An intelligent logistics suite designed with customers in mind

An intelligent logistics suite designed with customers in mind

How do you evolve the technological future for a franchise network of 380+ franchisees, their teams, and their customers? This was the dilemma logistics franchise, InXpress, faced recently.

E-Commerce is growing. With this, people’s expectations for the delivery of goods quickly is higher than ever. We saw this expectation increase exponentially during the pandemic, as people worked and shopped from home. So, businesses want reassurance from companies, like InXpress, to help them meet demand.

Creating a proprietary, one-size-fits-all portal, suited to our franchisees, their teams, and their customers, which also integrates with online shopping carts and marketplaces, has been a key area of focus for InXpress. As a logistics franchise, InXpress provides customers with access to trusted world-class carriers and customer service they can rely on. So, for these reasons, we wanted to develop an online portal that was easy for customers to manage their shipments, whilst enabling our franchisees to better manage their businesses. One which gave Head Office ease of access to data when needed, for reporting, financials, or bench-marking, but without revealing each franchises’ business to the whole network.

Having spent two years in development, combining end-user experience, with professional demand, we have now developed a webship+ for our network of over 380 franchises around the globe.

Ease of accessibility

There’s nothing worse than seeing a pop-up telling you a programme you’re trying to access will only work on a particular platform. We wanted to make sure users of webship+ never experienced this.

We started by forming a project management team, comprised of franchisees, and some of their customers, to work with the Head Offices in the US and UK and a team of nine developers. This allowed us to build a truly user-friendly portal, which matched end-users needs with technological innovation.

We discovered customers, like our franchisees, wanted to access the portal easily, at any time of the day or night, whether processing multiple orders on their computer or doing a quick check on their tablet. Franchisees also want to be able to manage their business whether at home, or in the office, or to do a quick mobile-check on an order whilst out-and-about, regardless of whether it is them or one of their team accessing this.

This meant webship+ had to be both cloudless and platform-efficient. It had to have different functions for front-end and back-end users, without compromising on accessibility or capability.

Ease of use

Related to this is the customer journey. Not only do users of webship+ want to access it easily, but they also need to use it proficiently. There’s nothing worse when you’re trying to rush through an order than seeing an error message without tech support. Because webship+ was developed alongside end-users, using the most modern product development and project management tools available, technical issues were resolved quickly during the development and pilot stages.

This means we save customers time and hassle, as well as money, by helping them stay on top of their shipping needs with software they can rely on. Using our online portal, they can manage their business online, from the bulk upload of shipment orders, to quick carrier-cost comparisons. This means they can devote more time to quality customer service.

Customers, like Souraya Gyves say, “webship+ is very user friendly and InXpress keeps coming-up with new enhanced features. Links to your E-Commerce platform (Shopify in my case) and is just very comprehensive and easy to use.”

Effective use

One of the biggest impacts of the 2020 pandemic on our industry has been the exponential growth of E-Commerce. Franchisees saw many customers pivoting and adjusting their business model, by selling online or direct to consumers for the first time so they could continue trading. Because of our E-Commerce expertise, franchisees were able to guide their customers as they made the switch, and webship+ simplified the process.

Aligning webship+ with online shopping, had been a crucial aspect of our development plan: Integrating shopping carts and marketplaces, with warehouse management, and couriers, was one of our most innovative technological developments. Much of the process is automated, which means that all customers need to do is choose a shipping option and book a collection.

For our franchisees, managing their business through our back-end management software is simple and they have easy access to sophisticated business intelligence reports so they can monitor their customer activations, shipments, and much more. They also receive invoice data direct into the system from the carriers every fortnight, and invoices are automatically sent to customers, resulting in reduced workload. Meanwhile, customers get one invoice for multiple shipments, which means less admin for them.

"Having spent two years in development, combining end-user experience, with professional demand, we have now developed a webship+ for our network of over 380 franchises around the globe"

This is something customers like, Christopher Faulkner, appreciate, “InXpress are very customer focused and helpful. We have total confidence our parcels will be delivered, and where there are delays they’re always followed-up and reported on.”

Ease of development

Because our world is ever-evolving, we wanted the freedom to develop webship+ alongside it. By developing this new online portal with a dedicated team of developers, we now have full control over further development. This means we can prioritise future innovation according to user-experience, not just on what we think.

Whilst you may not have the ability to do this, yourselves, it definitely helps your business, if you can find a developer who will allow you to focus on end-user experience, as well as technological advancements. The benefit to you is the difference between a long-term, or short-term customer.

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