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Customer success

Carpet & Flooring is the UK’s leading independent distributor of floor covering products. Voted the ‘Contract Flooring Journal Distributor of the Year’ for three years running, it supplies a comprehensive range of flooring solutions for flooring contractors and retailers, available in one convenient delivery the next day from order. Carpet & Flooring operates ten nationwide branches across the UK and a national distribution centre in the midlands. 

Carpet & Flooring relies on convenient and successful deliveries across its multiple UK branches in order to provide an effective and optimised customer experience. With a desire to streamline delivery processes away from the traditional pen-and-paper method and provide customers with full visibility of order status and location, Carpet & Flooring deployed Descartes’ mobile ePOD solution to transform its processes and enhance the customer experience.

The Challenge:

Historically, Carpet & Flooring relied on pen-and-paper, which resulted in a lack of transparency for customers and an inefficiency in the delivery process. Due to the nature of the industry, customers accepting deliveries were often not at the location where flooring was delivered, as such it would be signed for by different members of the team or the site managers. Managing this all on paper led to issues with missing paperwork and customer confusion as to whether deliveries had been received and when. Customers would then ring to request new paper proof of deliveries (PODs) creating additional administration work to track down or create a new POD to then scan this in and send it back to the client – costly both in terms of time and money. 

The Solution: 

It was clear that an easy and accessible electronic Proof of Delivery solution could mitigate these inefficiencies and improve customer satisfaction, so Carpet & Flooring sought the help of Descartes to implement its ePOD system. Through deploying the Descartes service, it enabled the creation of deliveries within the ePOD, and through the Descartes technology this was also available to be viewed and actioned on mobile devices, making deliveries seamless for Carpet & Flooring drivers.

As a result, drivers could display the delivery information on a mobile device, and accept signatures digitally once on site. It was possible to also take a photograph of the goods in situ on site, and then send that directly to the customer as part of the ePOD offering.

At the point of mid-implementation of the software, COVID-19 struck, so by accelerating the introduction of the ePOD system Carpet & Flooring was quickly able to offer contactless and paperless delivery whilst providing photographic evidence of deliveries that were sent direct to the customer as proof, along with an electronic list of what had arrived on site.

This saved time for Carpet & Flooring and their customers and within a matter of weeks Carpet & Flooring was able to end the processes of physical document scanning and archiving. Consequently, the number of delivery proof requests from customers fell dramatically. In the rare instance of a customer requesting another proof of delivery, the system is automatically set to archive every delivery note and therefore it is simple to forward the full details quickly and easily.

The Results:

Ultimately digital proof of delivery automates the process of customers acknowledging receipt, while eliminating the associated costs of paper, ink, and printers, saving time and minimises errors.  The scanning of barcodes on goods whilst loading, on delivery and on return to base, improves accuracy of deliveries and reduces paperwork for returned goods. Furthermore, most smartphones and handheld devices are compatible, removing the need for dedicated devices and enabling pre-existing devices to be utilised and costs saved.

Supporting contactless or signature capture, scan-on/scan-off capabilities, confirmation of product counts, pictures of damages or left location, and much more all in a paperless environment helps ensure an efficient delivery operation. The software also helps to streamline billing cycles by transmitting essential financial and logistics data to customer service and billing systems, improving financial efficiency for both Carpet & Flooring and its customers. 

Carpet & Flooring was able to swiftly benefit from reduced admin costs and burdens, evolve to contactless delivery for a COVID-safe environment and improve and enhance the customer experience – mitigating the need for customers to struggle to find delivery notes and chase administration staff. Customers have further benefitted by receiving text notifications on the progress of their delivery, allowing them to plan their work and be on hand to receive their delivery, resulting in an increase in successful first time deliveries – a significant cost saving. In addition, administration in retrieving proof of delivery information and answering customer queries has been reduced by 80%.

Peter Russell, IT Director, Carpet & Flooring, comments: “Descartes ePoD solution has unlocked considerable benefits for both our business and our customers. We have seen the number of requests for PoD decline dramatically and have received increasingly positive feedback from our customers. When COVID-19 struck, we instantly saw benefits from the ePoD solution because it meant that we were immediately able to offer our customers a Covid-safe, paperless PoD – with photographs and a full record of the delivery. We witnessed an 80% reduction in customer requests for proof of delivery, so the solution has saved both our time and our customers’ time. Being able to integrate Descartes’ ePod into our existing system and mobile technology has meant that it has been quick and easy to implement and roll out. We look forward to continuing to work with Descartes and develop our great relationship.

 

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