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Issue of July 2006 

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Technology for improving customer satisfaction levels

Malcolm Monteiro

Having a balance of technology and business savvy is critical for any organisation. This is the belief that powers Malcolm Monteiro, the MD of Blue Dart Express, as he takes the company to new heights.

It is essential to ensure that technology is developed to address the business needs of the customer, and that many solutions are available. This synergy is needed to maximise business potential.

Having a balance of technology and business savvy is critical for any organisation as IT increasingly takes a leading role in enabling productivity in business. This is why IT heads in companies are today also involved in strategic planning.

Technology in the logistics industry

Technology is integral to logistics for critical information and sophisticated decision-support tools. This is why technology development has been an integral part of our business plan since inception.

We had realised earlier on itself that technology would be crucial in helping us to access information in real-time and to provide increased connectivity for both the business and its customers. Consequently, our in-house team has been developing solutions for 15 years.

As early as 1988 we introduced an online track and trace system for international shipments. Blue Dart is the first, and, to date, only company which provides an integrated surface and air network.

This synergy has been complemented by technology as an aid. Blue Dart has incorporated technology which provides a range of solutions based on the user and his mode of trans-shipment. The technology gives a 360-degree solutions package to the customer and gives us a platform to offer a range of services to the customer.

Ensuring the right contribution

It is essential to have synergy between business and technology units when it comes to choosing the right technology for a business need. This is precisely why at Blue Dart we have an integrated system where our business and technology units brainstorm together before the implementation of any new technology.

Technology can also play a crucial role in improving customer satisfaction levels. This is possible only if there are processes and tools in place to measure customer satisfaction.

We get quarterly market research done by an external agency to gauge customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy

In our case we get quarterly market research done by an external agency to gauge customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Gaps thrown up are worked upon determinedly till they are addressed. We have complaint monitors so that issues are escalated till they are closed. Customer touch points are monitored for feedback by an external agency. All this results in creating infrastructure and processes that best serve the customer.

A technological edge

Technology plays a crucial role in streamlining operations when goods are shipped. The customer can get real-time information on his shipments by logging on to the Blue Dart site and entering his way bill number.

The information is stored on a server which our systems access. The customer can get the status of the shipment by using TrackDart.

It is essential that all channels of communication are utilised and continuously improved to ensure customer satisfaction. This is why we have recently launched an upgraded version of Mobile Dart, a unique SMS-based service that enables customers to track their shipments via SMS from anywhere in the country.

6767 is a short code to which customers can send an SMS to query the status of their shipments from anywhere in the country. This value-added service is free of cost and requires no registration. Customers can avail of these services in two ways. First, to know the current status of their package, they have to type T along with the airway bill number on their mobile phones and send an SMS to 6767 (eg: T 123456789). Second, for status of delivery, they have to type I with the airway bill number (I 123456789).

Blue Dart's Tech Backbone
Some of the technologies that are used by Blue Dart to streamline and maximise its operational efficiencies:

  • Application and ERP systems like COSMAT II, SMART and SENTOR.
  • Complaint and security management systems like CARESS and SHEILD.
  • Supply Chain Management Systems like WMS (Warehouse Management System).
  • Tracking Tools for B2B, B2C and C2C solutions like ShopTrack, PackTrack, ShipDart and ImageDart.
  • Pick-up and Track Web-based tools like TrackDart, InternetDart, MailDart and MobileDart.

About the company
Blue Dart is one of South Asia’s leading courier and integrated air express package distribution companies. The organisation offers delivery of consignments to over 14,000 locations in India and 220 countries worldwide (through a sales alliance with DHL).

The company uses indigenously-developed technology for track and trace, MIS, ERP, customer service, space control and reservations. It also has e-commerce B2B and B2C initiatives, including partnerships with some of the leading Indian portals.

Guiding the future

Technology is crucial when it comes to determining how Blue Dart will progress. Current market dynamics will call for increased developments in technology as our reach expands.

Blue Dart has invested extensively in technology infrastructure to create differentiated delivery capabilities, quality services, and customised solutions for the client, and will continue to do so. New technologies will be introduced and existing ones will be upgraded to improve customer service.

— As told to Anil Patrick R in an e-mail conversation

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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