In 2014, the German courier, express and parcel (CEP) sector made around 2.8 billion deliveries, generating revenues of 16.6 billion euros. According to the country’s Federal Parcel and Express Logistics Association (BIEK), these figures are certain to have risen again in 2015, primarily due to growth in online shopping. To make their offerings stand out from the crowd, courier firms must provide additional services to help customers plan better – such as online tracking and predictive delivery, same-day delivery, delivery at fixed times or on set days, or notification by text message, email, or app.
Real-time shipment tracking
T-Systems tracking solutions ensure customers always know the precise location of their parcels – in real time. Users can access the service on their PC, receive updates via email or text message, or download a smartphone app. Whatever the communications method, the solution provides accurate information on the time their shipment will arrive (predictive delivery). In a survey conducted by management consultants MRU, one in four respondents stated that this kind of service would encourage them to place more orders. For retailers, this is an opportunity to create new offerings that deliver greater added value – increasing sales while gaining competitive advantage.
Edeka and a major car manufacturer are testing parcel delivery to customers' cars based on the mIAS solution.
T-Systems combines customer management capabilities with logistics functions, and offers solutions for drivers, too. By means of an in-vehicle on-board unit (OBU), tablet or smartphone, the dispatch center can direct drivers via the quickest route to the customer – sidestepping traffic jams and construction work. Plus, an intelligent handheld device management system acts as a central hub for data captured by mobile parcel scanners, enabling real-time tracking of shipments.
Happy customer = loyal customer
T-Systems also enables couriers to better manage multiple drop-off points. If the recipient is not at home, the dispatch center directs the driver to the nearest parcel locker or store – and simultaneously notifies the customer. For the parcel service, this minimizes the number of unsuccessful delivery attempts and cuts last-mile costs. Plus, by helping to ensure shipments arrive on time, and improving interaction with recipients, it makes for happier customers. This translates into greater customer loyalty: after all, if you know you can rely on a particular parcel service, you are likely to stick with it.
These CEP solutions can be extended to include multi-channel management functionality, allowing couriers to interact with customers via a variety of channels – including customer management systems (CRM), in-store software and e-commerce platforms.