Conducting a Review of the Processes and Systems in the Courier Business of a Logistics Company
Pre-2001, the client had an alliance with a large multinational company (MNC) in the business of express delivery and used the MNC’s proprietary software. As the client started its own operations in 2001, it developed an Oracle based enterprise software which was implemented in December 2003 on a leased line network. At the time of implementation, the cost of leased lines was prohibitive for the client’s franchisees. Hence, the client introduced a lighter version of the enterprise software for its franchisee network, wherever network connectivity was poor. Six months into the implementation, the client faced significant issues. Billing was delayed for over a month, delivery tracking was not possible, and most importantly, all franchisees moved onto the lighter off-line version. This resulted in an increased complexity in the managing software, especially with respect to master updates and version updates etc.
In addition, there was lack of process adherence by functional units. In internal discussions, people were divided in their opinion as to whether to continue using the homegrown software. Thus, the top management requested UC to provide a point of view on the above and to outline the way forward.
To review the processes and systems, UC adopted the following approach:
- Conducted internal interviews to understand the processes within the company
1) Sales – suspect, prospect, customer acquisition, brick walling (protecting the customer from competitors)
2) Operation – pickups, line haul, delivery
3) Customer Service – frontline (customer call handling), backline (shipment tracking)
4) Commercial/ Billing – Customer registration, invoicing, generation of debit/credit notes
- Conducted interviews with users of the software and franchisees on 22 locations across India to understand the problems that they face during actual operation
- Recommended that a software change was not warranted given that critical functionality fixes and process fixes should resolve issues
- Also recommended that the client, on a war footing, needs to move most of the franchisees to a central, online system as opposed to working on the off-line version. The off-line version would be limited only to franchisees in remote locations with poor connectivity. Infrastructure requirements and costs were estimated to support the above
- Recommended process changes based on interviews with company and franchisee personnel to optimise the above mentioned functions
- Recommended system changes which helped expedite operations at the franchisee level, resulting in accurate and timely billing, enhanced customer service and an increase in sales
The client received a detailed review of their implementation plan, with suggestions on operations, people and technology. UC delivered their point of view on the processes and systems being used by the client.