Sunday 23rd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Hermes moves to real-time visibility

Delivery network Hermes is providing real-time visibility of its couriers and the status of deliveries and collections.

The firm handles some 115 million collections and deliveries each year for customers such as Lakeland, LandsEnd, Next Directory, and QVC via a network of over 7,500 local couriers who operate in specific regions close to their homes.

It has been experiencing growth, with expansion into European delivery, and the consumer to consumer market through

Hermes realised that it needed to replace its existing paper based delivery system in order to ensure that its customers could access information about their deliveries quickly and easily. 

After a six week trial with 200 couriers, Hermes selected Blackbay to deliver its Delivery Connect, real-time mobile worker management software.  This is to be deployed on Intermec’s CN3 rugged hand held mobile computers which will be issued to the Hermes couriers and
The Barcode Warehouse will provide a managed service covering all aspects of the integrated mobility solution. 

Blackbay’s mobile worker software delivers electronic manifesting, barcode scanning, proof of delivery, and exception management. 
This all runs off Intermec’s CN3, which has GPRS to enable constant communication between the couriers in the field and the Hermes call centre.

Mike Leyland, Hermes’ IT director said: “The solution provides us with complete track and trace capability. Hermes, our customers and our customers’ customers can at any given time see exactly where an individual parcel is within the delivery or collection process simply by accessing our website”

As soon as the Hermes courier logs on to the CN3 an electronic manifest is downloaded listing the deliveries to be made. The courier then goes to the nearest Hermes depot and receipt scans the parcels on the relevant manifest on to their car or van. By scanning each parcel the courier is able to check that all the parcels for delivery have been loaded. The parcels scanned then appear to be “out for delivery” on the Hermes website. 

On arrival at the delivery destination and if the recipient is available, the appropriate parcel is scanned as being delivered and proof of delivery via an electronic signature on the CN3’s screen (sign on glass) is obtained. This proof of delivery signature is immediately viewable on the Hermes tracking website.

If the recipient is not available the courier will use the CN3 to access information as to whether the parcel is to be left in a safe place, or with a neighbour.  The courier will leave a receipt card and complete the delivery details on the CN3 which are then transmitted to the Hermes back office systems. These details also appear on the Hermes web site.

Jon Tobbell, commercial director of Hermes, said: “Since deployment of the solution we have secured the largest ever UK home delivery contract with Next Directory. We have been working with Next since 1988 but secured a new eight year contract under which we will continue to handle the delivery requirements for Next.