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CD 1045 - 52pp Text 21/8/08 13:21 Page 23
CASE STUDY
PODFather Put on Trial
In the last issue of Courier Direct we
learned how Acorn Express Logistics
Limited had started trialling the Proof Of
Delivery software system, The PODFather,
designed by Valley Technology. We now
find out how the trial has gone.
Acorn Express is based in Central
Scotland and operates as a traditional
courier throughout the UK and Ireland,
but has also developed specialised
delivery services for hospitals and
medical companies, and a ‘deliver and
build’ service for high-end furniture
manufacturers. It operates a mixed fleet
of vehicles ranging from Mercedes
Sprinter vans, through to MAN vehicles of
7.5 and 17 tonnes and has also
developed customised vehicles for its
medical delivery service.
Having studied the market and
Done Deal
considered a number of different options,
Acorn Express founder Mark Wilson
is the correct one, often along with use it.
started a trial with the Proof of Delivery
specific ultrasound probes, each of
“Valley Technology has been great to
software system, The PODFather, as he
which, too, has its own individual details.
work with. They install The PODFather
needed to ensure his company operates
This ‘traceability’ is very important when
system at no charge and their support
at maximum efficiency in what is a very
dealing with vital equipment.
has always been first class when we had
competitive market. His drivers have “With the ‘deliver and build’ furniture
any questions about how best to use the
been trialling the system using T-Mobile service, the POD Father has proved a real
system. The trial was a real success and
Touch Plus handsets. bonus for not only the buying customer
we have now agreed a contract and are
“The trial has gone very well and it is
but also the manufacturer. The furniture is
fully committed to using The PODFather.”
making a major contribution in helping us
made from real wood and, for example, a
Colin McCreadie of Valley Technology
provide our specialist delivery services.
knot might fall out of a drawer leaving a
For example, we courier very expensive
hole. We can use the PDA to take a
adds:
and sensitive ultrasound scanners to
photo, get the customer to sign to the
“Acorn Express is a very forward thinking
hospitals and medical centres located
effect that the delivery is fine apart from
company. Their use of technology is not
throughout the UK. Each machine has its
that one problem and we can use The
only cost effective, but it is allowing them
own name and serial number of up to 20 PODFather to send a simultaneous e-mail
to develop their business in specialist and
digits. This comprehensive information is to the customer and the manufacturer
innovative ways. It is helping give them
sent via The PODFather to the PDA used who then knows to supply a replacement
an edge in a challenging market in which
by the driver and he checks at the drawer, what type, who to etc. reliable, value for money service is so
hospital that the machine he is collecting
“The PODFather has also helped us with
important to customers.”
our standard courier service. For
example, I now have a subcontractor in
London using it. He just downloads the
software onto his mobile phone, we give
him the user name and password and he
is up and running. No need to fax, no
need to phone – we just give him the
required details via The PODFather. He
does the job, the customer signs and we
get the Proof Of Delivery at the same time
as the customer. We are doing the same
with an agent in Ireland and I now seek
companies who have The PODFather
system when I need to find a
subcontractor in a city or town where we
have no previous contacts. The
PODFather really is simple to use, it is
versatile and it is cost effective because it
Goods Received
is Pay-As-You-Go – we only pay when we
PODFather Signature Capture
Courier Direct FIRST FOR NEWS & VIEWS 23
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