TranSend proof of delivery (ePOD) app and route planning – Store delivery

All posts tagged Store delivery

Palmer and Harvey

Palmer and Harvey, the UK’s leading independent and national wholesaler of tobacco, confectionery, chilled & frozen, grocery and convenience goods have nationwide distribution facilities operating in the independent and multiple Convenience, Forecourt and CTN retail arena where the focus is on meeting customer delivery windows and managing an efficient delivery fleet.

With a fleet of 650 vehicles handling between 6,000 and 10,000 deliveries per day from 12 depots to over 20,000 convenience stores, Palmer and Harvey has to manage variables such as different customer service levels, time-critical delivery windows and multiple product types.

Working with mobile delivery management system specialists, TranSend Solutions Ltd, Palmer and Harvey has implemented the TranSend electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) software system and back office solution incorporating a new Executive Dashboard that provides managers with a single view of all delivery and tracking data in a graphical format and full drill-down to every detail for routes, vehicles and customer deliveries.

The drivers use the PDA system for individual job instructions, to record deliveries including any exceptions, to scan sandwich collections and to record delivery assets – all using Motorola ruggedised mobile computing devices. The PDA also incorporates a panic button facility for added driver security when handling valuable stock items.

“At Palmer and Harvey we’re on the roads delivering to over 50,000 customers a week. As Britain has one of the busiest and most congested road networks in the world, issues arise regularly and have a knock on affect on delivery schedules. TranSend ePOD and the Executive Dashboard drive our delivery operation and we are seeing the benefits in operational efficiencies and cost savings to our business. By having real-time information visible at each depot and at head office, we are immediately alerted to any potential issues and able to respond quickly. The system has been designed using our performance measures so we can run our delivery network more efficiently. This means that we can focus on developing our value-add service to customers and potential customers.”

Logistics and Development Director at Palmer and Harvey

By implementing a centralised system with multi-level, role-specific operational views, Palmer and Harvey are seeing real business benefits:

  • Reliable proof of delivery data on all deliveries and collections enables accurate, same-day billing.
  • Increased route compliance by managing driver performance with daily debrief reports.
  • Reduced admin for customer service teams in handling queries and keeping customers informed of delivery performance during the day.
  • Electronic scanning of sandwich returns at customer site enables suppliers to accurately manage replenishment.
  • Reporting of delivery asset balances by royalty group for accurate billing, i.e. roll cages and thermotainers.
  • Faster delivery turnaround with ‘drop and go’ cage drops to stores.

The Challenge – Managing Drivers, Routes and Customer Service

Palmer and Harvey has a nationwide distribution facility servicing a diverse customer base in the independent and multiple Convenience, Forecourt and CTM food retail arena. Clients include Esso, Shell, Welcome Break, Tesco and Sainsburys.

Historically, it was both difficult and time-consuming to find the right information to investigate and respond to a potential delivery issue or customer query with the sheer volume of data generated for each customer delivery, route, driver and vehicle.

Palmer and Harvey uses Roadnet for route planning but needed to be able to track vehicles and deliveries throughout the day to be able to measure route compliance and further improve performance.

In order to provide a streamlined, value-add service to their customers and potential customers, Palmer and Harvey selected TranSend proof of delivery and integrated mobile delivery management system to provide them with real-time visibility of all driver, vehicle and delivery activity outside the depot.

The Solution – integrated ePOD and Mobile Delivery Management

With the TranSend PDA-based proof of delivery and back office management system, all relevant delivery-related information is visible to drivers, transport managers, depot managers and central management. Any exceptions to the delivery plan show a ‘red alert’ and can be investigated by drilling down to the detail. For example managers can see immediately which routes have not departed on time without scrolling through a whole list of routes.

This high level of visibility with multi-level access points has a direct positive impact on driver performance and route compliance with a 5-10% improvement in planned vs. actual mileage. Automated end-of-day driver debriefs highlight variations to the plan and means that the transport manager only needs to debrief those drivers where there are issues to discuss – a much more effective use of the transport manager’s time when he may have up to 90 drivers returning each afternoon.

Going forward, Palmer and Harvey will set up tolerances for driver performance, such as 10% more mileage than planned, which will drive further efficiencies and cost reduction estimated to save an additional £100,000 per annum.

