Building a New Load Management System
A division of Bank and Vogue Holdings, Bank & Vogue Limited (BVL) buys, sells, and transports quality used goods including clothing, shoes, books, toys, and household bric-a-brac. We’ve worked with BVL for many years on a number of large projects: they turn to silenceIT for all of their web design, web marketing, and back-office automation needs.
This particular project was a complex challenge and crucial to BVL’s logistics services. The company ships used goods in bulk across North America and to countries around the world. A key component of its service is BVL’s cost-saving ability to efficiently load trailers and containers for transport. Prior to this project, BVL had used a paper-based system built on MS Access using Excel spreadsheets.
The system created as many issues at it resolved: Access licensing was prohibitively expensive, and loads required 10 printed sheets of documentation that could only be stored afterward in binders. Such documentation must be kept, by law, for several years – and the paperwork was accumulating at alarming levels.
Strictly following the Agile development methodology, silenceIT rolled out components of a modified SugarCRM solution to integrate, one at a time, into BVL’s workflow. We watched carefully for workflow improvements, and then added new integrations to the highly structured prototype environment.
Most of BVL’s customers work by fax only to issue signed purchase orders. silenceIT first implemented a fax-to-email system that instantly reduced BVL’s mountains of print. Next, we added a digital audit trail to each load with strong workflow rules imposed throughout the system. It’s a five-stage process, from initial lead to finished load, and operators cannot progress to the next stage until their current documentation requirements are satisfied.
Today, BVL and its customers enjoy increased efficiency from the new solution. It automatically stores digital load documents, with full back-end (and, soon to be rolled out, front-end) search on shipment information. BVL service agents can easily contact their customers with click-to-call via VoIP; and if customers call them, pop-up windows recognize the inbound number and display full account details and current loads, vastly reducing service call time. An inline document viewer and privilege-based user system mean the new BVL solution can be used at any point in the delivery chain, from sales and support through to the originating and destination warehouses.