date19 March 2024

Fresh Tracks: How to Revolutionise Food Delivery with Mobile Data Capture  

Delivery is the most critical part of the supply chain because it directly affects the customer's experience. In the food industry, this is the final step of the delivery process - the point at which food leaves the storage facility or transportation hub to be delivered to the customer's premises. Every aspect of this delivery can impact customer satisfaction, from the way the food is handled and transported, through to the freshness and quality of the food at the point of delivery and the time it takes for the items to reach the customer.  

With customers expecting quicker delivery times, minimal errors and guaranteed freshness, the pressure on the food distribution industry has never been higher. To meet expectations, many businesses are turning to mobile computing solutions to streamline and optimise their delivery operations.  

These solutions are not just enhancing the way food is handled and delivered, they are modernising the entire process. Using mobile data capture technologies, such as smartphones and tablets equipped with specialised software and applications, businesses are ensuring that food arrives fresh, safe and on time, and that it also adheres to stringent UK laws regarding food safety.  

The Importance of Mobile Data Capture in Food Deliveries

Mobile data capture is proving to be transformative in modern food delivery services, where it is optimising route planning and navigation in delivery. Delivery drivers can navigate the quickest route to their customer’s premises by accessing advanced routing algorithms and GPS technology through their mobile applications. This gives delivery drivers real-time traffic information at their fingertips and helps them to pick the most efficient delivery routes based on current traffic conditions, delivery windows and the customer’s preferences. This is helping businesses to significantly reduce operational costs, by minimising delivery times, improving delivery schedules and increasing customer satisfaction.  

Another key advantage of mobile data capture is that it allows for the real-time collection of data, including GPS locations, timestamps and delivery statuses. This provides both the food service provider and their end-customers with visibility into the status of orders. Delivery drivers can use mobile devices to scan barcodes or RFID tags at various checkpoints along the delivery route, which then feeds back accurate tracking of each package's location and delivery status. With customers increasingly expecting transparency and promptness in their services, this real-time tracking is a commercial advantage to businesses that can provide it.  

Correct Handling and Tracking of Food Products

Many food products, particularly perishable items such as fresh produce, dairy and meat, are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Maintaining the right temperature can be the difference between fresh, safe food and a health hazard. These food items must be stored and transported under specific conditions to ensure they maintain their quality and safety.  

By using refrigerated vehicles equipped with temperature sensors and mobile computers with monitoring software, food providers can continuously track the temperature of products throughout the distribution process. Temperature sensor monitoring software and barcode scanning capabilities integrated into mobile devices enable delivery drivers to capture and transmit data in real-time. This allows the drivers to verify the integrity of perishable goods upon pickup and delivery, reducing the risk of spoilage and foodborne illnesses. This ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and mitigates the risk of damage or contamination during the last mile delivery.  

Additionally, in compliance with UK food traceability laws, these solutions help businesses keep accurate records of the journey of food products, from origin to destination. By adopting these solutions, all products can be traced back through every step of their journey.  

Instant Communication

Communication is key in any business but especially in the food distribution sector where real-time communication is so valuable. With mobile data capture solutions, drivers can receive instant traffic or customer updates, confirm delivery details and quickly address any emerging issues, all the while remaining in contact with key stakeholders.  

This seamless communication increases transparency and efficiency throughout the supply chain. It enables drivers to make well-informed decisions and it streamlines communication between drivers, dispatchers and customers during the delivery journey.  This instils confidence in customers and provides them with timely and accurate updates on deliveries, which improves the overall customer experience.  

Efficient Delivery through Mobile Data Capture

Many businesses are already reaping the benefits of integrating mobile data capture solutions into their operations. For instance, Tican Chilled has streamlined its delivery operations and reduced its paper usage by at least 70% through adopting the cloud based PODStar system.  

The PODStar system offers a planning tool that automates existing manual processes and uses up-to-date information to create job runs and allocate drivers to vehicles. Delivery drivers, using smartphones equipped with mobile data capture apps, receive their job assignments and, once the delivery is completed, provide real-time electronic proof of delivery. Meanwhile, Tican HQ monitors their locations, job status and driver performance in real-time.  

Additionally, TouchStar has enhanced Tican's system with a payments module for precise billing and collection, and temperature control functionality. The payments module allows the Tican driver to see how much money they should be collecting from clients, record the amount received and have the option to take partial payment.  

The temperature logging feature allows recording at vehicle checks and at every delivery stop, if required. There is also an option to mandate a photo of the readout from the onboard temperature reading equipment to prove compliance in relation to ambient, chilled and frozen temperatures.   

This integrated solution ensures efficient and transparent delivery management and underscores the tangible benefits of adopting mobile data capture solutions in the food delivery industry.  


Food delivery is fraught with challenges, including traffic, routing and timing issues. However, mobile data capture solutions are mitigating these challenges through sophisticated route optimisation algorithms and real-time traffic updates. This ensures that food deliveries are made as efficiently as possible, reducing delivery times, minimising errors and adhering to food health and safety standards.  

The role of mobile data capture in enhancing last-mile food delivery cannot be overstated. By ensuring proper handling, maintaining temperature control, and optimising delivery routes, mobile data capture solutions are setting new standards in food safety, quality and efficiency. As the food delivery industry continues to grow, the adoption of these technologies is not just beneficial; it's becoming essential for success. For businesses in the food delivery sector, now is the time to invest in solutions that enable mobile data capture - and embrace the future of food delivery.  

Is your business looking to increase its operational efficiency, accuracy and adhere to food health and safety regulations? If you are not sure where to start, speak with the TouchStar PODStar team. We will help you take a strategic move towards future-proofing your business.