Beating delivery pain points with smarter logistics
17 October 2016 | 0
Until now, delivery and installation of technology products have been treated as two distinct services, and were often handled by different personnel. Making sure both elements lined up could be a challenge.
Many times in the past, the delivery van would arrive at the customer site with a printer, server, or consignment of PCs, only to find out that the engineer that was due to perform the installation had a different time or day logged in their schedule – or vice versa. Either way, the end result was a poor customer experience, and the service provider’s brand suffered too.
At Hytech Logistics, we had seen this happen enough times to realise this was a pain point for many channel partners in distribution and retail. In response, we developed a service that covers every aspect of printer delivery in the last mile. Our staff have been fully trained to configure printers, either pre-delivery or on site, and set them up on the customer’s network. All of our staff are certified to the DOPsys global standard for technical distribution and last mile delivery.
It’s a seamless operation, and it saves time because it removes the need to co-ordinate two separate schedules in order to deliver and set up a device or multiple devices at the end customer site.
It’s a highly cost-effective model, because our technicians have a lower hourly cost than an engineer. This means the channel partner makes significant savings when measuring against an engineer’s time at an hourly or a daily rate. We estimate that the minimum savings are approximately 25%, when looking at several installations over a wide geographical area, and taking into account the cost of storage, technical distribution and offload. It also means the partner can redeploy their engineering teams on more value-added work.
“It’s a seamless operation, and it saves time because it removes the need to co-ordinate two separate schedules in order to deliver and set up a device or multiple devices at the end customer site”
Printer delivery doesn’t end with the machine itself. If a channel partner wants to offer a fully managed print service to its customers, we handle fulfilment from the manufacturer or distributor’s store through our existing courier network, which delivers ink, paper or consumables to the end customer site as needed. That also saves the channel partner from having to hold stock and it provides a fully transparent service to clients.
We have developed an online interface that connects with a manufacturer or distribution partner to expedite this process further. We’ll soon be launching an app that will allow channel partners in the field to place orders directly onto our system from their smartphones. From there, the item is picked, packed and shipped immediately if needed.
We believe there is considerable opportunity in printer deployment for the channel in Ireland. Based on our research of the Irish market, there are still significant hardware rollouts happening – especially at large multinationals. Even though the trend of printer consolidation means there are fewer devices per site, the value of those devices is typically higher, which puts further requirement on delivering a high-quality customer experience.
In the same way that cloud computing has levelled the playing field by putting enterprise-class IT into the hands of the smallest business, smart logistics can do the same for independent resellers or technical distributors.
Stuart Burke, managing director, Hytech Logistics