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N1 flat and delivery drivers with boxes

The delivery driver’s new best friend

Written by Baris Koc, European Product Manager at Panasonic Mobile Solutions Business.

The delivery driver’s new best friend

Introducing the TOUGHBOOK N1 Flat

You can hardly have missed the increase in delivery drivers on the roads of your community in recent years and that observation is backed up by the research. Growing rapidly as a result of eCommerce, the European last mile delivery market was worth roughly €670m in 2018 and is expected to grow annually by over 16% to be worth €2,491.8m by 2027.

That last mile in the delivery supply chain is one of the toughest for businesses to master. These days we have all become used to receiving our deliveries at the place of our choosing – home, work or a drop-off smartlocker. All these options mean that delivery drivers, logistics and warehouse workers are now busier and more in demand than ever.

They can often be seen lugging around a bulky handheld device to help them manage their day-to-day supply chain challenges. You will have seen them squinting to read the screen in bright sunlight or bad weather, stabbing clumsily at the display to register something on the app – all while trying to juggle the device and their delivery. But they rely on the technology for their work schedule and recording every aspect of the delivery. So, this week there is good news for delivery drivers as they will have a new technology best friend with the introduction of the TOUGHBOOK N1 Flat handheld device.

It's a flat version of Panasonic’s already popular TOUGHBOOK N1 rugged Android handheld. It has an integrated camera-based barcode scanner that can recognise a variety of different barcode types and is one of the thinnest and lightest handheld devices in the 4.7" category – making it ideal for mobile workers in the postal and courier services, transportation and logistics. With its handy form, the device can be easily paired via Bluetooth as part of a dedicated scanning solution, for example, for those using wearable barcode readers in a warehouse.

Delivery workers will also love it because there will be no more struggling to read the screen and record information. The HD capacitive multi-touch daylight readable display is designed for use by workers in bright sunlight or in the rain and those wearing gloves. The device can also be used with an optional Pen, for more accurate signature recording and recognition capabilities.

For those that need to capture documents or use a webcam, there is an 8MP rear and 5MP front camera. Its communication capabilities are also unrivalled in the rugged handheld market with voice and data and roaming WiFi options.

It doesn’t matter how busy the schedule, the device is designed to operate for up to 12 hours with user warm swap battery functionality. It runs the Android 11 operating system with long-term security updates and is equipped with Qualcomm Octa Core processor with a 4GB of RAM memory and 64GB of Flash storage.

And there are no concerns if this device is dropped, falls out of the van or gets a soaking. It’s fully rugged and tested to MIL-STD-810G standards and can survive drops from a height of 2.1m. For those working in cold temperatures, such as frozen and chilled food delivery drivers, the operational temperature range of the device is from -20° to +50°C.

The IT support team will also love this new mobile worker companion. The TOUGHBOOK N1 Flat is Android Enterprise ready and has the support of Panasonic Complete Android Services and Security (COMPASS) - offering everything needed to configure, deploy and manage TOUGHBOOK rugged Android tablets and handhelds securely in the business across the full lifecycle of the solution.

In the busy world of last-mile delivery, couriers and logistics, mobile workers need a device that is intuitive to use and tough enough to stand up to the everyday knocks and scrapes of the challenging work environment. The TOUGHBOOK N1 Flat is that ideal rugged device from navigating to the next drop-off, through to scanning the barcode, capturing a signature or taking photos of safe delivery. It looks set to become their new best friend.

Find out more about our TOUGHBOOK N1 series