ANC Express, UK's top independent express delivery service with more  than 98 million in sales per year, has chosen Carrier Logistics Inc. (CLI) to build a comprehensive state-of-the-art track and trace computer system, using the Progress OpenEdge development and deployment tools. The new ANC system called FOCUS will be used by ANC's 800 users spread over 85 depots handling more than 125,000 pieces of freight per night.

"CLI has created a system designed to keep us at the top in the UK express delivery market," said ANC Group Ltd Chief Executive Officer Mark Gittins. FOCUS is now in the final stages of testing before its implementation across ANC's national network. It provides ANC with a
unique functionality which gives shippers early warning of problems such as congestion or traffic accidents that may delay premium time-sensitive deliveries. A special feature, called Collection Wizard, also enables ANC to more easily collect charges that are reversed or billed to a
third party, normally a big problem for most express carriers.

FOCUS is a management tool that has caused ANC to carefully map out its business processes and update its operating procedures. "The result is a massive improvement in how we process shipments and provide information to our customers," said Henry Rusch, ANC's IT director.

Now ANC depots can get earlier, more comprehensive information on shipments as they travel through the distribution system. Route planning and prioritising premium-timed deliveries can take place hours earlier and help improve productivity and service. "Complete knowledge of all shipments and their status across the network will allow every depot to respond more efficiently to questions," Rusch said. "Not having to re-key data means more accurate information across the shipment process and improved communications with customers."

The FOCUS track and trace technology coupled with ANC's "Pre-Alert" early warning procedures for premium time-sensitive deliveries will put shippers in the driver's seat for managing problems, according to Gittins. "Spending hours tracking parcels is a waste of a shipper's time. So is telling them there's a problem when it's too late. After all, they expect us to do the job right - first time, on time."

However, when something does go wrong, shippers want to know about it as soon as possible and most certainly in advance of their customer. "FOCUS Pre-Alert provides the transparency to enable remedial action to correct a situation before it becomes a customer complaint. CLI is making it possible for us to fully implement our business philosophy of delivering peace of mind to our shippers," said Gittins. "Doing so is not just getting 99% of the job right it's also the comfort gained from communicating an early warning of a potential problem and what corrective action is being taken."

The system will run on the Progress OpenEdge platform, according to Kenneth M. Weinberg, vice president of CLI. "Our partnership with Progress Software was a key factor in CLI's winning this major assignment," said Weinberg. "Progress OpenEdge is unique for its advanced open architecture and flexible, non-proprietary web-enabled software. It has allowed us to tailor our FACTS2000 system and to accommodate differing UK standards where no other platform could. A second factor which made Progress OpenEdge so appealing is its reliability and robustness," Weinberg said. "This system just does not go down and ANC appreciates that."

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