TranSend ePOD moves FDC to the frontier of IT in the pallet network sector
TPN – The Pallet Network – handles in excess of 60,000 pallets a week through its state-of-the-art, purpose designed 367,500 square foot Hub based in Minworth, West Midlands. It also has a Northern distribution Hub near Preston (FDC Holdings). TPN boasts a Membership comprising over 100 of the best independent hauliers in the UK together with 28 companies which comprise TPN Ireland. TPN Ireland’s Hub is based in Dublin.
TranSend ePOD has been fully integrated with TPN’s Member IT system, TPN Connect, resulting in a one-stop-shop solution that automates and simplifies the delivery process for TPN Members with a low cost of deployment on their own choice of Android smartphone.
TPN Connect ePOD ( TranSend ) enables TPN and its Members to:
- Save time and reduce costs by automating manual, paper-based processes.
- Improve customer service by providing accurate, immediate information on the status of all deliveries, including ETAs
- Leverage the power of smartphone devices and deploy the TranSend app with a low cost of entry on their own choice of Android device.
- Track actual versus planned routes and deliveries, through the planned route optimisation technology. This will provide visibility of Member performance throughout the network.
TPN operates a ‘hub and spoke’ distribution model where Members operate within an allocated region, handling palletised freight through the TPN Hub in Minworth, West Midlands. With a central Hub operation handling over 12,000 pallets each day, TPN needed an ePOD solution capable of tracking high volumes of trans-shipped pallets from their collection point to final delivery.
To encourage and manage the roll-out to 100+ Members, the system had to be simple and cost-effective to deploy across drivers, sub-contractors or agency drivers alike.
Transend The Solution
TranSend ePOD provides Members, typically operating up to 50 vehicles, with a comprehensive proof of delivery system for the distribution of TPN pallets.
- The ePOD app tracks the complete delivery process from the point of driver log-on, through customer deliveries and collections, capturing mobile signatures with location, timestamp and any relevant photographic evidence. This data provides indisputable proof of what has been delivered to whom, where and when.
- Visibility of live data gives TPN and Members greater operational efficiency by making drivers and vehicles more efficient and speeding up the resolution of any delivery issues.
- The resulting reduction in customer claims and delivery queries reduces the operational overhead for TPN Members.
- Using barcode scanning on the smartphone speeds up the collection and delivery process.
- TranSend will also optimise routes for TPN Member vehicles to minimise mileage and driver time, while ensuring agreed customer service levels.
“The adoption of TranSend ePOD provides our Members with real value through transparency of information as it happens; it replaces manual POD processing with indisputable and immediate electronic proof of delivery; it enables immediate response to customer queries; it manages and monitors compliance with customer service levels. All of which saves time, improves performance and reduces operational costs”, says Mark Duggan, Managing Director at TPN.
Innovative solution, deployment and licensing
TranSend ePOD gives TPN complete control over deployment to its Members, and Members control of its deployment to their sub-contractors and drivers. Deployment is immediate on any Android device – smartphone, tablet or ruggedised device.
This provides added flexibility for Members as subcontractors can use exactly the same system, managed by the TPN Member.
The licensing model accommodates fluctuations in the peaks and troughs of delivery cycles and operates to support the whole TPN community without the need for additional intervention.
“For our Members, the TranSend application will improve the complete TPN delivery process from the point of driver log on and confirmation of load on board, through customer delivery and collection, to final return to depot. It operates in real time to provide members with clear and comprehensive ‘live’ information of what is happening with each delivery and how that complies with or deviates from the plan, highlighting exceptions as they occur”, adds Mark Duggan, MD at TPN.
Ease of Implementation
For TPN, TranSend ePOD was implemented within 10 weeks, ahead of the planned timescale.
TranSend ePOD is very intuitive to use and, being deployed on ‘familiar’ smartphone devices, it only takes five minutes to get a driver up and running and ready to go.
TPN has been able to promote ePOD as a ‘self-launch’ product to Members. There was no need for workshops before going live, for example, as a ‘hands on’ approach has worked best to get drivers using the product quickly and easily.
TranSend shadowed the TPN team to get the first Member live and from there, TPN has been able to set up and train Members itself. Some Members have handled deployment themselves.
With, on average, eight Member transport businesses going live each week, the complete rollout was completed within 3 months.
“As a significant part of a much wider project, TranSend was a ‘stand-out’ implementation down to a very responsive project manager and support team working closely with TPN development staff. In fact, I would say it has set a ‘gold’ standard compared to other suppliers we have worked with”, says Mark Duggan, MD at TPN.
Return on Investment
The introduction of TranSend ePOD to TPN Connect has taken TPN to the forefront of IT service offerings in the pallet network sector, which adds further value to the network for both new and existing Members.
- 104 Members (110 depots) – individual businesses – all have a common area of operation on TPN Connect and can be measured on performance centrally
- Centralised, integrated data enables accurate Member billing
- TPN can be more responsive in monitoring delivery compliance, as far more can be done centrally, without the need for paperwork
“Aside from all the efficiency gains, the reduction in paperwork across the network is huge. Previously, an average depot was printing between 100 and 350 A4 sheets per day”, comments Mark Duggan, MD at TPN.
For TPN Members:
There has been a massive impact on operational efficiency that enables TPN Members to grow their business through improved customer service. The ePOD system:
- Eliminates human errors through automation via the PDA
- Offers more efficient use of driver time
- Reduced admin costs in time and paper processing, scanning and storage
- Provides photographic evidence if necessary that provides indisputable proof to the customer
- Automatically generates ETAs to ensure that time-windows are not missed
- Reduces credit claims and customer queries with faster, accurate billing
- Easily monitor performance in real time
- Provides delivery intelligence to improve and maintain high levels of customer service
- Improves communication between TPN and Members
“Having immediate and indisputable proof of any delivery exceptions at the customer site helps us to invoice accurately and thereby reduce late payments and credits”, says Trevor Edden, Managing Director at Banbury-based TPN Member TWE Haulage.
“The implementation of TranSend has added a whole new level of scalability to our business in terms of growing the network, with a much tighter and more resilient customer offering”, says Mark Duggan, MD at TPN.
“We have elevated the value we add to existing and new clients by now providing a ‘smarter’ customer service. For example, delivery jeopardy alerts, driven from the driver’s device, allow us to keep customers informed of any issues as they arise and better meet any specified time-windows”, says Trevor Edden, Managing Director at TWE.
Phase 2 for TPN will be the roll-out of TranSend Route Optimisation which allows TPN Members to automatically re-sequence drops on any route, optimising both the time and distance required, while also taking into account any specific factors, such as customer time-windows.
This integrated route optimisation will further minimise mileage and drivers’ time while ensuring agreed customer service levels. TPN Members will improve driver and vehicle utilisation by optimising loads and routes and thereby reduce cost per delivery.