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Providing Weekend Cover

Weekend CoverI read recently that DPD was taking on a further 1,000 drivers to cope with the 40% increase in weekend deliveries. It coincided with a digital awareness campaign that DPD created called the ‘Laws of Delivery’. Through a series of eight videos, it took a light-hearted look at the everyday frustrations people experience waiting for an online delivery and how its service overcomes common problems encountered.

While this campaign is firmly targeted at consumers, I was struck by how many of the ‘laws’ could equally be applied to the back office side of things in an enterprise. Take Law#1 for example, a short video entitled ‘It’s never the right time’. It showed a guy getting out of the shower, torn between answering the door to the delivery driver or taking a phone call from his boss.

Out on the road, or even in the warehouse, I’d argue that ‘it’s never the right time’ for a battery to fail, rendering a mobile device inoperable. Sod’s law would have it that it happens mid-way through a shift, or out of hours. So it’s important that logistics operators can identify in advance when batteries are ‘bad’ or soon to go bad, meaning they can see when a device won’t last a whole shift.

Multiply one device by many typically found in any busy supply chain operation and you’ll appreciate how difficult it can be to estimate the number of batteries that will need to be replaced at a site, or combination of sites in any given timeframe. Asset Visibility Services (AVS) like that developed by Zebra provide a Dashboard that show companies how many smart/serialised batteries they have in total operation, how many are active and those that are Out of Contact.

Having such an inventory enables operators to plan and budget for battery procurement and replacement. They can see the state of the batteries and identify which ones are about to fail and where they are, and take pre-emptive steps to eliminate those ‘it’s never the right time’ moments.

Another of DPD’s ‘Law of delivery’ that resonated with me was Law#8, ‘Things are never simple’. It showed the poor customer trying to print out the returns barcode label, which ended up being plastered in toner and completely illegible. Again, in the back office, your printer is your unsung hero. It churns out thousands of barcode labels, delivery notes, invoices etc so print quality needs to be perfect and you can ill-afford for it to fail.

Most firms are familiar with the concept of managed print services (MPS) for front office kit but there’s still many that are unaware that such a service can be extended beyond the warehouse door with rugged, industrial printers. It can be applied to all major brands of thermal, line matrix and serial matrix printers, meaning no more disruption to your mission critical devices.

MPS is considered to cut print costs by more than a third as well as boost productivity. There are many benefits to MPS, including auditing existing print assets and planning a redundancy/replacement strategy for them. For a fixed quarterly fee, you’d have complete visibility and control of your warehouse printing and expenditure leaving you free to focus on delivery.

And with an increasing number of logistics firms like DPD now offering weekend deliveries, knowing there’s an engineer available 24×7 to fix your broken printers is probably something you might also want to consider because, as DPD says ‘Things are never simple’.

Renovotec is the UK’s fastest growing provider of rugged mobile hardware; as well as delivering end to end managed & consultancy services, wireless networking, enterprise mobility, mobile data capture, printing and hardware rentals solutions. With over 25 years of industry experience, Renovotec supports customers across multiple industry verticals – including warehousing, transport & logistics, manufacturing and field mobility.

Author:  Richard Gilliard – MD Renovotec Ltd

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