Customer Service – improved communication

Customer serviceThe customer services team at each depot have tailored screens which highlight any routes running later than planned and also which deliveries are running outside of the contracted delivery window. Even if a route is running late, some deliveries may still be within the contracted time and therefore, they only need to alert those customers affected. Customers can be advised where necessary, thereby reducing complaints. The system does all the hard work and saves the customer service team from making unnecessary calls to drivers and customers.

Sandwich collection

At some customer stores, drivers use the PDA to scan all out-of-date sandwiches that need to be removed from the shelves. The system electronically notifies the supplier with accurate information, necessary to drive replenishment forecasts and the next production run. This streamlining of the stock replenishment and forecasting process means the customer no longer needs to call the supplier as information is automatically supplied by the PDA.

Delivery Asset tracking

Delivery asset trackingDelivery assets, such as cages, are valued at over £100 each and represent a six-figure investment sum to the company each year. Palmer and Harvey use TranSend ePOD for proof of asset delivery to record cages delivered and collected from each site. Reports are generated for outstanding balances, at store or retail group level. By deploying this technology, P&H can confidently maintain the integrity of the stock it delivers, and the assets it leaves with the customer.


The Business Value The result for Palmer and Harvey is a fully integrated delivery management operation that helps to drive out costs and improve efficiencies as well as enable a more pro-active customer service which is vital to customer retention and new customer acquisition.

  • Real-time proof of delivery and exceptions for accurate billing, reduced payment queries and credit notes.
  • Visibility of all vehicle activity throughout the day compared to plan and daily driver debrief reports increases route compliance.
  • Reduced operational costs – less paperwork and time involved in the delivery process.
  • Easy access to real-time delivery information for Customer Service teams to react quickly, keeping customers informed.
  • Tracking of delivery assets allows accurate billing to customers.

Richard concludes: “TranSend is easy to use with an intuitive interface that enables us to drill down to any level of detail and to review service levels for any particular customer. The innovative Executive Dashboard gives a complete operational view of our daily performance across all depots and enables us to review depot and operational performance.”

JD Sports store delivery

Working with delivery management system specialists, TranSend Solutions Ltd, JD Sports has implemented TranSend ePOD for store delivery management on Zebra TC55 devices.  The system provides real-time tracking of stock outside the depot – to and from stores – and secure stock tracking using vehicle seal codes, driver, carton and store manager ID scanning.

As well as reducing delivery turnaround times and providing a more efficient service to stores, they have:

  • increased the percentage of stock moved quickly between stores using ‘Fast-track’ inter-branch transfers (IBT),
  • reduced the paperwork and manpower involved in stock re-allocation,
  • reduced returns losses and improved stock accuracy across the business with 360o visibility of the delivery process.
“We are already seeing the benefits in operational efficiencies and cost savings to our business, including faster consolidation of stock for improved movement around the country and more secure stock tracking to reduce losses. TranSend provides us with valuable, real-time information and visibility of our delivery operation using our own performance measures and working practices to better manage exceptions including shortages, vehicle security breaches and missed delivery windows. This enables us to focus on areas that will make a real difference to our bottom line.”

Tim Edwards, Loss Control Director at JD Sports

The Challenge – Tracking stock in transit, deliveries and returns

In the fast-moving fashion retail industry, JD Sports need to meet customer demand, respond to regional variances and move slow moving lines from one area to areas with higher sales potential – essentially have the right product in the right place at the right time to realise maximum sales margin across all product lines.

Once stock has left the depot, there can be a time lag between being booked in at individual stores and becoming visible on the WMS system, even though it may have been delivered.

In order close this loop and to speed up and streamline the stock transfer process between outlets, JD Sports recognised the need for a sophisticated, but easy to use ePOD solution that would provide an effective audit trail, including stock tracking in transit and proof of delivery information from the distribution hubs to stores and back again, as well as inter-branch transfer of stock (IBT).  From previous system trials, JD Sports had also identified the need for more rugged PDAs, fit for purpose in a retail delivery operation.

Tim explains further:  “Certain products sell well in some parts of the country but not in others – so we wanted to be able to recognise that quickly and react.  We don’t want to have to go back to the distribution centre because it’s very labour-intensive, it can slow the return and then dispatch of that product out again.  In effect, the new software has a merchandising role: by increasing the number of ‘fast track’ inter-branch transfers we have forecast significant additional sales revenue per annum by having the right stock in the right place at the right time”.

