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    Complete Business Solutions, one of the UK’s leading providers of business supplies and services, has transformed its delivery operations with a 5-in-1 cloud-based management and mobile working system from BigChange.

    The Wakefield-headquartered company, which has 20 branches nationwide and operates a fleet of 150 vehicles, is equipping its drivers, installers and technical service engineers with mobile devices running a series of apps to completely replace paperwork.

    The mobile apps are part of JobWatch, the multi-award winning innovation from Leeds-based BigChange. The first phase of implementation includes electronic proof of delivery (POD) with a sign-on-glass app that connects in real time to Complete Business Solutions’ accounts system, part of their own ERP system called Horizon. This integration means that customers now receive an immediate confirmation of delivery and allows invoices to be raised straight away.

    Through JobWatch, deliveries are planned and scheduled, with drivers receiving their delivery schedule on their smartphones. Vehicles are also equipped with BigChange satellite trackers giving customer services a live view of vehicle locations and expected delivery times; information that will soon be provided to customers through text or email ETA alerts.

    Chris Newman, Group Operations Director at Complete Business Solutions, comments:

    “BigChange really has made a big change to our business”

    Newman added:

    “We now have a seamless, paperless system all the way from order to invoice. By receiving electronic PODs we have immediate and accurate information and we’ve eliminated the subsequent data entry – something that was proving to be a huge burden as the business grew.”

    The company is also using JobWatch apps for vehicle checks by drivers, allowing instant electronic reporting for improved compliance management and in the case of defects, easier maintenance scheduling. Electronic worksheets have been developed for use by installers that will include time and location stamped photographs of installations, and also worksheets and test reports for mobile engineers servicing office equipment.

    Complete Business Solutions is a unique business offering virtually everything a business needs to operate, from one single supplier, from chairs to photocopiers, to vending machines and paper clips, as well as company stationery and print. Complete has 16 in house specialist divisions with real expertise in each one, and end to end control.

    Newman continued:

    “We don’t just deliver the last mile, our drivers go the last inch, to the right place on the right floor, and that’s why we run our own fleet and employ our own drivers.”

    “With such a wide mix of products and services our logistics are challenging, particularly as we operate 20 branches and 16 specialist divisions and we are continually acquiring new businesses. It’s not a challenge others want to take on but we’ve built the business based on what people want. The appeal of one single supplier for everything they need at the right quality and the right price and it is proving to be a winner.”

    Newman concludes:

    “The introduction of BigChange provides us an excellent and unrestricted IT platform so that we can continue to expand without being restrained by our IT and resources. The management information provided by BigChange is also proving to be a real asset and we have all sorts of useful data we didn’t have before. It’s allowing us to analyse deliveries per van, driver performance, optimisation of routes and stock holding as well as helping us meet our ISO environmental targets.”

    Housing Units, the award-winning home furnishings retailer, has implemented state-of-the-art mobile technology to improve its expanding home delivery operation.

    The 5 in 1 system from BigChange provides mobile apps that connect to customer services to provide real-time visibility of delivery and installation operations.

    The two-man delivery crews are equipped with rugged Samsung tablets running BigChange JobWatch mobile apps that are used for vehicle inspections, navigation and live reporting on job status with supporting photographs. Entirely cloud-based, the BigChange solution is used by Housing Units customer service operatives to monitor over 300 deliveries a week.

    Housing Units celebrated 70 years in business last year and has bucked the trend with steady expansion and a successful business model that has been recognised through awards including the UK’s No 1 department store and retailer of the year. Headquartered in Oldham with an extensive store nearby, the company has just completed a £5m expansion of the store and distribution centre.

    Housing Units sends optimised delivery routes to the BigChange job scheduler for access by drivers on login into their tablets. After completing a vehicle check using JobWatch, the device is clipped into a vehicle cradle to provide navigation to each delivery and then used again on arrival for risk assessment and job completion with a customer signature on screen.

    With each delivery and installation, photographs are captured to provide a record of the completed job showing the location and condition of goods delivered. Special templates have been created in JobWatch for items that are prone to damage in transit – such as bathroom ceramics – that customers are asked to sign off as delivered undamaged.

    Claire Wild, Distribution Administration Manager, Housing Units, Commented:

    “BigChange really has made a big change to our customer service operation. Customers get text alerts reminding them of their agreed delivery time and with the tracking we can immediately contact them if we get delayed. Then we have a complete insight into the progress of every delivery job as it happens.”

