investment of around £130 million over five years will enable it to support flexible delivery and improve parcel tracking capability.
Through the contract, Royal Mail will begin rolling out around 76,000 next-generation, hand-held devices to postmen and women in 2015.
The five-year investment is part of Royal Mail’s IT transformation programme, a key objective of which is to support the delivery of our parcels strategy.
This includes enabling Royal Mail to be more flexible and customer responsive.
Royal Mail has provided postmen and women with handheld devices since 2007, to support parcel tracking for business customers.
The next generation of handheld devices will be used to expand the postal service with new products specifically targeted at online retail.
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Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: "This is part of our on-going programme to respond to the needs of our customers and maintain our leading position in the UK parcels market."
Royal Mail has worked with system integrators to provide shipping API, which retailers can integrate into their own order shipping processes.
Through its Field Force Automation services, BT will work with Royal Mail to decide which hand-held devices to deploy. Royal Mail will roll out the new hand-held scanners to postmen and women in 2015.
The contract with BT covers day-to-day management of current and new devices, and operating platforms for five years.
BT provides Royal Mail’s mobile connectivity under an existing, separate contract.
Royal Mail expects to finalise a contract in the coming weeks for the supply of software applications for the devices.
Earlier this year, online marketplace eBay worked with Argos to enable online merchants to offer a local pick-up point for UK shoppers.
The Royal mail has also expanded its services so online shoppers can collect their purchases from their local post offices.