"Automating our supply chain processes with M-Business Anywhere and mobile devices dramatically improved our delivery accuracy. A major benefit of the mobile delivery solution is its ability to easily integrate with our existing back office systems using open standards. This accelerated our time to market and had a positive effect on customer satisfaction."
Vice President of Logistics Technologies
- McKesson created an easy to maintain system to leverage existing back-end systems and infrastructure, letting the company publish delivery information to new Web-based systems.
- Calls for delivery errors dropped to nearly zero
- Imaging costs have been eliminated
- Reduced delivery claims by 30%
- Reduced late and incomplete deliveries
- Management reports are now available to track delivery performance
- Customers can access same day package tracking information
McKesson Corporation, a Fortune 35 corporation, is the world's
largest supply management and healthcare information technology
company. Distribution is a critical component of McKesson's business,
and its pharmaceutical distribution business serves over 30,000
customers through 32 distribution centers with over 2,600 drivers.
McKesson wanted to replace its paper-based delivery process with an
automated system using mobile devices, to improve customer service
levels while reducing costs and improving productivity.
With its paper-based delivery system, McKesson identified several problem areas that needed to be addressed. For example, each day drivers received paper schedules and manifests that listed routes, stops and packages that needed to be delivered that day. At each stop the driver manually marked off the packages from the manifest and then had the customer sign the document to confirm delivery. This system was slow, error prone and resulted in incomplete and inaccurate deliveries.
As a result, McKesson received calls every day related to delivery errors. At the end of each day, the drivers submitted all of the signed manifests. These paper records were then archived in a warehouse or scanned into a document imaging system. This paper-based system was expensive and did not provide an easy way for McKesson to confirm delivery information to customers. In fact, it was sometimes impossible to retrieve the paper proof-of-delivery and McKesson had to write-off the delivery.
Further, the paper-based system did not provide a way for McKesson to audit its processes, track packages and confirm that drivers had indeed delivered their routes accurately and on time. McKesson sought a system that would provide a closed feedback loop and allow the company to track the performance of its drivers and delivery process. This is important because McKesson negotiates rates with its couriers based on delivery performance and could secure more favorable terms if it could prove it was meeting performance targets.
Lastly, McKesson wanted a system that would leverage its existing back-end systems and infrastructure, but would also let the company publish delivery information to new Web-based systems. McKesson also wanted a solution that was easy to maintain and extend.
After a rigorous evaluation of mobile computing solutions, McKesson selected M-Business Anywhere as its preferred solution. McKesson integrated M-Business Anywhere into its existing systems and to run the application on the ruggedized Symbol SPT 1700 Palm OS device. McKesson's drivers are located all over the country – and many do not have continuous access to a wireless network – so the company elected to implement M-Business Anywhere as an offline application that connects to McKesson's systems at the beginning and end of each day. However, there is also the flexibility to use the application in a wireless mode.
Each morning, drivers receive their route information, including stop and manifest information, by synchronizing their mobile devices using M-Business Anywhere. Once a driver arrives at a stop, he/she scans the barcode of each package to reconcile it against the manifest. Then the driver captures an electronic signature as proof-of-delivery. This type of automated manifest reconciliation using barcode scanning and enforced work rules is a much more accurate way of delivering packages than manually checking against a paper document.
For example, M-Business Anywhere will generate a warning message and tone if a driver tries to deliver a package that belongs to another stop. Also, drivers are required to designate any undelivered packages as missing, damaged or refused. With M-Business Anywhere, McKesson has dramatically reduced incomplete and misdirected deliveries. Customer calls for delivery errors have dropped to nearly zero. At the end of each day, drivers synchronize their devices again and upload the delivery information and customer confirmations to McKesson's back-end systems. McKesson can use this information to audit the delivery process with management reports and identify any problem areas. This has increased on-time deliveries and reduced delivery errors.
McKesson has also used this information to negotiate more favorable rates with its couriers, as well as reduce proof of delivery write-offs. McKesson was able to quickly deploy and integrate the solution into its back-end systems. M-Business Anywhere's standards-based architecture allowed McKesson to accomplish this deployment and integration quickly using existing Web based tools. McKesson estimates that M-Business Anywhere helped introduce the product a year earlier than expected.