DIY retailer Wickes has improved its service delivery levels and reduced operating costs by £250,000 a year after implementing VSc Solution’s electronic proof of delivery, vehicle tracking and performance management systems.
Wickes, part of the Travis Perkins Group, operates 195 stores across the UK, offering a range of kitchens and bathrooms, which is supported by its home delivery operation.
Through its fleet of 60 vehicles and national distribution network of eight depots, the company makes more than 15,000 deliveries each year, and at its peak delivers a kitchen every three minutes.
The company realised the need to introduce electronic, integrated operational systems, to help streamline management, as well as allowing it to offer customers timed delivery slots and joined-up handling of doorstep delivery and queries more efficiently.
Anthony Munro-Martin, business development director at VSc, advises that it is “absolutely vital” for the customer to be confident in the abilities of its vendor because he says: “If you’re offering a two-hour window you absolutely have to deliver within that timeframe or it’s an even bigger failure.”
The original project focused on just ePOD, but was extended to include GPS tracking and vehicle telematics.
ePOD manages the whole delivery and collection process, including scanning and exceptions, running on Motorola MC9000 series hand-held mobile computers and Zebra hand-held printers installed in all delivery vehicles.
Rob Ivers, general manager of Wickes Home Delivery Network, says: “We have achieved major customer service enhancements from having instant, online access to customer delivery information and we can react more quickly and intelligently to customer queries.
“The tracking functionality means that we can also better manage customer delivery expectations and take pre-emptive action where necessary.”
Deployment of the ePOD system has resulted in a 20 per cent cut in the number of claims for incomplete delivery as information accuracy has been improved.
Ivers adds: “The ePOD solution from VSc gave us the platform to be able to check claims, confident in the proof of delivery information received. In practical terms this has saved Wickes around £250,000 per year.
“Wickes handles over 3,000 deliveries each week, which with our previous paper-based system, was an administration nightmare. The ePOD solution has transformed the way we handle claims or queries and also reduced the man power required.”
Wickes is now considering how it can further streamline its business systems to provide self-service access to customer delivery information.