Ever paused to think about how supermarket shelves are stocked and the army of unseen logistics firms that make sure everything we need is there when we want it? Palmer and Harvey in the UK is one such hero business.
It makes more than 60,000 deliveries every week to a diverse range of clients, including Shell, Welcome Break, Costcutter Supermarket Group, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and thousands of independent stores. Palmer and Harvey also has distribution contracts with major UK manufacturers and supplies some 14,000 ambient (including alcohol), chilled and frozen product lines. In fact, the company has over 88,000 UK retail accounts and an annual turnover of more than £4 billion.
Technology to keep things running smoothly
To manage its complex operation, Palmer and Harvey’s drivers use Zebra’s TC75 rugged mobile computers with integrated sat nav. The TC75 is ready for life on the road. Its sleek and slim form, complemented by an intuitive, all-touch interface, belies the 75’s robust design that ensures it works all day, every day, regardless of weather, knocks, drops and bumps.
The TC75 has been designed with what we term ‘environmental disabling factors’ in mind. These are issues that can impede the smooth use of technology. For example, in cold weather and when handling metal cages, drivers may wear gloves – gloves that can prevent a normal touch screen from working. That’s why the TC75 has a ‘dual-mode’ capacitive touch screen that can be used with a stylus, finger and even through thick gloves. It also offers an extended full-shift battery life, noise cancelling technology for better call quality, a versatile scan engine and high quality camera for advanced data capture capabilities.
The TC75s run TranSend’s ePOD application for driver and delivery management, which automates delivery operations and provides drivers with guided workflows to handle processes such as Proof of Delivery (PoD) and sandwich returns.
Things are more efficient
Automating workflows with simple-to-use electronic forms is helping Palmer and Harvey reduce administration to cut costs, while the real-time flow of data around the business optimises efficiencies. It’s also seeing improvements in its cashflow from fewer disputed PoDs, while route planning is cutting mileage per delivery. So, next time you drop into your local supermarket or corner shop, as you pick up your shopping spare a thought for the drivers – and their technology – that make it all happen.