DHL launches real-time information to improve supply chain


DHL launches real-time information to improve supply chain

Kathleen Hall

DHL Supply Chain has launched a live order tracking system (Lots) to deliver real-time information to its customers.

The web-based Lots tool was developed internally and will enable customers to view order information over the internet. The project took 12 months to develop and DHL ran a trial in 2010 with some of its multinational customers.

The system has reduced DHL's support costs, as customers can track order delivery without having to contact the company directly, says Allan Butterworth, vice-president of IT at DHL Supply Chain's consumer sector division. Using advances in technology is crucial to staying ahead of the game in the logistics industry, he says.

"Lots is now running with three of our largest customers and we look forward to working with them to develop the system's capabilities even further," he said.

The system incorporates GPS vehicle mapping to view exact locations. When the vehicle leaves the depot it uses Geofence GPS tracking to automatically send a message back to DHL's main database, which then sends a message to the Lots system so the customer can see the delivery is en route. This process is repeated when the vehicle arrives at its destination.

The system has also significantly improved operational efficiencies, as any discrepancies are flagged from the time the delivery is made and dealt with immediately, says DHL.

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