US independent dealer ImpactOffice has a fleet of 33 trucks that cover a wide geography, from Fredericksburg (VA), northwards to Manhattan and westward to western Maryland, south-east Pennsylvania and north-west Virginia. The company provides next-day delivery to its customers, whether they are in the regional delivery area or are national customers who can be serviced through the company’s network of carefully selected couriers and partnering distributors.
Originally, drivers obtained ‘hard-copy’ customer signatures upon delivery. They would then return to the warehouse, where these hard copies would be filed by support staff. Later, as customers called to obtain proof-of-delivery, the cumbersome process began to find the appropriate signature copies and fax them back to the waiting customers.
ImpactOffice therefore began to look for a simple solution to eliminate paper-based proof of delivery.
During its two-year search, ImpactOffice found several systems that were too complex or expensive to implement. According to Brian Shaffer, Director of Warehousing and Logistics for ImpactOffice, other solutions ended up costing at least six figures and required an inordinate investment in handheld units. One such solution required hand-held phones that cost up to $1,500 each, which for a fleet of 33 trucks meant an investment of more than $50,000 in equipment alone.
After investigating several solutions that didn’t meet Impact’s criteria, the company came across JumpTrack by Jump Technologies. JumpTrack is an easy-to-use proof-of-delivery system delivered via smartphone or tablet – in ImpactOffice’s case, the company uses it with Android phones.
“We had an existing relationship with Jump Technologies, as we use the company’s JumpCart product. When JumpTrack came out, the first thing that ‘jumped’ out at us was the attractive pricing from a licensing point of view,” says Shaffer. “Beyond that, the application is simple – it does exactly what we set out to do. It just fit the bill for us.”
JumpTrack integrates with ImpactOffice’s MBS Dev business management software built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform. Impact says the implementation process went smoothly because Jump Technologies had already built the interface for that platform.
“Implementing new software can often be very stressful, but that was not the case with JumpTrack,” notes Shaffer. “Everything went really smoothly, and we were able to turn on JumpTrack while still printing our paper manifests for a couple of days to get our drivers familiar with the system. Within three days, we were fully up to speed and getting customer signatures on the Android phones.”
Each ImpactOffice driver has 25-30 stops each day, with 200-300 pieces to deliver. Altogether, that is approximately 1,000 stops and between 7,000 and 10,000 packages every day. With JumpTrack, drivers come in each morning with their manifests loaded onto their Android devices. They can re-sort the stops if they wish, based on preferred routes, traffic or construction.
When drivers stop at each location, they check JumpTrack for the number of packages they should have at the stop. This eliminates any errors in the delivery process, as it ensures that packages do not get lost or forgotten in the truck, only to have to be redelivered later in the day. Drivers grab the appropriate pieces, and customers can count them and then sign for their packages on the Android device. A side benefit is that ImpactOffice can also use the phone cameras to obtain photographic proof when necessary.
All signatures are now maintained electronically so that when customers call for proof of delivery, they can have signatures emailed or faxed to them immediately. ImpactOffice’s customer service employees say they receive about 20 proof-of-delivery calls each day and this has reduced a 15-minute process to less than five minutes per call.
Significant cost savings
The savings ImpactOffice has achieved are significant:
- Improved delivery efficiency enabled elimination of one truck, which saves an estimated $75,000 per year in operating costs.
- Paper handling time has been reduced by 83%, resulting in approximately $25,000 annual savings in paper-related administration and driver costs of delivery.
- Customer service call time for proof-of-delivery inquiries have been cut by nearly 75%.
- The total annual savings over a paper-based system have been calculated at $100,836.
- The time to achieve ROI (return on investment) was just one week.
There have been other benefits too.
With JumpTrack, when customers call to ask when a package will be delivered, the customer service team can look up where drivers are in their routes and give customers accurate delivery estimates. ImpactOffice
prides itself on its attentive, experienced and fast customer service team, so this added level of service goes a long way.
Shaffer points out that, aside from the obvious service and cost-efficiency improvements, the system gives customers an appreciation of how ImpactOffice is on top of whatever ‘state-of-the-art’ technology is necessary to improve the overall customer experience.
An indirect benefit gained by using JumpTrack was converting from Nextel Direct Connect phones to the Android system. Shaffer says the Direct Connect system was cumbersome, and it is now much easier to get a hold of drivers on the road. He says all of his drivers – even those who were somewhat technology-averse – were able to get up to speed quickly on JumpTrack and get familiar with their new devices.
Now, Shaffer is working on incorporating the JumpTrack process for the company’s large staff of coffee technicians. Additionally, ImpactOffice’s newest division, Canon copier/MFP sales and service, will also use JumpTrack.
Concludes Shaffer: “It is such an easy-to-use and simple solution that we look forward to using it in additional ways across our company.”