Technology and integration future-proof the supply chain.
2020 has, without a doubt, been a year like no other. With remote working becoming the norm, the Office of National Statistics confirmed that in April this year 46.6% of people employed did some work at home and of these 86% did so as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.*
Often discouraged and considered an opportunity to ‘to take their foot off the pedal’ by companies, employers had no choice but to trust employees to work from home. Online meetings and catch-ups became the everyday way of communicating with customers and clients as COVID overnight changed how we did business.
Fargo Systems director, Steve Collins says: “Interestingly research from the BBC shows that 50 of the biggest UK employers have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time any time soon.** This is a situation that would have been unthinkable less than a year ago.
“However, the positive benefits of remote access working are the cornerstones of our TOPS technology. From our Cloud TOPS platform, which makes it easy for people to connect and work from wherever they are, from TOPS…on the go, TOPS ePOD to TOPS Anywhere. The TOPS Anywhere App provides a solution to the transport operator to easily view information on live jobs to service queries from a customer or a driver perspective.”
To help support the industry during the lockdown period, Fargo Systems decided to suspend TOPS ePOD billing for the quarter of April, May, and June. Steve says: “It was a small gesture to the industry, and we hope that it went some way to assisting companies in tricky times and helped in their transition to a safe and paper-free delivery process.”
He continues: “During these uncertain times what has become apparent is that companies are keener than ever to find smarter ways of working to help their business thrive. It stands to reason that logistics firms with robust technological capabilities, that allows them to move data around the supply chain seamlessly are at an advantage now and in the future.”
Grays based Evolution Connection is one such company. Having come on board as a Fargo Systems client in November 2020, Evolution Connection has invested in TOPS and TOPS…on the go. Ricky Fernando, managing director of Evolution Connection, says: “Covid reinforced our need to invest in a transport management system. Now, we can electronically send delivery instructions, receive status updates, track our vehicles, and seamlessly capture PODS by the camera capture or on-screen signature functionality, both of which upload back to TOPS. We are now the most efficient we’ve ever been.”
Fargo’s logistics software has also been instrumental in helping customers grow their business during these COVID times. TOPS’ user VKVP Haulage has recently expanded its use of Fargo’s technology from nine users to 14. Operations director Mark Bennett explains the advantages TOPS brings to his company: “Since using TOPS transport management system, our operational visibility and efficiency has allowed us to take our business to the next level.
Mark elaborates: “Since implementing TOPS in October 2017, we have been able to develop our fleet investment programme and steadily increase our organisation. We are now in the best position possible and fully prepared to meet industry challenges head-on, now and in the future.”
Steve Collins continues: “Of our long-standing clients, Macintyre Transport epitomises the benefits of remote access technologies and the efficiencies achieved through embracing TOPS.”
Having adopted TOPS 11 years ago, 2019 saw the company roll-out the latest version of TOPS… on the go across its 215 strong fleet. Piers Kilfoyle, operations manager of the Suffolk-based logistics company, explains. “Last year’s roll-out was a six-figure sum investment for us. Our aim was for TOPS…on the go to create a totally paperless process, from start to finish, and to work seamlessly across our five depots. A year on and the technology has exceeded our expectations on every level. We were hoping it was going to be gamechanger, but in today’s global marketplace, it’s a business essential.”
Steve continues: “COVID is going to change our everyday normal for some time to come but looking to the future we’re in a good position. With companies increasingly understanding that remote integration is a ubiquitous component of the logistics sector; our job is to reassure them of the robustness of the technology and how it delivers total transparency, reliability, and confidence to their customers.”