Emplas introduced 30-minute notifications on deliveries and real time delivery tracking following a successful trial earlier this year. We explore what it means for its customers.
“The real time tracking gives us a complete overview of the delivery process from the time that it leaves Emplas to the time that it arrives here.”
Gareth Fairclough, Director, Goldseal Tradeline
Going the extra mile
Bar code tracking is used widely in the window and door industry, but it tends to only go as far as dispatch. Where your order is on the UK’s frequently unpredictable road network, is often anyone’s guess and delays are common.
Emplas’ new real-time delivery tracking service changes that, introducing an allocated two-hour delivery slot, plus a 30-minute push notification on arrival.
What that means for customers
“It gives our customers time back”, says Jody Vincent, Sales Director, Emplas, “for example, time when they don’t have to leave site to meet a delivery that has been delayed in traffic; or time to book in an additional sales appointment.
“Time is a commodity in every business, especially if you’re running a small company and have multiple roles.
“Knowing that you have a provisional drop within a two-hour time frame; being able to double check online to see exactly where the delivery is; and then getting a 30-minute confirmation on delivery – that’s a step change for Emplas customers.”
Sounds simple? Think again!
Like all good ideas the concept is simple, the practice, well that’s a different story. Emplas’ new service is the product of a detailed journey mapping exercise and a sophisticated combination of forecasting and planning.
Developed over 12-months and tested for six, the two-hour slots that it’s able to give to its customers, are allocated based on a predictive analysis of journey times – including allowing for congestion.
This is based on a comprehensive study of between 200 and 300 customer drops, 75 delivery routes and 20,000 to 30,000 km of the UK road network each week, plus the inhouse development of integrations with live traffic data by Emplas’ team of software developers.
The system is also connected to Emplas’ fleet, so at the point at which our drivers scan the last product off the lorry on a particular drop, it also updates the central system. When the truck reaches the preceding drop, it also pushes out a text notification to the assigned customer point of contact that their delivery is now 30-minutes away.
What do customers think?
Gareth Fairclough, Director, Goldseal Tradeline:
“The real time tracking gives us a complete overview of the delivery process from the time that it leaves Emplas to the time that it arrives here.
“So, first we get a text confirming a two-hour delivery slot and then an email with a link to the tracker. Once the truck leaves the Emplas factory we can track it live and see exactly where the delivery is on the motorway.
“If there’s been a delay or there’s congestion, we can see it.
“Later on, we get a notification saying it’s an hour away and then half-an hour away so we can plan around our delivery time.
“It saves us that inconvenience of not knowing exactly when a delivery is going to turn up and we can plan our day knowing that we’re going to have product on the ground. Bang on 10am, we know it’s going to be here. If one of our customers is waiting for something urgently, we can confirm exactly when it’s going to be with them.
“It’s another example of how Emplas is looking forward to how window and door trade supply can be, not how it has been. If you’ve ever been to the factory you can always see that they’re pushing forward and have made big investments in their IT team to do it.
“Stuff like that, it just adds up into commercial advantages for its customers.”
Outstanding results during trials
The system was trialled by Emplas for six-months before its rollout, during which time it delivered a 99% accuracy rate.
“It allows our customers to schedule and plan their days more effectively so that they don’t have to pull teams off site for deliveries until they really have to” continues Jody.
“This is on top of those delivery innovations that we have already introduced including scanning on and off the wagon to make sure orders are complete and nothing is left behind, and priority replacement, if something has been damaged in transit”, he adds.
Built on a unique IT infrastructure
The software sitting behind the service is unique to Emplas and built by its team of seven highly talented inhouse software developers.
This means that it links seamlessly with EVA, the Emplas customer Portal. Customers can log in, place orders, request replacement products or check on the status of their delivery in real time.
Save time and do more with less over-head
Jody argues that two-hour delivery slots equate to a much greater advantage for Emplas customers over time.
“The advantages accumulate”, he says. “A couple of hours each week can deliver far bigger benefits. Completing a job rather than losing another couple of hours to go back to it, or squeezing in that extra sales appointment.
“Everything as we see it going forward has to be about service and quality. We’re committed to driving our service offer forward through continuing innovation in IT to deliver direct commercial advantage to our customers.”