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DHL Adds Convenience for Customers by Equipping its Agents with Touch™ Readers at Parcel Drop Off Locations
DHL Servicepoint provides express courier services to businesses and private customers in the UK through a network of more than 220 countries with over 120,000 major destination points. DHL Servicepoint makes it extremely easy to send parcels anywhere in the world with over 1,000 conveniently placed outlets across the UK.
To use DHL Servicepoint, a customer simply finds the nearest Servicepoint outlet by using a handy online location finder, packs their parcel using a free DHL box and then pays a fixed price based on the box size and one of four global destinations: United Kingdom, European Union, USA/Canada, or Rest of World. It’s that easy!
DHL Servicepoint is a convenient service that allows customers to drop off parcels at a time and place of their choosing. Naturally, it is very important for all of the shipping details to be correctly entered into DHL’s online Drop Point Shipping Tool (DPST) at the time the parcel is dropped off as this information is used to manage the package during shipping.
Manually entering the parcel’s eleven-digit Air Waybill, which is used to track the shipment and check on its delivery, proved to be too error-prone and time-consuming for DHL to rely on. To be confident that each parcel arrives at its proper destination, DHL Servicepoint needed an automatic data capture solution that would ensure a correctly entered Air Waybill.
All DHL Servicepoint agents access the DPST using an Internet-connected PC to avoid the manual entry of all Air Waybill numbers, which limits the potential for errors. In order to complete this system, a simple USB ‘plug and play’ bar code scanner was identified as the best and most simple solution to capture the data (eleven-digits) on the parcel package.
Bar code scanning would provide agents with fast and accurate data entry. It also would align perfectly with DHL’s existing processes since each Air Waybill is scanned with a bar code reader at each location touch point. Therefore, it was decided that all DHL Servicepoint agents should be included in this procedure and a bar code scanning device was required.
“As part of the European network of DHL Servicepoint outlets in the UK, bar code scanners came under the remit of theDeutsche Post DHL (DP DHL) EU procurement. DP DHL is responsible for all bar code scanner purchases for the DHL Group,” explained Richard Noble, Network and Services Development Manager, DHL Express UK.
“The recognized suppliers at the time (2006) were Datalogic and a competitive bar code scanning supplier. Datalogic’s Touch™ bar code reader was selected for the UK Servicepoint locations because testing proved it to be the simplest scanner to install with its ‘plug and play’ capabilities. It also proved to be the most robust, yet cost-effective solution,” Noble stated. “The Touch bar code reader requires no software installation and in five years, not a single scanner has failed.”
Initially, the Touch reader was the only scanner deployed in a test capacity at thirty-six DHL owned locations. In 2008, DHL then stepped up the rollout to include its growing network of third party agents. Currently, 438 devices are deployed.
“Today, each new Servicepoint agent is equipped at launch with a Touch bar code scanner, and DHL is currently working to retrofit as many of the remaining agents as possible,” says Noble. “The network is predicted to grow to around 2,500 locations across the UK and all will eventually be provided with means of scanning.”
Deployed across a growing network of third party sites, the Touch bar code reader has further demonstrated its simple ‘plug and play’ capabilities by working ‘out-of-the-box’ regardless of how old the host PC might be or how it has been configured, including security lock down.
“DHL Servicepoint customers now benefit from more drop off locations and time options, which they are able to send or receive their parcels. This increases convenience for our customers,” Noble stated. “The consolidation of collections and deliveries has also meant DHL benefits from reduced operating costs.”
For more information about UK DHL Servicepoint services and more, please visit www.dhlservicepoint.co.uk.
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