Coricraft, South Africa’s premium quality home furniture and furnishing design and manufacturing company, contracted with Trackmatic to help tackle the challenges it was facing around fleet visibility and customer satisfaction. The company wanted to reignite the magic of the last mile, transforming how customers perceived their performance and delivery efficiency. Today, Coricraft has reduced its delivery window to less than two hours, reduced customer complaints to a record low, increased delivery drops per route, and has transformed the customer experience, all while cutting costs.
Last mile logistics is becoming increasingly difficult to perfect and is evolving at a rapid rate due to the growth of e-commerce. There is a growing need to get goods to customers faster and more cost effectively. Customers are willing to pay a premium for faster delivery fulfilment and companies like Amazon are raising the bar and raising customer delivery expectations. According to McKinsey, last mile logistics have been identified as the cornerstone to driving growth and profitability, and companies like Coricraft are under increasing pressure to create logistic strategies that align business and customer expectations.
Last mile logistics are troublesome, especially in South Africa. There are challenges around infrastructure, addressing accuracy and security that impact on delivery timing, fuel costs and efficiency. This is further compounded by the complexity of delivering irregular size furniture items that requires skilled unpacking and assembly upon delivery. For Coricraft, these issues were affecting its customer relationships and brand reputation.
“In our industry, the journey doesn’t start and end in the store,” says Craig Schneeberger, Chief Operating Officer of Coricraft. “The real magic is in the last mile when we deliver to your home. Purchasing furniture is a very emotive thing and, with us, you pay money and leave empty handed. We needed to refine our delivery element which is one of the most difficult things for a business to do successfully and profitably.”
Prior to its implementation of the Trackmatic Driver-Led Visibility® solution, Coricraft was experiencing roughly 45 Hello Peter complaints a month. The complaints were all centred around one specific issue – customer service on delivery. The delivery window sat at a lengthy three hours and customers were left uncertain as to when their furniture would arrive, what service they would receive on delivery, and timing around the re-delivery of any incorrect or damaged items. In addition, it was impossible to proactively respond to failures in the field in real time.
“When we started working with Coricraft the first challenge was to address the visibility of their fleet,” says David Slotow, CEO, Trackmatic. “They needed a tool that would allow them to communicate more clearly with their customer service team by developing richer engagement with their operations team and their drivers.”
For Coricraft, it was essential that delivery fulfilment be transformed in such a way as to revolutionise customer experiences. In addition, the company also faced challenges around address capturing. Customers often provided incorrect location details or left out critical delivery information. Coricraft needed technology that helped their drivers get to the right place at the right time. The solution had to ensure that when they delivered, the destination was location-perfect to meet faster, tighter delivery windows.
“We could not tell customers accurately when their deliveries would take place, especially as we didn’t have an accurate measurement to easily determine the time it would take between customer deliveries,” says William Webb, Operations Executive, Coricraft. “We needed to find a way to manage the drivers to ensure that they adhered to the scheduled routes, stock on the truck was secure and the customer experience was pleasurable.”
Any failures on route resulted in delays further down the line. If a customer wasn’t home or if the driver took longer than planned to find an address, the waiting times then had a knock-on effect until the last customer had waited for far longer than anticipated and the driver kicks into overtime. This often resulted in failed deliveries or high overtime expenditure for teams returning late.
“Those challenges of wasted kilometres and frustrated clients were endemic, further impacted by unknown addresses, failed deliveries and drivers wasting time and fuel driving up and down a road looking for the right place,” says Slotow. “For a company as aspirational and professional as Coricraft, these delays and challenges were impacting on the way customers perceived their service and professionalism.”
Coricraft wanted a white-glove delivery process that was as slick as its in-store experience. It needed the same efficiencies at the point of fulfilment as it had at point of sale. To start, Trackmatic integrated the Coricraft point of sale system into their Address Validation Tool (AVT). This allowed for a dedicated Data Integrity Team at Trackmatic to process the addresses and resolve them into GPS coordinates in real time. Any conflicts of address would be filtered through Google Maps and manually checked by a dedicated Data Integrity Agent who could shift the pin to a more accurate or relevant location, when required.
“A great example of where this level of manual control excels is in gated estates,” explains Slotow. “The delivery entrance could be different from the visitor’s entrance and the vehicle has to then navigate back routes to get to the home. That level of discretion doesn’t come from GPS, it comes from human engagement, intellect and experience. We built an entire Address Validation Tool (AVT) for Coricraft and delivered a highly targeted and elegant solution without any delay in the delivery timeline.”
The AVT solution is cloud-based and fully integrated, taking the address from point of sale to the front door. It provides an incredibly high level of accuracy and has transformed delivery operations. It has also changed the way the drivers engage with technology.
“Getting drivers to take their mobile device into the vehicle and navigate with trust and confidence was a major achievement,” says Slotow. “When the shift happened, it was magic. They felt empowered as they could now resolve issues independently without impacting on operations when there were delays on the customer side. The integrated voice solution allows them to contact customers and let them know they are outside or their estimated time of arrival. Trackmatic’s solution also stores all recordings in the cloud to use in the driver debrief process and in case of any issues. This process of continuous learning and improvement has had a significant and positive impact on results.”
Trackmatic believes in empowering the drivers, providing them with the tools they need to deal with frustrated customers in real time. Using this level of engagement with the customer has meant that drivers can relay issues around damaged items or poorly filled orders and give the customer insight into when these issues will be resolved. This availability of information has seen a significant reduction in customer complaints as most understand that there can be delays, but want these delays communicated clearly and on time.
Creating a platform for real-time engagement and communication has enhanced Coricraft’s relationship with its customers as customers trust that they will be kept informed of the progress of their delivery.
“Coricraft hasn’t done anything differently to achieve this goal, they haven’t changed their manufacturing process or their product range,” adds Slotow. “All it took was them knowing that a customer was unhappy and having a strategy in place to deal with them. This could be as simple as sending out a manager to look at the product or ensuring that any missing items were delivered straight away. This level of customer engagement has made an instant, massive difference.”
Coricraft can better plan and fine-tune deliveries, optimise operations and redefine customer engagement. Each challenge around visibility, communication, control and timing has been addressed using Trackmatic’s innovative and disruptive technology solutions.
“The results speak for themselves,” adds Slotow. “Customers have left positive feedback around the professionalism of the delivery service and Coricraft has grown their deliveries without having to expand on their fleet or their teams. They have created capacity to scale without increasing costs or infrastructure and, as benefits go, that’s one that hits the bottom line.”
The company has seen delivery accuracies increase by 27%, the leave on time by 33%, (while shifting the start time by an hour earlier) return on time by 36% and overtime bills reduced by 15%. In addition, the time to delivery has been reduced from three hours to 32 minutes and there has been an 80% increase in customer service. Even more stats point to significant increases in route efficiency (86%), turnaround adherence time (94%) and a rise from 34 to 43 trucks a day leaving the depots nationally each day.
“We are proud of the work that has been achieved at Coricraft,” says Slotow. “Success does not happen by chance, it takes the right client that is willing to collaborate, experiment and trust us with their business.”
Trackmatic is currently working with Coricraft to expand its solution which includes the Trackmatic Insight analytic dashboards that will give Coricraft the means to measure key performance metrics and provide even more meaningful data for richer last mile and customer delight deliverables.
Schneeberger concludes: “Trackmatic has given us visibility into driver behaviour so we can ensure we are as efficient as we can be in terms of delivering our furniture. Because we have this level of visibility, we can give our customers visibility, and this allows us to proactively engage with them and exceed their expectations.”