Kris Hignight, a software specialist at roofing supply company SRS Distribution, and Brad Bradley, enterprise account manager for logistics software provider Descartes, describe how their companies’ partnership enhanced customer satisfaction.
SCB: Kris, let's talk about the company itself for just a moment. What is the space it operates in?
Hignight: SRS Distribution is a roofing distributor. We've been in business for about 10 years now. We're the third-largest roofing distributor in the U.S. We're a privately held company, and we take orders from our contractors and deliver that material to job sites.
SCB: Describe the decision-making process that led you to implement routing, mobile and telematics technology from Descartes. What was the situation before that partnership, and what led you to decide to employ that type of technology?
Hignight: We were a fast growing-company with a fleet of privately held trucks. We wanted to make sure that we knew what those trucks were doing and where they were, and also in anticipation of Hours of Service [compliance]. We started implementing Descartes about six years ago, starting with the telematics side of things. We had routing, but it wasn't really a focus until about two years ago. And then we've just moved up as our company has expanded.
Bradley: SRS sells their products to contractors that are going to re-do a roof. Those contractors want to know, “When's my product going to get there? Is my product going to be there on time? Did all of the product get delivered?” To enable that, you really need a mobile application, with the GPS signal, to let you know when the product's going to get there, if it's going to get there on time, ahead of schedule, or behind schedule — and with pictures showing that I did deliver all the product to you. That's one of the main driving needs that SRS has from a customer experience perspective.
SCB: Would you say their operation has been transformed with implementation of your solution?
Bradley: Yeah, it's been totally transformed. They have proactive notifications. As an example, if you're a contractor, you're on the job site 7:00 a.m., you've got a crew, you want to make sure your material's going to get there, because you have to pay these guys hourly whether the product's there or not. We'll do a proactive notification like, "Hey, we'll be there in 30 minutes."
What SRS has done, also, with their own technology, is they built their own customer-facing mobile app called Roof Hub. They'll take the GPS signal in there, and they give them Uber-style tracking, so that the contracting manager can say, "Oh, it's going to be here in seven minutes." So they get that level of comfort, to know that they're going to be able to hit the ground running with their product.
Another example is after we do the delivery, they'll take pictures with our MobileLink application. We'll get signatures, and all that information will be put into a proof-of-delivery receipt. That gets automatically sent to the contracting manager to say, "Hey, we did deliver everything, complete order, on time, signatures, pictures," and they give them all the proof, so that way they're comfortable to know that they received everything that they were supposed to.
SCB: When you look at the investment SRS has made in this technology, has it in fact benefited or improved the customer satisfaction experience?
Hignight: Definitely so. In the roofing/building industry, the technology has always been about 20 years behind everywhere else, so we are thinking ahead and trying to step forward and improve the customer reactions that we have. We're able to take that information that Descartes has provided, both on the telematics side and on our MobileLink side. We can supply electronic PODs to our customers. Once those deliveries have been made, that allows them to have photos and signatures that are captured.
We also take that information and dump that into our own internal data warehouse, and have built some apps with that. Roof Hub is a customer-facing app that takes that information directly from MobileLink, and our customers are able to see deliveries real time, when they're routed and on their way, with a map and the trucks going. We can also see live photos as soon as they've been submitted by the driver, and we're able to pull all that information directly into our Roof Hub app for our customers.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.