We can now do a better job of supporting the Nintendo business process. We record who received the package, not just who was supposed to receive it. We are saving the 40-plus hours a week we used to spend following up on lost packages and status requests. Now we are like the Maytag repairman. The phone never rings.
—Jim Hunt, Receiving Manager
Facts at a Glance:
- Industry: Consumer high-tech product development, distribution, and support
- Functional Area: Package and high-value mail receiving and delivery
- Solution: Vuetura engineers employed VueturaTrac™ on two PC’s and one SQL server to receive parcels. Symbol SPT1700 mobile computers were configured to track parcels traveling through the enterprise and to collect final delivery information and electronic signatures. Parcel data is acquired at the beginning of the receiving process, all metrics and reporting data is instantly accessible via the VueturaTrac reporting module.
- Benefits:100% reduction in lost parcels
Nintendo of America’s Corporate Receiving Center was receiving approximately 200 white mail and package parcels each day, delivered by various carriers. Receiving personnel must copy the carriers’ name, service level, and tracking numbers to a paper manifest sheet. Routing information for each package must be looked up in a hard-copy ‘phone book’, or recalled from the receiving clerk’s memory. Routing information was hand-written directly on each parcel. The process took approximately 42 seconds per package or two or more hours each day.
After receiving and logging, parcels were staged for delivery to approximately 900 employees in 2 buildings. When delivered, recipients were required to sign the hand-written manifest sheet. The delivery process took up to two hours a day.
Manifest sheets were returned to the receiving department and filed in one of many file cabinets for future reference. Paperwork and filing averaged 6 hours per month.
Receiving staff responded to Nintendo employees’ inquiries as to parcel delivery status, throughout the day. This customer service was time-consuming and often incomplete. When asked for tracking information or proof of delivery, receiving personnel must sort through filed manifest sheets in an attempt to find delivery information. Many resolution attempts were unproductive due to transcription errors, illegible handwriting or missing manifest sheets.
Employees called daily about misplaced packages. One to five packages were being lost weekly.
An automated computer-based receiving and tracking system was the priority for Nintendo. Primary requirements included: quick payback, ease of use, robust performance, and excellent customer service.
Vuetura consultants designed a VueturaTrac configuration to automate the receiving and delivery of 200 parcels each day to two buildings. Three primary workstation PCs were configured with VueturaTrac client software and inline scales. VueturaTrac report modules and clients were installed on administrative desktops. The Vuetura Web Tracker website was made available to all Nintendo employees.
Nintendo and Vuetura set up the automated capture of Nintendo’s external employee database every morning. This established a timely and accurate employee locator feed for routing parcels to employees with Nintendo and eliminated the need to enter data into a separate VueturaTrac email directory. On the first day of live operation, Nintendo personnel received and routed items at an average rate of 11 seconds per parcel compared with 42 seconds before.
Nintendo uses VueturaTrac exclusively to receive and track packages throughout their campus and offices located in the area; expanding the VueturaTrac Solution as they added new buildings and sites over the years. Receiving clerks at each location scan packages and the carrier label bar-code information is automatically recorded by VueturaTrac. Next, a unique bar coded ID tag gets applied to the package, and it is staged and delivered. Recipients sign their name on a handheld mobile computer, and the digital signature is saved. Little of this requires a keyboard—most entry is either barcode or selections made from preconfigured drop-down menus.
Nintendo employees now perform their search for parcels using WebTrac on the Nintendo intranet, nearly eliminating customer service calls to the receiving department. Queries that do come into the receiving department get researched online, usually while still on the phone.
Nintendo now delivers all of a day’s packages directly to the recipients, spread out on their corporate campus in under 40 minutes. Customer service calls have been reduced to 2-3 per month instead of 2-3 per day, and instead of 15 to 20 minutes per call, only 3 minutes are taken up. After adding two new sites, the receiving team has only four employees and the lost package count averages zero per month.
“We were spending 40 hours per week handling customer service issues. Most of the other departments viewed the receiving personnel as incompetent.”
—Receiving Manager, NOA
Feedback from Nintendo receiving personnel and employees/customers is very positive. Since implementation, no parcels have been lost. Since installing VueturaTrac customer service, handling time and delivery have drastically reduced. And VueturaTrac eliminated 100% of the paper previously required for parcel tracking. The system paid for itself in only nine months of use.