Transport & Service Organization Improves Deliveries with Zebra
Iceland Post is a transport and service organisation responsible for deliveries across the country. The corporation has a national presence in Iceland. Apart from post offices and postal depots, there are a number of service warehouses and countryside postal services which operate in remote parts of the country. Iceland Post has two sorting and distribution centres – one in Reykjavik and one in Akureyri. There are 83 offices around Iceland, and 440,000 daily deliveries. At the heart of the company is its technical engagement to ensure it is able to meet its customers' changing demands.
The organisation has seen significant improvement in its deliveries, through the automation of postal management and track and trace abilities as a consequence of using Zebra printers and barcode labels.
Previously Iceland Post had to manage a significant part of its post and parcel management manually. One of the main goals of the project was to make this process more efficient, while at the same time increase tracking abilities of deliveries, something that previously could only be done with registered mail. To become more customer-focused, the organisation required a solution that automated certain work processes.
"Iceland Post had a solution which required manual stamping for postage and was only able to track registered mail. To become more proactive towards its customer needs, Iceland Post chose to strengthen its position on the market with the help of Zebra's printing technology," said Clive Fearn, Vertical Marketing Manager, Zebra Technologies Europe.
The organisation's previous solution made it hard for staff to do their job quickly and efficiently. The printers used for the 'Post Assistant' broke down regularly and only had a life expectancy of about two years.
The Zebra applications chosen can be divided into three areas; sorting and distribution applications, applications in the post offices, and business post applications. Sorting and distribution applications include solutions for labelling of postbags, sorting trays, routing labels for local deliveries and shipping labels for parcels.
"The labels identify air mail, surface mail and international mail, and all the applications we use include barcodes for easy tracking," said Olafur Thorsteinsson, Information Officer at Iceland Post. "It helps us to be more efficient and streamline our processes, but at the same time it also improves the flow of post through our distribution channels."
Zebra LP 2844 printers were installed in every post office in Iceland during 2006. With the printers, the post offices can easily print out barcoded postage labels, making it possible to phase out the manual routines in postage management used previously. Label information on value and delivery number is included on the barcode. This has led to advantages in efficiency, time and comfort, both for consumers and employees of Iceland Post. LP 2844 printers are also fully integrated with SAP – which makes it possible to track deliveries.
One of the advantages of using Zebra printers are that they are stable and can run day and night without any interruption," said Jón Sæevar, Sales Manager at Gagnatækni, Zebra's Icelandic partner. "The installation of the printers and their applications has also been very smooth, and the printers need minimal support."
For business post users, Iceland Post has its own software and hardware solution, which makes it possible for corporations to produce their own labels for post and parcel. The 'Post Assistant' has over 300 customers using this system so far. Interested business users are offered a LP 2844 and can print labels themselves.
"We still have ten-year-old printers that work perfectly. There have been very few problems with the printers overall and we prefer to stay with one supplier for increased flexibility," said Olafur Thorsteinsson, Information Officer at Iceland Post.
These new processes have led to better routines in book keeping and internal control for Iceland Post. All post and parcels sent are now registered electronically enabling the tracking of post and parcels being sent, as well as tracking exactly when it reaches the recipient. Thanks to a customer facing application, stamping and parcel management is easier and more efficient, which saves time and simplifies work for both customers and employees alike.