Palmer and Harvey, the UK’s number one delivered wholesaler, is upgrading driver PDAs over the next year to improve efficiencies and customer service throughout its network.

Mark-Leonard-image[2]The current PDA system, which consists of over 950 handheld devices, has been in place for four years and is used to track vehicles and confirm delivery performance and service levels.

The system overhaul will boast several new, beneficial functions such as the built-in “Co-Pilot” satellite navigation system, vehicle tracking, delivery asset recording, vehicle safety checks and messages, photos and scanning.

Drivers currently have to manage several variables per delivery such as different customer service levels, timecritical delivery windows and multiple product types. By introducing the upgrade Palmer and Harvey will maximise operational efficiency.

New PDA functions will improve internal efficiencies and the driver experience by;

• Reducing paperwork and the complexity associated with it at delivery points

• Remove the potential for human error from the delivery process

• Reducing the “at drop” time and travel time between drops

• Reduce paper handling, admin overhead and storage costs

• Reduce POD (proof of delivery) query processing times and disputes

• Improve document and information sharing via an online portal

Retailers will reap the benefits too, with:

• Improved ETA accuracy

• Reduction in delivery point errors

• Reduction in lost POD’s

• Access to “real time” deliver confirmation information

• Access to web based “Self- Serv” portal

Other initiatives include enhancements to the Palmer and Harvey distribution fleet – the company’s newest vehicles feature a slipstream body which, compared to the standard build, is approximately 14 per cent more fuel efficient.

In addition to this, the introduction of a Dhollandia Underslung Flat-Slider tail-lift and Frigoblock underslung refridgeration unit have delivered further safety and efficiency benefits. By increasing the size of the working platform for safer pallet manoeuvring and making the refrigeration units controls ground-level accessible, the measures have reduced the risks of drivers falling.

Mark Leonard, Group Operations Director at Palmer and Harvey said: “These developments are part of a wider programme of change taking place in our supply chain and will support greater efficiency and fantastic customer service.

We have a plan and we are going to deliver it.”

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