The IT strategy and planning department at Davies Turner, the UK’s leading independent freight forwarding and logistics company, has beaten off strong competition to win the top prize in the Ventana Research 2018 Digital Leadership Awards.
The Ventana Awards programme recognises organisations and individuals together with supporting vendors that utilise technology to advance business and IT.
These awards span across the nine areas of expertise at Ventana Research, including analytics; big data; customer excellence; digital technology; human capital management; marketing; office of finance; operations and supply chain; as well as sales.
Davies Turner was presented with the overall Digital Leadership Award in recognition of its leadership in maximising the value of the organisation’s assets – people, processes, information and technology.
The award also recognises the transformational effect on customer service that has been achieved via the utilisation of Kofax Kapow™ intelligent automation software, which automates and digitally transforms end-to-end business processes, resulting in teams working more productively – enabling the company to take on growing business volumes without increasing headcount.
The freight and logistics specialist plays a vital role in helping companies to move parts and products around the world quickly, reliably and cost-effectively. With many of its customers operating on tight schedules – where even small delays or discrepancies could have costly consequences – it is vital for Davies Turner to have a clear view of shipments and inventory at all times.
With global supply chains growing more and more complex, encompassing many different carriers and contact points, gaining this insight can be a challenge. Davies Turner therefore looked for a faster, easier way to gain visibility into the thousands of orders it handles every day – tracking shipments in real time as they move through each link in the supply chain.
The company found an answer in Kapow™, a powerful information integration and automation platform that makes it quick and easy for users to harness data from a wide variety of sources. These include internal logistics and warehouse management systems, as well as external carrier tracking systems and third-party websites.
Using the new product, Davies Turner has built integration process flows (commonly referred to as software robots) that perform various data extraction and integration tasks that enable the company to offer customers alternative ways to communicate with it.
This robotic process automation technology helps eliminate manual tasks, boosts productivity and improves customer satisfaction, and helps address the pressure to stay competitive and grow revenue.
Darren Gurney, Davies Turner’s logistics systems manager notes: “To date, we’ve deployed in excess of 100 of these robots. We have found the solution to be incredibly user-friendly—you don’t need to be a specialist developer to make use of it. At the same time, the new solution is very powerful; the things it can do seem almost limitless. We are using it to integrate data from our own systems, partner systems and third-party websites, and there really doesn’t seem to be anything that it can’t integrate with!”
Today, Davies Turner uses the software robots to automatically capture reference and tracking numbers assigned to each order as they are entered into the company’s warehouse management system (WMS). The solution regularly queries carrier tracking systems and websites to retrieve delivery status and proof of delivery information, and links this data to the original order record in the WMS.
Davies Turner has also created an inventory tracking process that regularly checks stock levels in the company’s warehouse and automatically notifies customers via email to let them know when one of their inventory lines goes out of stock. This allows customers to take prompt action to replenish inventory levels, ensuring they can fulfil orders with minimum delay and avoid costly out-of-stock situations.
The result has streamlined order and inventory tracking, which is helping Davies Turner to deliver better customer interaction by providing clients with newfound insight into their stock and shipments, and empowering operations teams with swifter access to the information they need to respond faster to customer queries.
Gurney adds: “With products like Kapow, not only are we meeting customer’s expectations, we are exceeding them in certain areas. Normally a customer wouldn’t expect us to track all of their orders in real time, but thanks to these software robots we now have this capability, increasing the number of shipments we track by 100 percent and more without increasing headcount.”
“The result has seen the elimination of tedious manual procedures and has made the work of staff easier – all without introducing any disruptive changes to the way teams work. People can now find the data they need much faster and more securely, and it is helping us deliver a higher level of customer service with less administrative effort.”
Julie Hollis, Davies Turner’s IT solutions manager added: “As a customer-focused organisation, Davies Turner is committed to leveraging digital technology to transform how we deliver value to our clients. Kofax has empowered our operations teams to build automated processes that enable improved accuracy and faster response times to meet and even beat clients’ requirements.
“This project has been a real team effort and we view this Ventana Award as confirmation of our company’s commitment to exceeding customer expectations.”
Philip Stephenson, chairman of Davies Turner, says that the company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2020, has always been a pioneer in the freight and logistics business. “We recognise the urgent need to bridge the gaps — internally between systems, silos, processes and people, and externally between clients and their suppliers.”
“By focusing on solving problems such as reducing manual tasks and streamlining data input, Davies Turner is resolving long-standing industry issues and improving our competitive position in the process.”