While throughout the world English has become the common language, allowing communications between diverse nations and cultures, in the British logistics industry Polish and other Central European languages are becoming the effective Lingua Franca of drivers and distribution service.
Recognising this fact and the problems it brings for management, CarrierNetOnline (CNO) (www.carriernet.co.uk) has introduced a unique SMS alerting service as part of its online software service for UK logistics and transport companies. CNO is a software service provided by UK company Deltion (www.deltion.co.uk ). Piyush Shah, CEO of Deltion, says that logistics software solutions providers need to address the very real, if apparently small, problems that their customers face in day-to-day operations.
Since the ten Accession States joined the EU we have seen many transport and logistics companies in the UK employing Central European drivers, in particular from Poland, Mr Shah said. There is too much danger of a simple misunderstanding in languages leading to a customer service failure. We therefore decided to offer this facility as standard to all CNO users.
It is essential to communicate with drivers easily according to CNO Operations Director, Ted Horton. The number of foreign drivers is increasing year by year to meet the long term acute shortage problems faced by British industry, Mr Horton said. We believe that proactive problem resolution is essential and these driver-language SMS messages are in fact the final stage in pro-active problem resolution.
CNO users can track the drivers progress and be made aware of any potential or actual problems and then to communicate with that driver at the click of a button. The manifest is available on the drivers mobile phone or PDA and he can transmit PoDs on a mobile, including any problems such as delays, damages or shortfalls.
There is a list of the most common phrases between transport managers and drivers and the manager chooses the English phrase from a pull down menu and sends it to the driver. The system automatically transmits the correct language version to the driver, based on his system profile. The messaging is 100% configurable and therefore companies can add as many messages as they like.
A common message such as Please attempt to redeliver by 5pm today, translates on the SMS, without the foreign character accents which are not available, as:
Prosze sprobowac ponownie dostarczyc dzisiaj przed 17:00
Like all new services on CNO there is no charge for development, and no capital investment is needed. It is a pay-as-you go service offering functionality normally only available to major 3PLs who invest millions in development or software licence fees, Mr. Shah added.