Dashboard to provide real-time transparency for an overnight delivery network

Having successfully delivered one highly effective tracking app, the Director of IT of XPO turned to Black Pepper again to help them revolutionise its overnight delivery network. This network mainly carried spare car parts, destined for franchised car service centres.

The Beginning

XPO operates one of the world’s largest logistics companies, working with over 50,000 customers to transport various consignments across the world.

Challenges and Objectives

With data around deliveries coming from multiple suppliers and sources, it had become problematic for XPO logistics to have a holistic view of its overnight fulfilment network.

While the logistics company had all the necessary tracking information, this data was displayed on a series of mainframe screens, which meant it took a while to manually collate and wasn’t accessible by the end-user.

For example, XPO manages overnight delivery for customers to their network of hundreds of locations. If a team member at a specific location wanted to know the status of a delivery, they had to contact their own customer service centre, which would then have to contact XPO. The information would then have to be passed back down the chain in the same laborious manner. With information passing through multiple organisations before it reached the end-customer, delivery updates could be slow and sometimes misinterpreted.

The technical bit

The logistics provider wanted to aggregate data to give a single view of its overnight deliveries. It also wanted to drill down into that data to provide real-time status for individual customers.

Black Pepper’s solution was to reduce complexity by automating this process and put the tracking information in the hands of the logistics firm’s client via a dashboard.

This self-service approach meant the end-user could immediately see a single, aggregated view of how many deliveries had arrived on time, volumes of late orders and, for those deliveries that were still in transit, whether these were due to arrive on or behind schedule.

If a delivery fell behind schedule, a warning email would be automatically sent to users to notify them.

This dashboard approach, which was white-labelled with the customers’ branding, meant that instead of having to make a chain of phone calls, users simply had to log-on to find out the delivery’s current location and estimated delivery time.

This was a bold move by the logistics company, who were confident their performance could withstand such close scrutiny. They also believed their willingness to be transparent with their customers would engender trust and win them further business with the companies they were working with.

Results

Black Pepper’s solution is so popular that many clients are now using it, with that number continuing to grow. The tool has also been a great sales aid, with Black Pepper giving prospective clients a demo of its capabilities during new business meetings. It has also significantly reduced the number of calls made to the logistics company’s customer service team from customers requesting a delivery status update.

As with the previous project, Black Pepper developed the solution significantly once it was in service. The original software filtered deliveries by date and delivery destination. However, later updates filtered the data in a number of other ways, including by vehicle registration and driver’s name.

A testament to its success, Black Pepper’s browser-based application was rolled out across the logistics company’s client base, becoming a powerful tool for customer retention as well as a business-critical part of their sales process.

Once again, the solution showcased Black Pepper’s UX expertise, integrating with a number of back-end systems to harvest tracking data before displaying this information on an easy-to-understand dashboard to improve customer experience.

Black Pepper has done a fantastic job working with the IT team to deliver a functionally rich product that has a very dynamic look and feel. By working so closely together we have created a very effective customer service tool.


Director of IT Projects and Procurement, XPO