In an attempt to improve its shipping services, networking distributor LAN Systems has appointed Discount Freight Express (DFE) as its new carrier for road and air services.
According to LAN Systems officials, several tender requests for the deal were sent by the distributor, however few were forthcoming.
"We sent tender applications to seven companies that a consultant recommended, but the response we received was very ordinary. No one addressed one of the key criteria of how they were distinct from other courier companies," Reg Van Wegen, LAN Systems' logistics manager, said.
According to Van Wegen, courier companies in general lack the desire to use technology to its full extent, instead preferring to maintain the status quo within the industry.
This prompted LAN Systems into calling DFE, an organisation that attracted Van Wegen. "DFE had some of the things that we were looking for, including a serious plan for the future. They were interested in having information immediately available and correct."
Once the partnership is established, DFE is planning to launch a Web site that can be kept up to date without the cumbersome and often inaccurate tendencies of some of its courier counterparts.
Van Wegen confirmed that DFE provided a unique system of delivery. It uses tracking features that enable customers' access to information, including dates, arrival times and en route locations. Knowing where a box is at any given time is achieved through the use of barcode scanners.
"Problems can't be totally avoided but this system at least allows us to track a box within half an hour of it being scanned. So if a customer that hasn't received their package rings up we can tell what the problem is and when and how it can be resolved, without having to hang up on the customer and then ring the warehouse and then return to a very irate customer two hours later."
LAN Systems is also hoping that DFE's system will reduce the security risks inherent in the distribution of goods by broadcasting information more rapidly, thus allowing boxes to be closely monitored at all stages of delivery.
Additionally, Van Wegen is anticipating that the system will streamline the delivery process by cutting down on the time involved in the documentation and logistics of operations.