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NetDespatch keeps medical supplies on track for DSB

Advanced web based mobile tracking technology from NetDespatch is helping to ensure the rapid delivery of urgent medical supplies from Europe to UK hospitals. Specialist courier DSB is rolling out the Agility system throughout its UK network to manage the transfer of the life-saving supplies.

Part of an end-to-end NetDespatch delivery management solution that is accessed via a web browser, Agility uses one type of handheld device throughout the delivery process to provide live track and trace from collection to delivery, from customer hubs to depots, including the agents and drivers.

Deliveries are time-critical and DSB guarantees next day delivery to any one of 180 hospitals across Britain by 9am. Customer orders are received electronically and quality checked by DSB prior to transferring via a powerful import engine to NetDespatch. Within seconds, all order details are then visible on the web to the DSB depots, distribution hub and customers.

Barcoded labels on incoming shipments from Europe are scanned at DSB’s hub in Didcot using the handheld devices. Similar devices, configured automatically for each user, are then used throughout the delivery chain to scan consignments through to the point of delivery. A key feature of Agility is that it eliminates the need for conventional pre-built manifests. Instead, manifests are built dynamically when the driver ‘pulls’ data from the web-based system by scanning the parcels.

"These particular medical supplies are literally a matter of life and death and that is why we have employed the most advanced technology available today. NetDespatch allows us to instantly check for discrepancies at every point throughout the delivery so we can be absolutely sure every consignment is correct, is en route, and is on time. This feature alone is worth its weight in gold," says Simon Bishop, Director of DSB.

In such a critical, time sensitive environment, customer service is crucial. DSB sees NetDespatch Agility as a cutting edge solution that has big implications for improving service. DSB uses high specification Intermec handhelds that are GPRS and GPS equipped. Future plans and potential developments include satellite tracking integration and geofencing routes. This will enable the precise locating of every consignment and also provide automatic alerts to potential delays on route.

"Reassurance that deliveries are going to arrive on time is a big issue for our clients. The fact that our clients can log onto the web and check the progress for themselves is a huge benefit. NetDespatch has had a dramatic effect in reducing queries about deliveries so there are significantly fewer phone calls. With much less fire-fighting, clients are finding that they have much more time to get on with their business," comments Bishop.

NetDespatch Agility is a unique development that offers key advantages over similar systems. With seamless integration with NetDespatch Velocity and use of software via the web, Agility can be implemented instantly to eliminate many of the traditional roll out costs and delays. The fact that the same solution and the same type of handheld device can be used throughout the delivery process also improves usability and saves money on training and hardware.

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