At a Glance

What they wanted to do:

  • Improve efficiency of deliveries by giving dispatchers better visibility of couriers’ locations

What they did:

  • Implemented Google Maps API across DHL Same Day and Express Same Day services in the UK

What they accomplished:

  • Enhanced customer service
  • Increased staff motivation
  • Improved efficiency

"It was easy to integrate into the business,not only from a technical point of view, but also from a human-resources point of view.Employees were already familiar with Google’s technology and it is very intuitive to use."

—Veena Bhatt, director of UK Same Day IT,DHL Express

About Google Maps API

Google Maps API makes it easy for companies to include fully interactive Google Maps on their public and internal websites. The Maps API helps your customers and employees make the right business and purchasing decisions by visualizing important information on a familiar map.

For more information, visit https://enterprise.google.com/maps/

"Ultimately, Google Maps has allowed the company as a whole to meet and exceed its customer service levels. By improving the planning process, and allowing dispatchers to pick up on issues like traffic and courier breakdowns early, dispatchers can locate and assign the courier most suited to taking over the job."

—Veena Bhatt, director of UK Same Day IT,DHL Express

DHL Same Day improves efficiency,increases dispatcher visibility with Google Maps API

Business

DHL is part of the world’s leading logistics group, Deutsche Post DHL, with 275,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories. DHL provides international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics, and international mail services.

DHL Express’ Same Day service is available around the clock to handle shipments that need immediate collection and door-to-door delivery within 24hours. In the UK, DHL handles more than 4,000 deliveries daily through 31 service centres. These centres receive customers’calls and arrange collections and deliveries through dispatchers, who place jobs with a pool of couriers.

Challenge

To improve its Express Same Day service in the UK, DHL implemented a mobile-computing system to fully utilise courier routes and greatly reduce the carbon footprint of deliveries. DHL used GPS technology to give dispatchers accurate, real-time visibility of courier locations.

"We are always on the lookout for the latest technology to continually deliver the best service for our customers and employees,"explains Veena Bhatt, director of UK Same Day IT at DHL Express. "DHL Same Day required a platform that would enable our service centres and customers to track couriers in real time."

The company also wanted a better method of dealing with traffic congestion. "Dispatchers were tracking traffic information through an offline map and working out which couriers it might affect," Bhatt says."We wanted to minimise late deliveries by supplying our dispatchers and couriers with accurate information on local traffic jams." DHL needed a mapping solution to integrate with its new GPS mobile-computing system, one that was easy to use and update.

Solution

DHL Same Day chose Google Maps API, the web-based application that lets corporate users build and integrate fully interactive Google Maps on public and internal websites. The couriers’ GPS coordinates are now integrated into Google Maps and displayed on plasma screens in the service centres.

"Google’s reputation is second to none. I knew very quickly that its mapping service couldn’t be beaten. It was easy to integrate into the business, not only from a technical point of view, but also from a human-resources point of view. Employees were already familiar with Google’s technology and it is very intuitive to use. We can also easily make changes in our back-end system that automatically update within Google Maps. It is so straightforward. The support we received during the implementation stage was fantastic, and we continue to receive it."

The rollout of the new technology was quick and easy. All 31 service centres were using Google Maps API Premier within two months.

Results

Using Google Maps, dispatchers can either focus on particular areas and couriers or get a summary of all courier journeys, just by using the scroll bar to zoom in or out. They can also use Google’s Street View service for more detail with 360 degree, street-level imagery. Google Maps also has integrated traffic reporting. A dispatcher can inform couriers of any traffic issues and advise them of alternative routes." If there is congestion, we can now easily put contingency plans in place, reallocating packages to alternative drivers, or planning routes around the congested areas,"Bhatt says.

"Google Maps is flexible, easy to use, and has been hugely motivational to our dispatchers. Their jobs have been made much easier by having increased visibility of the courier’s locations,"Bhatt adds. "We can now capture data about journeys, and analyse it to make further efficiencies. For example,we can highlight wasted journeys and educate dispatchers on how they could have been prevented."

"Ultimately, Google Maps has allowed the company to meet and exceed its customer service levels. By improving the planning process, and allowing dispatchers to pick up on issues like traffic and courier breakdowns early,dispatchers can locate and assign the courier most suited to taking over the job," she says.

Customers also benefit from the Google Maps API. They can now track couriers online through the mapping service. The GPS system is updated every minute, so both the dispatcher and the customer always know a package’s location. With integrated traffic reporting, dispatchers can amend the estimated arrival time of a package online, so the customer is always aware of any delay.

DHL also is considering incorporating ring fencing into Google Maps. This will allow couriers to be assigned to certain areas within a 15-20 mile radius. DHL will send a customer an email or SMS when the courier is nearby. "We expect our courier productivity to rise by at least 5 percent in the near future and to achieve significant improvements in efficiency, which will make a real difference to our business,"Bhatt concludes.