Adelaide courier company Aceit Transport Solutions has more than doubled its turnover in three years using state-of-the-art logistics technology developed by Australian transport specialist JAIX Software. With the fully integrated JAIX MetroLink software, Aceit uses GPS (Global Positioning System) and digital communications technology to manage its fleet of more than 90 couriers, boosting its deliveries by more than 20 per cent in the past year. JAIX also provides Aceit customers with the facility to place and trace orders via the Aceit website (www.aceittrans.com.au), a breakthrough that has transformed the Aceit Dispatch room from an adrenaline-driven nerve centre to an office epitomised by quiet efficiency.
Aceit Transport Solutions is a South Australian-owned courier company that makes thousands of deliveries a week throughout the Adelaide metropolitan region. Aceit also arranges freight deliveries Australia-wide as a member of the National Courier Network (NCN), a consortium of independent courier companies that collaborate to provide local service with national reach. Aceit services include on-demand and permanent run couriers, taxi trucks, storage, break bulk distribution, logistics and freight consultancy and national road and air freight services.
Although it traces its origins to 1997, Aceit was bought by Adelaide transport industry veteran Mal Geddie in September 2004. As well as restructuring the business in response to changes in the freight sector, the family-owned operation has invested heavily in technology, working closely with long-term technology partner JAIX Software, to create a competitive edge with quick, friendly and efficient service.
When Mal Geddie took control of the company in late 2004, it was struggling. In an industry that requires flexibility, reliability, and speed, the business struggled to keep up with the constant communication required to keep couriers busy and customers happy. “In the early days, we were trying to coordinate things that we had no control over,” Mr. Geddie said.
“It was always a challenge to stay on top of the paperwork. For example, if a delivery was queried several weeks after it was made, we would have to go through all the files to find the signature on the PoD (Proof of Delivery) form – that’s if the driver had handed it in. When you’re doing hundreds of deliveries a day, chasing that additional paperwork was a nightmare.
“Back then, our stress levels were always high. The adrenaline was running all the time. Now we have all the information at our fingertips. Anyone sitting at a desk can get access to the information they need at any time without having to ask anyone else.
“Using technology to solve these problems was the essential step.”
JAIX Software has provided technology for the Australian transport industry since the late 1980s.
Aceit Transport Solutions initially deployed the JAIX MetroLink courier management software to manage its back office systems. This included accepting bookings and dispatching couriers as well as customer accounts and subcontractor management. MetroLink provided Aceit with a single integrated solution in its first two years of operation, replacing physical paperwork with an online repository of all information related to customers, couriers and bookings.
owever, during 2007, JAIX has provided Aceit with a new generation of technology. The smart software from JAIX integrates satellite navigation and digital communications technology into a system that makes life easier for Aceit, its couriers and their customers. The GPS version of MetroLink provides:
Customers with self-service via the Internet for placing bookings and job “track and trace”
Couriers with handheld computers that seamlessly record every delivery detail, and
Dispatchers with GPS map-based tracking of every courier, customer and booking.
Mr. Geddie said the JAIX software succeeded because of its simplicity. “It’s amazing how simple it is to use,” he said. “You have every detail of a delivery at your fingertips. It’s staying on top of the little things that saves so much time.
“The software shows us when the job was booked, when it was picked up and when the delivery was made. You can even see the signature of the person who signed for it, so we have no more chasing paperwork weeks after the delivery was made. The beauty with JAIX is that our customer can do the same thing on the Web that we can do from the office.”
As well as the JAIX MetroLink software, which runs in Aceit’s Franklin Street office in central Adelaide, the system provides each courier with a handheld data capture unit, called a Datalogic JET, which displays pickup details to the courier and captures the delivery signature. The JET uses Bluetooth to communicate with a GPS unit located in the courier’s vehicle. This is the link that allows real-time monitoring of the status of jobs by the Aceit dispatcher and by its customers on the Web.
At the office, the JAIX software offers a range of views on the computer including:
· Dispatch screen: A database-form type screen that allows quick entry of telephone bookings and easy tracking of job details including order time, pickup time, delivery time etc.
· Mapping screen: This is a geographic map of the city that tracks the status of vehicles and jobs with real-time job allocation and click-to-view monitoring.
Mr. Geddie said the company had gone from strength to strength since it started using the JET unit in April. “The JAIX software now makes the whole process instantaneous,” he said.
“The speed of booking is incredible. It happens within a second, so the dispatch time is absolutely real time, whereas before it could take six or seven minutes or longer.
“The process is also much more efficient and accurate. This way every detail from the booking goes straight to the driver whereas previously, when we relied on radio, the drivers would never get all the special instructions.
“Because the GPS tracking lets us know exactly where the drivers are, and how close they are to their destination, we don’t have to waste time calling the driver to find out how far away they are. This means if a customer rings to enquire, you simply look on the map to see where the driver is and then tell them how long until pickup.”
Mr. Geddie said business was booming with a growing number of customers placing and tracing their courier orders via the Web. “This makes them happier and reduces the pressure on our office,” he said.
“Since we started using the GPS system, deliveries have grown by 20 per cent to more than 600 a day, but the number of phone calls we receive has dropped by 40 per cent. We expect even more efficiency because we still receive just one in eight orders via the Web. We are confident that ratio will increase as more customers learn how quick and easy it is.”
Mr. Geddie said the JAIX MetroLink GPS system had contributed directly to the company’s strong growth rate. “Business-wise, we’ve grown by about 20 per cent this year,” he said. “In the first year after we took it over, we turned over about $1.6 million. This year, we’re on track to exceed $4 million.”
Mr. Geddie said the key to the success of Aceit’s technology was the strength of its partnership with JAIX Software. “JAIX is so good because it has been designed as a working model over time,” he said.
“JAIX has designed, tested and improved the system over the past 12 months. It’s not until you put something into practice that everything falls into place. JAIX didn’t just give us the software and then walk away. They stand behind their software, they accept our suggestions and then they come back with a system that is even better than we first planned.”
JAIX Software delivers software built on more than two decades of experience in the freight, transport, courier and warehousing industries. JAIX provides customers nationally with customised information management solutions that equip them to improve productivity and profits in these competitive sectors.
For more about JAIX, visit www.jaix.com.au or telephone 08 8272 7200.
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