Reduced Operating Costs – Improved Efficiency
Through a fleet of 60 vehicles and a national distribution network of 8 depots, Wickes makes some 150,000 deliveries per year and, at its peak, delivers a kitchen every 3 minutes.
The introduction of real time electronic proof of delivery at Wickes has resulted in a 20% cut in the number of claims for incomplete delivery due to a much higher level of information accuracy – previously they did not have sufficient information from point of delivery to be able to investigate claims effectively. ePOD from VSc manages the whole delivery and collection process, including scanning and exceptions, running on Motorola MC9000 handheld mobile computers.
Rob Ivers, General Manager of Wickes Home Delivery Network, comments: “The ePOD solution from VSc gave us the platform to be able to check claims, confident in the proof of delivery information received. In practical terms this has saved Wickes around £250,000 per year. Wickes handle over 3000 deliveries each week which, with our previous paper-based system, was an administration nightmare. The ePOD solution has transformed the way we handle claims or queries and also reduced the man-power required.”
Wickes also implemented vehicle telematics from VSc which provides them with information for vehicle tracking, route analysis and driver performance via GPS. Rob Ivers continues: “Using the telematics suite to monitor idle time and driving style, we estimate savings of around £50,000 per year in vehicle maintenance and fuel costs alone.”
Customer Service is Key
As a successful and growing business, Wickes recognised the need to introduce electronic, integrated operational systems in order to streamline the management of their Home Delivery process, as well as further enhance their customers’ experience in terms of being able to offer more specific, timed delivery slots and joined-up handling of doorstep delivery and queries more efficiently.
The original project focused on Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) but was extended to include GPS tracking and vehicle telematics on the home delivery fleet.
Most importantly from a customer service perspective, the VSc solution has enabled Wickes to provide and maintain a very high level of delivery precision, ensuring the customers gets both the delivery window and all of the ordered items when they want them. This is achieved by the real-time integration of the Wickes Customer Services team with the distribution operation. Customer services can control the behaviour of the driver on site, authorising ad-hoc collections, returns or even the complete by-pass of a delivery, and at the same time any projected delivery exceptions are highlighted to Customers Services, enabling re-planning and reduced actual service failure.
Rob Ivers continues: “The VSc ePOD solution did exactly what they said it would do. We have achieved major customer service enhancements from having instant, online access to customer delivery information and we can react more quickly and intelligently to customer queries. The tracking functionality means that we can also better manage customer delivery expectations and take pre-emptive action where necessary”.
Delivering Real Business Benefits
VSc Solutions specialise in providing a single, integrated solution to extend the real-time visibility of vehicles and deliveries from the point they leave the warehouse door across the entire delivery and collection process.
For Wickes, this has provided dramatic cost savings and, as importantly for them, established a platform to more effectively manage their business growth going forward through the integration and visibility of system information.
Rob Ivers explains: “One of the benefits of working with VSc Solutions is that they really are a ‘one-stop shop’. It was great not to have to deal with multiple suppliers and integration teams.
VSc’s CIS provides complete business data integration and their ‘can-do’ attitude certainly helped us to achieve our business system goals.”
For the future, Wickes are considering how they may further streamline their business systems to provide self-service access to customer delivery information.
Rob Ivers concludes: “The functionality provided by the integrated ePOD and tracking systems from VSc Solutions means that we can now actively explore the next steps in developing our business systems to provide the ultimate in customer service.”
VSc Solutions Ltd
Tel: 07808 182258