Itasca, IL-based global freight forwarder Seko is now using a new voice-based automated delivery notification system in a joint effort with Omaha, NE-based Prairie Systems aimed at reducing the time spent notifying customers of booked shipments and on-hand destination arrivals.
“Our personnel often spend substantial amounts of time and revenue scheduling freight delivery appointments manually,” said Randy Barnett, director of telecommunications for Seko. “Leaving messages with requests for the customer to call back adds up to lost time, lost revenues and lost productivity. With the Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology offered by our new notification system, these calls can now be placed electronically and messages left without manual intervention.
“Many hours can also be spent attempting to reach the consignee to arrange a delivery time,” said Barnett. “The objective of TTS is to have the system make the initial call to the customer and with some built-in intelligence, recognize whether a person or an answering machine answers the call.”
He noted that the initial phase consists of two types of calls: the Booked Notification, where an automated message lets the consignee know their freight has left the origin and they should expect a call within a few days to set up delivery date and time; and the On Hand Notification, a call made to notify the consignee of arrival at destination.
“From this point, a delivery time can be scheduled by either connecting directly to the destination office or by having the consignee call back at his or her convenience,” Barnett noted.