Roberts Express and IBM Build a Java-Based Delivery Tracking Solution to Guarantee Customer Satisfaction

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SAN FRANCISCO - 24 Mar 1998: . . . Roberts Express, a transportation company specializing in time-critical shipments, has built a Java**-based customer service application to provide shipment tracking services for deliveries anywhere in the continental United States.

The company is extremely focused on customer satisfaction, and it guarantees prompt and reliable service within a 15-minute window from the quoted delivery time. The Java-based call center application gives Roberts Express' customer service representatives a new tool for keeping customers up-to-speed on the status of their critical shipments. The company ships goods ranging from Christmas cards for President Clinton to toys and strollers for the weekly sitcom 'Mad About You'.

The application provides critical information to the service representatives on factors that can impede timely package delivery. This could include closed roads, severe weather, truck break-downs or traffic. Armed with this information, the service representative can immediately notify the customer to discuss alternative delivery options, from having the package shipped via air freight, to re-routing the shipment on the ground.

The application provides critical information to service agents, allowing them to continually monitor shipments and ensure on-time delivery. The "Shipment Exception Monitor," for example, displays every shipment in progress in the agent's area. At each stage, such as at pickup or en route to delivery, a color code is displayed on screen. Green means the shipment is on time, red means it's running late, and yellow means it's in danger of being late. This allows agents to respond immediately when they see a red or yellow code, notifying the customer and taking action to get the shipment back on schedule.

"Roberts Express is a company that has the customer's best interest top of mind for every delivery," says Joe Greulich, MIS director, Roberts Express. "Our new call center application will enable our employees to work faster and smarter with access to information that could delay delivery of any shipment. Collaborating with IBM on this project helped pool resources to develop our exciting Java-based application."

A Total e-business Solution

The call center application was built using a combination of products and services from IBM's e-business portfolio. VisualAge for Java*, IBM's premier Java development environment, helped to build the Shipment Exception Monitor applet. The service representatives view the application from an IBM Network Station* Series 1000, a Java-enabled network computer for running business-critical applications. Lotus Domino*, a Web application server that creates secure, interactive business solutions for the Internet and corporate intranets, provides electronic mail and discussion database capabilities.

IBM's TecTeam, a team of highly skilled consultants specializing in VisualAge instruction, provided Java and object-oriented training to the Roberts Express developers. IBM Global Services provided the architecture, project management and planning, Domino development and installation services to integrate the complete business solution.

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