SEKO Deploys Voice-based Automated Delivery Notification System

Developed with Prairie Systems, solution intended to reduce call loads, increase customer satisfaction with advanced notice

Developed with Prairie Systems, solution intended to reduce call loads, increase customer satisfaction with advanced notice

Itasca, IL — July 6, 2005 — Transportation and logistics company SEKO has released a new voice-based automated delivery notification system, designed to save time spent by customer service personnel notifying customers of booked shipments and on-hand destination arrivals.

Personnel often spend substantial amounts of time and revenue scheduling freight delivery appointments manually. Leaving messages with requests for the customer to call back adds up to lost time, lost revenues and lost productivity. Many hours can also be spent attempting to reach the consignee to arrange a delivery time.

SEKO said that with the text-to-speech (TTS) technology offered by its new notification system, a joint effort with Prairie Systems, these calls can now be placed electronically and messages left without manual intervention.

"Our goal is to allow our greatest asset, our customer service personnel, to actually spend time talking with our customers," stated Randy Barnett, director of telecommunications for SEKO. "By providing a tool that makes the initial contact and automatically leaves a message, we can relieve the calling load on our customer service representatives, allowing them to spend more time taking care of our customers in person."

The objective of TTS is to have the system make the initial call to the customer and with some built-in intelligence recognize whether a person or an answering machine answers the call. The initial phase consists of two types of calls: the Booked Notification, where automated messages let consignees know their freight has left the origin and they should expect a call within a few days to set up delivery date and time; and the On Hand Notification, a call made to notify the consignee of arrival at destination. From this point, a delivery time can be scheduled by either connecting directly to the destination office or by having the consignee call back at his or her convenience.

SEKO's delivery notification application is built on the Prairie Systems voice solutions platform, which offers inbound and outbound automated alerting capabilities, integrated within a common environment with text, e-mail, fax and other messaging protocols.

According to SEKO, the benefits of automated delivery notification systems could include reduction in call loads on customer service representatives, terminal managers and call centers, and increased customer satisfaction with advanced notification, planning and communication;

In addition, the SEKO solution providers access to Web-based tools that enable customers to edit program features and obtain real-time information on attempted calls, contacts made and results.

Additional Articles of Interest

Understanding and filling customer needs collaboratively adds more value than designing processes and systems to beat the competition. For an example of how one company did it, read the article "Aligning Fulfillment Metrics to Customer Segment Requirements."

— Your company's back-end supply chain may be so efficient that you are the envy of all your competitors. But what about the customer-facing portion? Taking a look at the "last mile" in your supply chain may be what it takes to ensure your customers come back to you  and not your competitors  time and again. Read more in the article "The Last Mile Is the Longest Mile."

— For more information on the latest trends in the logistics space, see the article "The Analyst Corner: Fulfillment & Logistics" in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.