    Claire added:

    “Crucially, the system provides undisputable evidence that the driver turned up at the agreed time and departed with all goods in place and undamaged. This is really important and it has led to a reduction in calls to customer services, allowing cases to be closed much quicker and has all but eliminated false claims.”

    Deliveries take on average 18 minutes and Housing Units are using tracking data to compare schedules against actual journey and stop off times. Geofencing is also used to alert the office if vehicles are ‘off route’ and in danger of running late. JobWatch is also useful for contacting drivers with a messaging facility ensuring communication even when out of phone reception.

    Claire continued:

    “The customer services team rave about BigChange. It really has made their job easier as they are always fully informed on delivery activity and at each delivery location they can even click a button to access StreetView to see the situation outside the customers’ home. Handling customer calls is much easier and should disputes arise, they have all the information they need at their fingertips.”

    Karl Shackley, Operations and Distribution Manager, commented:

    “BigChange has certainly had a big impact on our business. As well as the gains in customer services, it has eliminated all sorts of paperwork improving efficiency. We reckon the productivity of the delivery operation has been increased by 20 per cent.”

    Buy It Direct, one of the UK’s largest online retailers has rolled out BigChange’s JobWatch Mobile Workforce Management platform across its nationwide delivery fleet.

    The Yorkshire based company whose brands include Laptops Direct and Appliances Direct delivers thousands of electrical appliances directly to consumers daily and manages end-to-end product fulfilment for national retailers including Debenhams.

    BigChange’s three-in-one solution is delivering a paperless revolution for Buy it Direct and combines cloud-based delivery planning and scheduling, an Android mobile app for drivers and real-time tracking of the vehicle fleet. With fast efficient next day delivery being a key part of Buy It Direct’s offering, the company were looking for an integrated system that would deliver a truly seamless customer experience and chose BigChange after evaluating a number of competitive systems in the market.

    Prior to adopting the JobWatch solution, Buy It Direct were reliant on a paper based system including paper based manifests and delivery notes that drivers were required to collect in the morning and return for processing and filing at the end of each day. Without real-time visibility of the operation, the contact centre were making multiple phone calls to drivers to check the status of deliveries.

    The new solution is fully integrated with Buy it Direct’s routing software and the entire delivery process is automated on rugged Samsung tablets. At the start of each day, drivers start their timesheet and complete an electronic vehicle walkaround check, logging any defects that are automatically alerted to fleet managers. Drivers have instant access to their delivery manifest and the app navigates them efficiently from job to job, with the benefit of live Google traffic information.

    Customers automatically receive a courtesy message by text message, giving them an accurate ETA for delivery. On arrival, items are scanned and verified using the JobWatch app and photos taken before, during and after each drop, providing robust proof of delivery and product condition. Custom worksheets guide the delivery team step by step through installation procedures. Additional photos are captured for installation of white goods (e.g. test washes and connection to water and waste pipes). Proof of delivery with signature is captured at the end of the process. This information is instantly relayed to the back office and customers immediately receive delivery confirmations by email.

    Mick Eaton, Operations Manager for Buy It Direct said:

    “The BigChange system means the delivery team and our customer contact centre are always in perfect sync. Our advisors are empowered to instantly answer any questions and have a real-time view of the operation. The robust proof of service is invaluable in dealing with customer queries and protects our drivers and the business from false damage claims or fraudulent activity.”

    Buy It Direct have been able to optimise and streamline their delivery operation. The BigChange system has provided business intelligence into how long it takes to deliver specific types of products. Previously too much time was allocated to each drop, creating wasteful slack in the schedule. This new insight means that productivity has been increased with more drops taking place per vehicle per day. Capacity across the operation has been increased without the cost of additional drivers or vehicles.

    The new technology has also assisted with management of the vehicle fleet, with the daily driver checks allowing robust management of defects. The live tracking system monitors and reports on driver behaviour, providing a motivational de-brief at the end of each day.

    Mick Eaton added:

    “Since we implemented the BigChange system, we’ve seen an improvement in fuel consumption, less vehicle wear and tear and the level of goods damaged in-transit has reduced significantly. Overall the BigChange system has been a revolution for our delivery operation and I would not hesitate to recommend it to other home delivery operators”

    Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange said:

    “We are proud to be adding such value for Buy It Direct and playing a key role in the rapid growth of their world class ecommerce operation. We look forward to being a key technology partner to the business as they continue to scale.”

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