16 March 2015

Rico Logistics has implemented the PODFather Field Service system across their technology services division.  Rico Logistics is one of the largest sameday and parts distribution organisations in Europe. Following an investment in 2013 by the $7bn multinational, TVS Group, Rico has embarked on an impressive expansion plan, starting with the acquisition of DHL UK Same Day in 2014.

The specialist technical division, Rico Technology Services, hold stock of IT assets on behalf of their clients who are predominantly in retail and banking sectors. Over 200 field engineers are employed to support desk side, break fix and IMAC opportunities from a network of depots throughout UK and Ireland. The technical division is currently expanding across Europe to follow the growth of the logistics services divisions developed over the last 24 months.

PODFather have demonstrated an impressive ability to cope with the scale of our company and worked hard to ensure the transition from the old to new system went smoothly.

Following an extensive evaluation of available systems for mobile engineers, Rico selected the PODFather Field Service solution to replace their old mobile workforce system. A key reason for selecting the PODFather system was to ensure Rico had one integrated platform for managing customer calls and engineers across Europe.

PODFather accepts a feed of jobs from the core sales order processing system used by Rico via upload of XML formatted job files. Jobs are analysed within PODFather and automatically allocated to a suitable engineer based on a combination of region, skill set, engineer availability and client SLA. Daily activity is optimised to reduce mileage and calculate the ETA for each job, with notifications sent to clients via email to advise them of their job time windows.

Full job instructions are downloaded in real-time to the PODFather mobile application running on Windows Mobile and Android handhelds. This enables the engineer to see all of their jobs in route order and complete each job electronically; capturing details of the items installed and removed from customer sites, including photographs of any damaged equipment, customer name, signature and the GPS coordinates of job completion location. The engineers are guided in the closure process of the job based on a custom workflow designed into the handheld system.

Completed job details are received into the Rico backoffice system and clients receive an email with all completed job details attached in real-time. Additional backoffice modules in PODFather allow Rico to quickly process both engineer payments and customer invoices with rates applied based on a complex tariff system. Any problems noted by engineers are tracked in a customer service module for the central office team to track through to resolution.

Derek Williamson, Director of the Rico Technology Services division, explains, “We selected the PODFather because it offered all the functionality we required to replace our existing systems along with additional features like tracking, route scheduling and ETA notifications to our customers all within a single integrated solution. PODFather have demonstrated an impressive ability to cope with the scale of our company and worked hard to ensure the transition from the old to new system went smoothly.”