Courier speeds up deliveries

Adelaide-based courier Yellow Couriers has increased productivity and cut response times with a new system that has integrated computerised dispatch with back-end business software.

Ron Barton, managing director of the 75-year-old Yellow Cab Group, which owns the courier network, said the benefits of the new system, which replaces a six-year-old generic legacy system, were seen instantly.

"Our expectations were exceeded from the day we turned on the system, with a substantial increase in our ability to handle the workload more efficiently," Barton said.

"The greatest efficiencies can be seen in our dispatch system," he said.

"The average pick-up time for deliveries has been slashed by about two-thirds, even in peak periods, our callbacks have dropped to zero in normal times and just a few in peak periods," Barton said.

"We had no problems with the old system, but we needed to move forward. Technology has moved forward and we needed to move with it," he said.

The courier's 190 drivers now have more time to respond to other deliveries, meaning the company can handle an increased workload without increasing staff, according to Barton.

Shaw Solutions teamed with taxi and courier industry supplier Raywood Communications to develop a technology solution specifically for the Yellow Cab Group to make bookings and billing simpler and eliminate errors.

Peter Fulton, marketing manager for Shaw Solutions, said that instead of only straight point-A to point-B deliveries, couriers also do multiple pick-ups or deliveries as part of the same job.

"Courier companies face a flood of documentation from the sheer volume of transactions; on average Yellow Cab group handles up to 4000 pick-ups and deliveries a day, which creates a lot of overhead," Fulton said. The system is a component of Shaw Solutions' Promadis software suite, which integrated its courier functions with its financial systems and Melbourne-based Raywood's Dispatcher.

Tracking drivers and keeping them notified of jobs has become easier, quicker and more accurate; after each delivery the control centre is automatically alerted so the location of drivers is known at all times, Fulton said. As soon as the telephonist takes an order, the Raywood Dispatcher system sends the job information to a terminal in a vehicle. Instances of drivers missing out on a pick-up en route, due to delayed information, are now avoided. Also, delivery and pick-up addresses are now street directory-checked at the time of the booking, to ensure against wrong addresses.

Operators can respond at the time of booking to queries about billing and the cost of individual deliveries. The system allows costings for each customer according to its contract and rates, he said.

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