Trailer lessor goes paperless

Xtra Lease deploys Xpress service

Trailer lessor Xtra Lease has deployed a system of handheld computers coupled with Wi-Fi and Internet communications at just over 40 of its 87 U.S. and Canadian branches to offer customers the convenience of receiving customizable email notifications per transaction and electronic rental agreements, as well as a more efficient staff. The company calls the new service Xtra Xpress.

At a press conference at its corporate headquarters earlier this week in St. Louis, Xtra Lease demonstrated that it had converted its inspection forms onto its handhelds, which link wirelessly to the company’s database. After an inspection is completed and signed off on by the driver via a handheld, the driver receives a wallet-sized receipt as the transaction is simultaneously sent to the company’s network. The customer then receives an email notification of the transaction and rental agreement just minutes later. The same information is also archived at Xtra Lease’s website through the customer’s personal account.

This provides customers the piece-of-mind of knowing that documents are available 24/7, legible, and easily transferable, the company said.

Combined with Xtra Lease’s FleetView-equipped trailer tracking systems, Xtra Xpress offers an advanced level of visibility of trailers during transit and interchanges throughout the supply chain, noted the company. Potential hang-ups such as lost trailers or trailer damage between interchanges can be resolved without the customer having to follow or produce a breadcrumb trail of phone calls and faxed documents.

But not only does Xtra Xpress give customers asset visibility on a near-real time basis, it gives Xtra Lease personnel the same benefit, which goes a long way toward improving customer service and operational efficiencies, said the lessor.

For example, Xtra Lease inspectors are able to locate the customer’s trailer instantly within a branch via a handheld. Additionally, the handheld also helps with consistent inspections from branch-to-branch since it eliminates some discrepancies that a paper format allows.

Xtra Lease plans to implement XTra Xpress in all of its U.S. and Canadian branches by summer 2005.

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TAGS: Operations
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