On Thursday 4th July myself and three other colleagues were invited to attend the first ever Hermes IT Innovation day, held close to their HQ in Leeds. The main aim of the day was to bring Hermes staff, including the senior leadership team, closer to a number of their existing IT suppliers to help them better understand the services provided and the innovations they can expect in the future.
We were in good company. Other IT suppliers in attendance included Barcode Warehouse, BT, Oracle and Cisco. After an initial welcome speech by CIO Chris Ashworth, we took our place in the exhibition suite to showcase our next generation solutions. Our main focusses being:
- Augmented Workflow
- Audible Workflow Guidance
Our Augmented Workflow was very well received. We showed how couriers could use this technology to manage bulk deliveries to a single address. By looking at the contents of the van through the camera on a smartphone, all parcels for the same address are highlighted on the screen. ParcelShops will benefit too. Often parcels are delivered to ParcelShops and not collected by the recipient. After a week or so the parcel expires and needs to be returned to the sender. When the driver comes to collect expired parcels, they can be hard to locate in the sometimes bustling back office of a ParcelShop. A quick scan of the back office through the smartphone camera quickly highlights the expired parcels the driver needs to collect.
We were also able to demo our Audible Workflow Guidance which allows couriers to load their vans in a logical order, by following voice instructions provided via their CiQ Mobile workflow. This results in less time searching the vehicle for the correct parcels, less chance of missing bulk deliveries and minimised risk of damage due to less handling of parcels.
We were certainly very busy. There was a lot of interest in our demonstrations, most of the Hermes staff knew who we were and were very interested in our future developments. We even attracted the attention of the Hermes’ CEO. The general consensus was that the innovations we were showcasing, would be highly beneficial to the courier and would ultimately improve the broader customer experience.
For us it was a great opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Hermes and create some excitement about our forthcoming innovations.
The event was a huge success for Hermes too. Sean Crawley, Senior IT Supplier and Financial Control Manager said “thank you for your amazing effort in ensuring your innovative ideas and products were demonstrated on the day. Especially the professionalism and friendly approach you gave to those in attendance”