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What People Are Saying
"When a customer sees the new system, it's an easy sell. A medical supply customer had developed their own software for tracking parcels but when they saw our set-up, they said: 'I've just wasted all this time.'"
Bluetooth Scanner, P.O.D. Verify Proof of Delivery Application Complete the Chain
Sales Force Automation
SureXpress offers commercial delivery services throughout the entire state of Oklahoma as well as select areas of Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. The company specializes in ensuring overnight, same-day and two-day delivery of medical and veterinary specimens, x-rays, pharmaceuticals, legal documents, payroll, automotive parts, hazardous waste, and a variety of other important items.
While the company has been able to compete with well-established services by specializing in the delivery of sensitive materials, it previously struggled with a cumbersome, paper-based tracking system that left too much room for error. Considering the fact that DEA agents sometimes follow its delivery trucks to ensure secure handling of pharmaceuticals and similar substances, SureXpress desperately' needed to move into the digital age.
"Some of this stuff is pretty important to the customer and can even mean the difference between life and death," points out company president Brooks Wright. "And if a drug tote is missing, we have to alert five levels of government, as well as deal with a very upset customer."
SureXpress has cut such instances down to the bare minimum, thanks to its implementation of a digital tracking and monitoring system that consists of Palm Treo smartphones and Serialio's Bluetooth scanner running P.O.D. Verify's Proof of Delivery software. Not only can the company and its customers now track package delivery in real-time through the SureXpress website, but the new solution quickens the delivery process and reduced billing and collecting time from 3-4 weeks to about 10 days, thanks to the ability to automate the delivery charge and link it to the company's accounting software through the P.O.D. system.
Today, a customer requests a pick-up through SureXpress' website, which automatically routes it to a dispatch screen and assigns a tracking number. The package gets scanned when picked up and when delivered, with the signature on the receiving end matched against the tracking number to ensure that the item went to the proper recipient. Anything stored temporarily in the company's warehouse is also scanned when it enters and leaves the facility, adding another level of security to the process.
"Using the Proof of Delivery system," explains Wright, "we can now find exactly where a drug tote left the chain and track it down, usually the same day. Many times in the past, we got the blame if a hospital lost a tote after receiving it. Now we have a way to defend the quality of our service."
In the past, a bill of lading was generated and given to the customer, who filled it out and handed it to the driver. The slips collected during a shift weren't reconciled until the next day, allowing too much time to elapse before mistakes were caught. Today, not only is SureXpress alerted as soon as a problem occurs, but it also knows when a driver doesn't have any packages to pick up at a particular location, giving the company peace of mind that nothing was missed.
The company's drivers also take advantage of the Treo's built-in camera to document damaged packages when they're picked up. In the past, the company usually took the blame for broken items, but now it can point to a time-stamped photo to prove when the damage occurred.
SureXpress saves two employees, including an IT person who's unnecessary since Proof of Delivery is provided via an ASP model. "We don't have to pay for storage of records either," Wright says. "In the old days, if we had to pull a record we had to send someone to an off-site location and rummage through boxes to see what was there. Now we can access data files electronically in a matter of seconds."
With such powerful technology in place, Wright has no problem suggesting his biggest competitors' tracking systems are "inferior. You sign next to a barcode but they can't tell you what the barcode stands for. The Proof of Delivery application and the fact that its use is within the reach of a small company like ours is impressive."
He adds: "When a customer sees the new system, it's an easy sell. A medical supply customer shipping life-saving drugs was located 100 feet from one of our competitors but chose to go with us. They had developed their own software for tracking parcels but when they saw our set-up, they said: 'I've just wasted all this time.'"
- SureXpress and its customers have access to real-time tracking of packages, especially pharmaceuticals and other sensitive materials that could become a federal matter if misplaced.
- The company learns about problems immediately, rather than waiting for bills of lading to be reconciled the next day.
- The delivery process is faster, thanks to the elimination of paper.
- Billing and collection times have been cut from 3-4 weeks to about 10 days, thanks to the ability to automate the delivery charge and link it to the company's accounting software through the P.O.D. system.
- Drivers use the Treo's built-in camera to document damaged packages when they're picked up.
- SureXpress eliminates the need for two more employees: one to help handle paper records and one to manage IT tasks, since the system is based on an ASP model.
- Not only does SureXpress save on the cost of storing paper records, but it can retrieve old information instantly, rather than sending an employee to an off-site location to search through boxes.
- SureXpress' tracking system is more robust than what its largest competitors use, which is a key selling point when attracting new customers.