Hermes bids to improve customer experience with £18m investment in handheld scanners for courier network

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Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist, has invested £18m in state-of-the-art handheld scanners in what represents one of the largest mobile implementation projects in Europe. The company will equip its local courier network and myHermes ParcelShops with more than 20,000 innovative devices, in a move designed to heighten the overall customer experience it provides on behalf of the UK’s leading retailers.

These new scanners and the software which powers them will provide greater visibility during the delivery process as the company moves towards its goal of 100% first time delivery success.

The 4G devices have a 10-hour battery life and boast improved GPS functionality. This allows Geo-fencing technology to provide pin-point accuracy for delivery, which means parcels are satellite-tracked to the customer’s doorstep.

The devices will also support the ETA time window-service, which, when implemented later this year will give retailers the opportunity to enhance the online shopping experience by giving their customers a four hour time window for their parcel delivery or collection, removing the need for them to ‘wait in all day’. Hermes will reduce the window to two hours by the end of 2016.

In addition, a built-in camera gives Hermes the opportunity to capture high quality photographs.

This investment will provide a foundation for Hermes to develop additional functionality throughout 2016 that will further improve the choice and convenience it provides to online shoppers. The rollout of the handheld devices to Hermes’ local couriers will start in the spring and will be completed in late summer, whilst the growing network of 4,500 myHermes ParcelShops across the UK will also be equipped with the devices ahead of the 2016 peak season.

The devices have been manufactured by Zebra Technologies and will operate a mobile workforce management solution developed in partnership with Cognito iQ, which supports the scalability and flexibility required for Hermes’ desire to offer new services and increase the customer’s control over the delivery of their parcels.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes, said:“Our aim is to achieve 100% first time delivery success as well as industry-leading customer choice and convenience. We continually place innovation at the heart of our business and this substantial investment equips us with the capability to add premium features such as ETA to a standard product. This strengthens Hermes’ positioning in the UK delivery industry as the market leader in innovating and changing the face of standard delivery at standard prices.”

Ashley Ford, vice president and general manager, EMEA at Zebra Technologies, said: “The TC75 enterprise mobile computer, designed for parcel and direct delivery services, will help Hermes achieve its goal to provide both retailers and consumers greater visibility into the delivery process. The enterprise asset intelligence Hermes will gain from this solution will result in new insights and ultimately, an outstanding experience for its customers.”