By Frédérique Carré, Manager of the South-East Customer Loyalty Center, Olivier Cabrol, Digital Transformation Project Director, David Boulet-Decourt, Expert and Application Architect - Micropole Centre-Est.
As digitalization is a major issue in the last mile delivery sector, Micropole has been supporting the Star Service group, an expert in last mile logistics, for 14 years in the digital transformation process of its delivery routes. The group's experts participate daily in the growth and continuity of the business by developing and upgrading their central transport management tool (the 'Mistral' transport management system or TMS) as well as the Traceo mobile application for drivers. Various data exchange systems and web applications are also designed to meet the needs of its business.
If 66% of cyberconsumers are willing to change e-retailers to be delivered on the day of their choice within a 2-hour window, they are 98% to recommend a delivery following a positive experience (Ifop study for the Star Service group, 2018). To face the competition of new players (Bike, Uber, Blablacar...) and meet the multiple expectations of consumers and merchants, it is essential to differentiate and offer a certain quality of service such as traceability, real-time tracking, a continuous chain of verified information (blockchain).
1- OPTIMIZED CUSTOMER SERVICE THROUGH DIGITAL AND DATA
To meet customer expectations, Micropole developed an algorithm for Star Service that provides ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) thanks to the geolocation of drivers in real time via the Traceo application. These tools were enhanced by an online questionnaire sent to customers, delivery planning/re-scheduling and the sending of messages to customers.
2- TMS AND ROUTE OPTIMIZERS: AN ECONOMIC SOLUTION
On the company side, the main objective was to improve delivery times and costs. A computerized labeling solution was recommended and implemented by our experts in order to efficiently control and report "anomalous" packages (missing, exchanged, damaged, etc.). This scanning control system has been integrated into the Traceo application and now works with Android. This solution was recommended for its practicality and lower cost than the handhelds traditionally used in logistics today.
To go even further, Micropole proposed to Star Service to set up order number prediction. The objective: to enable them to anticipate market variations and resources, but also to optimize rounds following the detection of anomalies (customers not present or anomalous packages, traffic disruption on the defined route, vehicle breakdowns, etc.).
3- NEW TECHNOLOGICAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PROJECT
Faced with the adoption of new web technologies and new regulatory requirements, Star Service had to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The tailor-made solution implemented by the Micropole teams now offers a real possibility of adapting the Mistral TMS (central transport management tool) to technological and business developments. The plus: automated reporting that enables real-time monitoring of activity and simplifies management.
In the longer term, the group's experts are studying new technological opportunities. For example: the use of Big Data for efficient predictive systems based on structured or unstructured data, or even connected containers programmed with a cyber security system that would allow for better parcel tracking. Another avenue: the implementation of a "Logistics" Block Chain between companies, delivery companies and customers for a responsible, secure and traceable delivery at all stages.
BEST PRACTICES IMPLEMENTED BY MICROPOLE EXPERTS
AT STAR SERVICE
Strategic thinking is the key to a successful digital transformation in order to face many external challenges (city policies, peri- and intra-urban mobility, fuel prices, ecology, ...) :
- Diversifying and improving services: thanks to traceability, which allows us to go further... from product to consumption;
- Bringing the customer, the principal and the carrier closer together;
- Remaining efficient and innovative: the use of connected objects (currently being considered) could facilitate interactions between Star and the end customers;
- Rethinking the supply chain;
- Improving the carbon footprint and optimizing the activity: Micropole's cross-disciplinary skills enable partnerships with start-ups on connected objects, chips, RFID... as well as route optimization solutions;
- Co-constructing to create value: Set up idea challenges between the client, the ecosystem and Micropole teams focused on the leitmotiv "don't redevelop" to effectively find best practices and solutions.
There are also perspectives and requirements to consider such as:
- Permanent agility: agility and permanent proximity are essential for all business processes (pre-sales, demos, highlighting of expertise, innovative proposals), but also for the operating phases (daily support for teams, on-call duty, prioritization).
- Pragmatism: a pragmatic operation with permanent short term / medium term / long term solution arbitrations;
- Proximity: close links with customers for a greater flexibility of the large principals such as Monoprix, Leclerc, PSA... companies - for the most part - themselves constrained by their IS.
Strategic advice and implementation are the strengths of a team that is committed to supporting the Group's growth in the highly competitive transportation market.