DX Group (DX) announced the roll-out of a mobile workforce solution from Cognito. DX Group’s couriers will be equipped with Honeywell handheld devices, underpinned by Cognito’s mobile workforce management software to improve both security and efficiency in the delivery of urgent and confidential consignments on behalf of their clients. The system is designed to enhance DX’s existing delivery and tracking systems with new features that will improve customer confidence by providing greater transparency and control along the end to end delivery process.
“Clients trust us to deliver valuable, confidential and sensitive mail and packages to their customers, which means that there can be no question on the performance of our network,” said Mike Stone, Chief Operating Officer at DX. “We have to think two steps in advance of anyone who would seek to compromise our system which is why it is critical for us to use the latest technology to counter any risks. We turned to Cognito not only for the strength of its managed network, but also because its consultants had the experience and expertise to advise us on the technology choices that we needed to make to meet our unique requirements.”
DX’s delivery network manages over 25 million secure or tracked deliveries annually on behalf of clients in the financial, retail and government sectors with more than 90% of these deliveries being to residential addresses. This entire network is supported by a dedicated contact centre of 130 staff handling over 20,000 calls per day.
Raymond Murphy, a DX Group courier, explains: “We have to plan our own routes and when we deliver the packages we must collect a three-point identifier of the location to ensure we have a fully visible trail of a delivery for our clients and their customers. Previously all of this added a considerable amount of time to our working day, but with the new handhelds the processes and proof of delivery are much more manageable.”
Stone added: “With so many variables in our workflow process, not least the challenges of residential deliveries, a single point of failure can, and indeed will, lead to a break down in our processes. It’s simply not acceptable to have any element of doubt in the system. Demonstrating this to our customers is critical for gaining their trust and the new features introduced with the rollout of the new handheld devices to the couriers, goes even further toward removing any shadow of doubt as to the security and reliability of the service we provide to our customers.”
Cognito and DX have worked closely to develop a range of unique features to address the various challenges DX faced. All features are based on real-time data that comes via Cognito's end-to-end managed network coupled with software timers within DX’s back-office applications. Key features include:
• Directed Courier Workflow: A bespoke application adapted from Cognito's Managed Workflow product that eliminates the need for paper forms, instead creating a fully auditable, digital trail of communication between a courier’s handheld device and the back-office. Built in alerts let a courier know if they are unlikely to meet agreed delivery times, which means recipients can be informed in advance of any changes to the service.
• CVRS: Computerised Vehicle Routing Software is used to optimise the number of deliveries that can be made by automatically planning routes. These automatic routes remove the burden of planning from the courier and enable greater efficiency, as well as better security, by taking into account the number of deliveries, location, time of day and any special considerations about the delivery area.
• Address geo-coordinate functionality: The Honeywell Handheld Product (HP) 7900 is used to check the location of the courier against the known coordinates of the delivery address in real time. This means that when a package is en route the courier and customer can be warned about potential delays or address discrepancies, reducing the chance of delivery to the wrong place and at the wrong time. When they do arrive, geo-coordination coupled with both a camera on the handheld device and an on-screen prompt significantly improves the efficiency of collecting the three-point location identifier.
“During these tough economic times when there will be a general push for greater efficiency it’s critical to ensure that customer service doesn’t suffer,” said Steve Alderson, Managing Director at Cognito. “By adopting a finely tuned mobile workforce system DX will ensure efficiencies can still be achieved and most importantly that customers remain confident in the service.”
Following trials at several DX locations, which proved that the systems were reliable and resilient, the handheld technology will be implemented across the organisation by end April 2009.
As the market leading expert in Mobile Workforce Management systems and practices, Cognito (cognito.co.uk) provides consultancy, solutions and services to organisations with task-oriented field workers, enabling them to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. Cognito’s customers include Anglian Water, CitySprint, Dalkia ETS, Npower, Peterborough City Council and Volvo CE.
About DX Group Ltd
DX Group Ltd is the leading independent mail and courier company in the UK and Ireland. The company handles around 1 million items per day across a range of services in both the B2C and B2B markets from over 50 locations throughout the UK and Ireland utilising around 3500 employees, contractors and owner drivers to service over 25,000 customers.