Jordon Freight originally approached us looking for an IT system that would help improve the efficiency of their planning team. Their team of roughly 10 planners spend the majority of their day on the phone to clients who have goods they need moving and trailers that have the capacity to move goods. In such a fast moving industry, it is the job of the planners to match cargo with trailers as quickly as possible.
Jordon Freight had identified two main problems with their existing process. The first was sharing of data between the various planners. Without an electronic system, planners were occasionally forgetting to pass on relevant information to each other and due to the fast paced nature of the business they would simply not have the time to transfer their information onto a series of shared whiteboards.
The second problem they had identified was a lack of geographical knowledge in their junior planners. Matching up loads with trailers is usually based on geographical proximity but some of their junior planners did not know enough about European geography to be able to do this quickly. Instead, they would have to look up addresses on a map before they were able to make a judgement call, requiring additional time.
What we did
As with all our projects, the first step is understanding our clients needs. We started with a full requirements capture meeting where we spoke to their management and key users about their desires and then followed this up with meetings with their planning team. This gave us key insights into how their business operated on a day to day basis.
With that understanding, we then formalised the requirements for the new system and started looking at possible solutions. With such bespoke requirements we knew we would have to build a system from scratch so we set out to find a framework that would meet the customers requirements and allow us to build a solid system that could be extended in the future.
We also focused a lot of our attention on how we could solve their two main problems. Regarding sharing data between planners, this was mainly about storing the information in an electronic format that could be easily accessed by all planners. The key to making this a success was making sure that planners could very quickly enter data so our design team spent a long time making sure the new system was as user friendly as possible. Our development team then took these designs and made sure they all worked as quickly and efficiently as possible.
For the second identified problem, that of lack of geographical knowledge, we decided that using mapping software as part of the new system would be a great benefit to Jordon Freight. If a planner could quickly see their load or trailer on a map, along with other relevant loads and trailers, it would greatly reduce the amount of time needed for junior planners to match up loads with trailers. We ended up using four separate mapping integrations to achieve the best results: one for displaying the maps, one for displaying loads and trailers on the map, one for plotting routes that the trailers would be taking and one for location searches.
The system that we built for Jordon Freight is now in use on a daily basis by their planning team. We opted for a web-based system so that their users would be able to use it wherever they were in the world and on as many devices as possible.
With the new system, all new loads and trailers need matching are stored electronically and easily accessible by the whole planning team. The planners can easily search for available loads and trailers in their region without having to double-check with the other planners if they have anything. The mapping component has been a particular success. The map itself is a great time saver for the planners as it makes matching loads and trucks that much easier, but by using the four separate mapping integrations we were able to provide a solution that matched a lot of their existing processes, cutting down on the amount of learning required to use the new system.
We consider this project a great success, allowing Jordon Freight to optimise their existing business process and provide a better service to their customers. Jordon Freight already have plans for extending the system to replace other processes and enhance their business further and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.