Building an Enterprise Logistics Company from Scratch

The Opportunity

Having sold his previous mailroom distribution company to Neopost, QTrak founder, Gary Shank knows mailroom services. He identified a significant demand for fast, mobile and accurate electronic package processing and record-keeping—particularly amongst large companies and universities that have volume-heavy mailroom operations. These organizations need to make sure not a single package is missed. And that means accurate records of package arrivals, routes and deliveries.

The answer was QTrak, a package tracking infrastructure for large scale internal mail systems that utilizes the power and accessibility of the iOS platform as well as traditional package scanning tools.

But with time of the essence, Shank needed to get QTrak up and running fast. To make that happen, his first call was to Arcweb Technologies.

The Arcweb Approach

Once onboard, Arcweb Technologies got to work employing its rapid prototyping methodology. The team progressively designed, implemented and deployed a working solution at weekly intervals. After only a few weeks, the QTrak product started to take shape and was ready for testing on real packages.

To make QTrak more versatile, Arcweb Technologies customized the iPhone camera to decode the widely used Code 128 barcodes and created an ergonomic workflow. This allowed QTrak users to generate barcodes from either the mobile app or on the web. By implementing each carrier barcode algorithm inside QTrak (e.g. UPS, Fedex, and USPS), the system was able to recognize and tag the shipping labels using the QTrak Pro barcode scanner or the iPhone camera.

QTrak had to communicate with industry standard printers to generate labels containing scannable barcodes from both the PC and mobile devices. Arcweb Technologies integrated the QTrak platform with the Dymo Label Writer 4XL—specifically its Javascript Dymo Label Framework—to enable printing from the web client accompanying the mobile scanners. For printing on-the-go, Arcweb Technologies integrated the Zebra QLn 420 wireless printer to QTrak utilizing the Zebralink Utility and Software Development Kit (SDK) for Apple iOS devices.

In order to synchronize events such as routing and package delivery, Arcweb Technologies utilized the cloud-based storage backend CloudMine. CloudMine enabled Arcweb to model the events, user permissions, and transactions across all major browsers including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE7+.

Results

After just four months of close collaboration, rapid prototyping and regular product demonstrations with the Arcweb design and development team, Shank now had the enterprise logistics product he needed: an iPhone/iPod touch app with a robust web presence to manage packages in real time. QTrak is now in enterprise and university mailrooms across the country. To date, Arcweb has built seven iterations of QTrak, each time developing for new features based on customer demand.

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