The Solution – integrated ePOD and Tracking

JD Sports implemented the TranSend ePOD solution running on rugged hand-held devices to provide an integrated back office and mobile PDA system with automatic updates to their WMS system.   By innovative use of real-time PDA-based mobile technology, JD Sports have been able to address three parallel requirements:

  • Secure product receipting and proof of delivery
  • Real-time stock visibility both in-transit and at store
  • Tracking drivers and vehicles against routes

Prior to the system roll-out, stock delivered to individual store locations was not visible in the back office WMS system until physically booked in by staff at each store.  With TranSend, as each delivery is scanned off the vehicle, stock information on the WMS system is automatically updated.  Where store deliveries were previously checked off manually, now each carton can be scanned off the vehicle, in any order, resulting in a much faster turnaround time and elimination of any dispute over goods being received or returned.  Drivers no longer have to wait for store staff to become available to receive deliveries since, with TranSend, the store manager is alerted as the driver reaches a specified distance from the store.  By using co-ordinates rather than postcodes for navigation, drivers are presented with more accurate delivery point information.

JD Sports no longer have to handle returns through a delivery hub and re-process for delivery to others stores, since stock can now be automatically re-allocated and transferred directly from one store to another – ‘fast track’ IBT – which improves stock availability where it is needed, to maximise sales and minimise unsold stock.

Tim expands: “We no longer have cartons disappearing from view and, with a full audit trail of scanned cartons at any stage of the delivery and collection process, store staff are freed up to focus on selling rather than looking for missing stock. More accurate stock visibility and faster movement between stores has reduced the amount of markdowns and buffer stock required.”

In terms of information visibility, management and operational teams previously had to wait until the driver returned to depot to see if deliveries were made against the planned route and time scheduled and if there were any shortages.  Now the team back at base can view real-time information on delivery status. This means that they can be more proactive in managing and re-scheduling deliveries as necessary and respond quickly to store delivery queries and any exceptions flagged by the TranSend system.

Tim remarks on the benefits: “We can now see exactly what is happening today, in real time and then run end-of-day reports for review.  In addition, by analysing the data over a period of time, we can review our route planning and timings and investigate specific trends e.g. consistently late deliveries to a particular store, which may be due some stores needing a longer turnaround time down to access by stairs, etc.”

The TranSend system combines a number of functions normally requiring multiple devices – satnav, vehicle tracking, secure ID, electronic proof of delivery and driver security – operated via a single, rugged hand-held device.

The hosted system includes a reporting suite which uses the latest web technology, enabling secure access from any internet-based PC.

The drivers and back office staff at JD Sports have found the TranSend system intuitive and easy to use, which has enabled a smooth roll out and fast system go live.  Within 3 months of placing the order, TranSend was live across and adding value to the business.

Tim continues: “TranSend is an innovative and exciting product to use for both drivers and back office users. Drivers have a single rugged hand held device that provides detailed instructions and records activity and all information is immediately visible to transport management, warehouse, security and delivery helpline teams. It adds real value to the business by eliminating manual and paper processes and speeding up inter branch stock transfers”.

The Business Value

As a result, JD Sports now have complete visibility of the whole distribution operation – where and when stock has been dropped or collected, where it is in transit, shortages and returns, vehicle and driver location.  They have also speeded up delivery turnaround times and the movement of stock between stores resulting in increased revenue from maximising stock availability.

  • Improved stock accuracy – the new process flags any discrepancy immediately, enables faster re-allocation of stock between stores, helps with replenishment planning and reduces manual stock checks.
  • Reduced stock holding – faster stock movement means they can sell as much as possible of each product line and maximise sales margins.
  • Reduced operational costs – less manpower and time involved in the delivery process and re-allocation of stock between stores; more efficient use of vehicles and drivers
  • Secure delivery – real-time alerting of exceptions in the delivery process through use of vehicle seal codes

Tim concludes:  “The team at TranSend Solutions really understood what we required and demonstrated a real commitment to get us up and running within 3 months from signing the contract.   They managed the testing and roll-out phases to ensure that all users had a good experience from day one”.

JD Sports