Less than six months since Lichfield-based Palletways launched its Digital Information Hub, members are already beginning to experience the benefits of the system, using the new Digital Dashboard to access a whole host of real-time management data and tools to help improve efficiency and communications.
Palletways – Europe’s largest dedicated network for the express delivery of palletised fright – developed its Digital Information Hub to improve processes, communication, traffic planning and vehicle utilisation, using extensive operational and customer data in real time to provide real, tangible added-value for its customers.
The feature rich visibility provided by the dashboard shows the status and progress of all consignments in the system in real time. Advanced mapped routing is also being extensively used to help determine the most efficient delivery rounds and provide a view of all vehicles on a map in real time.
The instant messaging feature has already virtually eliminated the use of faxes and has dramatically reduced the need for multiple time-consuming phone calls, with the consignments at risk and enhanced proof of delivery (POD) features helping drive customer service standards upwards – and on that topic the customer access phase of the Digital Information Hub has now been made available.
The customer dashboard enables customers to access data on all their consignments and to view their status in real time. By a simple filtering process customers can see consignments according to the criteria they select. Two email addresses can be input by the customer to receive an automatic email at each key delivery stage – typically these would be the consignor and consignee so that both are kept fully aware with the status of their deliveries without the need to make calls or send emails.
Customers can also view consignments on a map and can easily monitor their overall delivery status in the form of pie charts. Historical reports on volumes by period, type, geographical area and other factors can easily be created and the instant messaging facility is also available to customers enabling fast and easy communications with members. Improved consignment entry has also been introduced so that customers need only enter the delivery postcode with the remainder of the address being automatically completed, ensuring total accuracy of information.
Following soon is Estimated Time of Delivery where customers will receive an automatic email notification as consignments are scanned onto the delivery vehicle.
Richard Miller, IT Manager for Palletways (UK) Ltd, said: “Our Digital Information Hub is a massive leap forward in information visibility and our members and customers are now starting to see the benefits. Our aim was to provide a system which would push relevant information onto a screen, removing the need for consignment queries by phone and email. Features such the new messaging platform and consignments at risk are starting to make this a reality.”
Richard Allen, Principal at The Pink Link Limited in Huddersfield, said: “We are all really excited with the new IT platform and are keen to roll it out to our client base. The improved transparency within the depot is extremely welcome and the tracking visibility to customers is a great marketing tool. There is no doubt that such a major advancement in this area will clearly keep Palletways ahead of the competition.”
John Miller, Depot Principal at Axtra Ltd, based in Southwick, West Sussex, added: “The new Digital Information Hub reduces the depot admin time and allows full pallet trace visibility. This is also a great tool to improve customer service with Estimated Time of Arrival advance messages. The feedback we have had from our customer is extremely positive and maintains Palletways’ position as the overnight pallet market leader.”