Hermes UK has announced the next phase of its Digital Futures Strategy. Utilising smart technology, clever use of data, bold innovation and unrivalled industry insight, Digital Futures+ will deliver a range of industry leading services that promote increased personalisation, greater assurance and a ‘best in class’ returns process.
Designed to enable the consumer to take greater control of how they send, receive and return parcels, it is supported by a new app and website. However, in order to ensure that there are no barriers to using Hermes, the company is also introducing ways to access all of its services by phone, for those without access to the internet or a printer.
Key initiatives that will be rolled out this year include: the ability to divert a parcel to a ParcelShop, a locker or another address right up to the time of delivery, in addition to the current options of a safe place or neighbour; the introduction of instant real time notifications about issues such as traffic delays and address queries; and trials for in car delivery. A new ‘My Place’ service will enable customers to upload a photo of where they want their parcel delivered to and geo pin it to a map – particularly useful for hard to locate, large rural properties and/or those with multiple uses and access.
Developing a ‘best in class returns’ solution is also a key focus and Hermes is committed to offering the widest range of convenient and easily accessible options, including collection by courier or return to a ParcelShop or a locker.
Hermes’ retail clients will soon have the option of not including a returns label in the parcel but instead the end consumer will be able to easily generate a QR code that can be used to quickly print one at home or at a ParcelShop. Monitoring stock levels and processing refunds will also be made easier and quicker as a result of another initiative that will invite customers to log online which specific items they are returning in real time.
Martijn de Lange, CEO at Hermes UK, said: “Our Digital Futures Strategy is designed to support the company’s mission to become the UK’s carrier of choice by 2021 and builds on our continuing development, which has seen double digit growth for the past six years. It will deliver true value to our retail customers and further enhance the delivery experience for everyone.”
Hermes installs specialist £1m carousel system
Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist, has further enhanced capacity and operational efficiency at its Midlands Super Hub in Rugby by installing a new bespoke semi-automated carousel system. The innovative equipment - the result of a seven-figure investment - has been specifically designed and built to process larger packages and incorporates specialist auto-scanning and profiling functionality.
The carousel system replaces a number of manual lines and is capable of processing up to 4,000 items per hour to over 60 destinations. The system has two automatic infeeds, which are directly fed from boom conveyors, and two manual infeeds, all of which can handle bulky items up to 2m in length, 1.2m in width and weighing up to 50kg. This significant investment ensures that the hub’s overall capacity is now well in excess of one million parcels per day.
Each of the four infeeds onto the main carousel incorporate the latest scanning, volumetric and weighing technologies that identify and accurately profile the packages. Automatic checks are carried out on each parcel to ensure they have been correctly labelled before being transferred onto the carousel itself.
The 270,000sq ft hub - which is thebiggest of its kind in the UK- opened in the summer of 2017 and initially increased the company’s overall parcel processing capacity by 45%, whilst also creating more than 100 jobs. It played a key role in Hermes most successful peak season to date at the end of last year.
Chris Barrett, Head of Engineering, Facilities and Estates, said: “This is one of the first systems in the UK to incorporate an auto-scanning and profiling functionality onto a high-speed carousel system. Whether it is a curtain pole, ironing board or a set of golf clubs, the carousel is able to streamline the movement of all our bulky items, which will boost our productivity by over 30%. It will also improve the visibility and tracking of parcels, which is an obvious benefit for our clients.”