What3Words and Logistics – How we are using tech to make quoting simpler and jobs run more smoothly.

Back in the summer of 2019 (a distant memory we know) our MD Damian was discussing transport and logistics problems whilst on a family break

  1. He is allowed holidays sometimes
  2. Yes… he does still talk transport when he is away!

Anyway, this particular conversation with an interested holidaymaker led to a chat about a ‘cool’ new thing called What3Words.

If you dont yet know about What3Words it is described by the founders as

what3words is a really simple way to talk about location.

We have assigned each 3m square in the world a unique 3 word address that will never change.

For example ///filled.count.soap marks the

 exact entrance to what3words’ London headquarters.

3 word addresses are easy to say and share, and are as accurate as GPS coordinates.

51.520847, -0.19552100 ←→ /// filled.count.soap

Our vision is to become a global standard for communicating location. People use what3words to find their tents at festivals, navigate to B&Bs, and to direct emergency services to the right place.

At Sussex Transport we do like to try and stay ahead of the curve in terms of the use of technology in haulage and logistics (as best we can of course).  And once the conversation was over and even before returning home Damian set our Marketing function a task to see if we can incorporate this into our teams daily lives.

w3w-transport-Haulage-Quote-toolThe simplest start was for the planners to start using it to describe locations to drivers.  Entrances to buildings that were not the same as the physical adddress, loading bays for example.  Locations to offload goods in car parks or on fields.  All very useful stuff.

We operate a fleet of lorry loader, hiab and crane vehicles, as well as moffett mounted forklift trucks which are continually lifting items from and onto sites across the UK. Sussex Transport also provide Storage and Shipping Container hire and sales through ST Containers. And with so many large items being moved on and off site on a daily basis we  set about digging into the What3Words API to develop a tool to help us all (internal staff and you, our customers).

Of course you can use Google maps, plenty of phone calls, interpretations and annotations. You get drawings and mockups, and instructions like ‘just over that wall’. But that can and does lead to confusion, especially as the instructions often filter through multiple contacts before the driver finally gets to the destination.

As a result, in early November we created and launched a web-based quoting tool that allows our customers and prospects to run through a quote request and at the same time precisely advise the planning team of collection and delivery locations as well as upload additional images and files.

visit quote.sussextransport.com to test it for yourself.

This gives you, internal lifting and internal planning teams matching information and exact locations that can be seen and agreed by all before the job takes place.

“We have tested the tool over the last couple of months and are very pleased with the way it is working” confirms Nic Pulford (Operations Director). “Removing many of the risks associated with locations on certain sites coupled with the more accurate delivery point data has massively helped streamline the process. Some of our regular clients now don’t even need to be onsite when we deliver. They know we’ll be placing the units in the right place. Technology is so important to us and something we enjoy developing and investing in”.

So next time you have a job you want Sussex Transport to quote on simply visit quote.sussextransport.com to send us your details.

 

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