TRAX - a real-time order visibility system for XPO

Logistics is no longer just about making a delivery. To be successful, modern logistics companies need to keep their customers informed on the progress of their deliveries, so that workforce management can be organised in the most cost-effective manner possible.

This real-time tracking and visibility of each delivery was a key requirement for Black Pepper’s client, a top-ten international logistics provider which was delivering vending machines to UK retail sites for a global soft drinks company.

As well as fulfilling the order for the vending machines and getting them on-site, the logistics provider needed to coordinate the delivery with a qualified installer being on-hand to ensure the machines were in position and working correctly.

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

XPO identified the need to improve the process and a new system was required.

Black Pepper created a pioneering B2B mobile application for logistics tracking that would remove inefficiency and uncertainty – both for the logistics company and its international drinks customer - while also helping the logistics provider showcase its digital-first capabilities and differentiate itself from its competitors.

The solution allowed end-users to track their stock in transit, monitoring where it was, and when it had been delivered in real-time.

The technical bit

By creating an API that integrated with the logistics firm’s multiple back-end systems, Black Pepper’s system pulled together the necessary data to provide a live picture of how each delivery was progressing and whether it would arrive on-site on time.

The logistics firm generated a tracking ID and a link was sent to the end-user. The link was intercepted by the installed application and details were loaded into it with subsequent updates triggering push notifications, which caused the application to fetch the latest information on the delivery. The information could also be accessed when the end-users mobile device didn’t have a signal. If the end-user did not have the app installed on their device, the SMS link would instead direct them to a web page with the same information.

This allowed the logistics company to give the drinks business full visibility on each delivery, as well as taking pre-emptive action, should any issue with the delivery occur.

Results

Black Pepper’s solution provided the logistics company’s customers with instant visibility and live updates, ensuring the logistics company could deliver a much-improved customer experience.

Following the success of the Android app, Black Pepper also added iOS compatibility, as well as introducing customer branding and, ultimately, live mapping.

Such was the success of the project, that Black Pepper’s client has used its solution as a standard for best practice across the business, rolling out the solution across its customer base.

This software solution is massively successful in our business and very stable for our customers.

James Butterworth
Head of System Solutions, XPO Logistics Europe

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