NetDespatch equips Amtrak with online shipping

NetDespatch has supplied an advanced web-based shipping system to leading express parcel company Amtrak. The online despatch service gives Amtrak's customers an easy way to book, label and track their shipments by simply connecting to the web. The facility allows convenient online booking for any Amtrak customer, irrespective of volumes.

The new service will eventually replace Amtrak's own PC based InTouch system. This is presently used by over a thousand customers who ship high volumes and handles 30% of the current Amtrak volume. Since the new service offers such a simple way of booking and is so easily accessible, Amtrak anticipate that it will quickly become the norm.

Bookings made by Amtrak's customers using NetDespatch are immediately available to Amtrak's depot network so collections and deliveries can be planned in 'real time'. It will help to eliminate hand written consignment notes, manifests and labels - which are time consuming and prone to errors. New automated processing will address-check, generate bar coded labels on the spot, and synchronise immediately with Amtrak's central systems.

Amtrak has been looking at updating their system over the past 3 years and NetDespatch was selected after the success of the Amtrak OnLine Collections service, also provided by NetDespatch. Amtrak wanted to move away from providing computer equipment to its clients and the collections system had shown how web services could actually eliminate all the costs and headaches of such systems.

We are pleased that we did not rush through a new system earlier as we wanted to get the solution 100% right. This is the day-to-day method of communication between us and our customers and it is vitally important for customer service. We wanted to be sure we provided the very best solution; one that was quick and easy to use. NetDespatch is spot on when it comes to meeting this requirement" says Joe Dudley, Amtrak's Business Services Manager.

As well as enhancing customer service, Amtrak foresee many other significant benefits that can be gained from the NetDespatch web services. "With NetDespatch, we can implement a network and customer wide solution with very affordable incremental costs. Since it is hosted it is not physically replacing anything and we are always kept at the forefront of technological innovation as we are buying into an evolving service, not just a software product. It also makes any of our own updates, such as post code and service code, very simple as one update on the server automatically feeds out to everyone" comments Dudley.

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