Here are three ways companies in the logistics space are taking advantage of modern mobile messaging to lower risk, increase employee productivity, and make internal communications more efficient.
1. Government logistics: Parking meter maintenance
A customer of ours who’s a contractor for a local government facilitates over 6,000 parking meters, consisting of “smart” (connected) and traditional (unconnected) meters that are integrated with local councils for billing.
Previously, for “smart” meters, consumers had the option to send a text message to an SMS shortcode to fund parking meters and receive an SMS confirmation.
The company had 30+ technicians responding to meter issues in multiple cities on a very tight turnaround. Consumers and technicians would call directly into the company’s support center, and support calls were logged through a call center management software web portal with relevant info and issues flagged in a database.
The company then texted technicians with the machine number and street address, but the SMS messages to technicians were often delayed, not received, or not viewed or acted on in time. When the machines remained down for longer than necessary, it created a revenue loss for the councils — both in terms of direct revenue loss and loss from parking tickets.
With our help, the company began using mobile workflow messaging forms with Soprano GAMMA to automatically broadcast jobs to available technicians who were in the right geographical area. These technicians now use GAMMA workflow messages to respond and “claim” the job, notify the company they’ve arrived on site and work has begun, and send job closeout notifications, increasing the company’s efficiency and ensuring parking meters have less downtime.
2. Retail logistics: Sales force automation
Another Soprano client is a merchandising house with high-profile remote merchandiser clients, including big brands that specialize in items such as food, outdoor furniture, and bicycles.
All the merchandisers employed by this company were sending text messages to one person in the office, who used a mobile phone to capture and process all the information, including inventory requests, display requests, and feedback. Their processes and workflows were almost entirely manual.
This inefficient manual management of information, workflows, and escalations/alerts (up to five manual messages per merchandiser per day) caused some fairly obvious issues for the company.
We created custom, automated workflow messaging (GAMMA forms) to replace the company’s manual merchandiser workflows, including reporting and multimedia capabilities.
Now, their workflow looks like this:
- Merchandiser uses GAMMA workflow message to “check in” at store, including the name of the customer merchandiser is working on
- When putting up new display(s), merchandiser snaps photo and sends to office via GAMMA
- Merchandiser “checks out” of store when job is complete
- Back office receives information via reports and can see results in real time
Using mobile messaging, the company gained visibility of a key metric and is now able to confirm that merchandisers arrive at the correct site and location each day. GAMMA enables them to have acknowledgment of when merchandisers arrive and depart each site and to have proof that work is being completed as requested.
3. Logistics: Parcel delivery
We’ve seen a number of our customers in the logistics industry using creative mobile messaging techniques to increase their efficiency, lower risk, and communicate with employees. Here are some of the opportunities companies are taking advantage of in parcel delivery:
Tracking, operations, and remote monitoring
- Allow workers to use SMS to report slow-moving or low inventory
- Use SMS to enable workers to log hours (for example, the beginning and end of shifts)
- Machine-to-machine (M2M) remote monitoring applications can trigger SMS alerts automatically
- Use “wake-up” SMS to enable data connections for remote M2M devices
Delivery schedules and last-mile logistics
- Reduce failed delivery attempts by using automated SMS delivery updates
- Reduce calls to care centres using SMS proactively to manage changes
- Use SMS to confirm delivery by using keywords, such as “DELIVERED”
- Send SMS alerts such as, “Your delivery is scheduled for [date/time]”
- Use SMS with a URL to invite customers to confirm, change location, etc.
Staff fulfillment for temporary or rotating shifts
- Fulfil temporary and vacant shifts using automated mobile shift offers
- Integrates SMS into existing HR and staffing systems or processes
- Deploys as a hierarchical, single- or multi-site implementation
- Uses a ‘first to respond’ method; rewards the most reliable candidates
Remote worker dispatch, status & safety
- “Are you OK?” solution using SMS to verify worker safety and status
- Send dispatch alerts such as re-routing and weather updates
- Rapid-response broadcast system using SMS, MMS, and email
- Pre-configured message templates and unlimited group lists
Find out more about how to take advantage of these opportunities for your company with Soprano GAMMA.