BT deploys 1,000 IoT-based smart lockers across the UK
The smart lockers allow firms with large field engineering teams to gain more efficiency
BT’s supply chain business, Final Mile, said that it has deployed 1,000 smart delivery lockers across the UK.
Following a number of customer contract wins, the U.K. carrier said that the business has quadrupled its sales force and more than doubled the number of BT sites which support the service since its launch at the end of 2016.
BT’s Final Mile service is a nationwide network of secure lockers and boxes which are enabled by internet of things technology. With the IoT-based smart lockers, BT says it can help organizations with large field engineering teams become more efficient, by reducing the distances engineers need to travel to collect essential equipment and spare parts.
By using the lockers and boxes as intermediary stock locations, businesses can drive efficiencies throughout their supply chain, allowing them to serve their customers more rapidly, boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty, BT added.
The operator noted that each smart locker is accessed via a unique code which is associated with specific users, drivers and parcels. Each unit also features IoT sensors and a low-power mobile connection.
Utility firm EDF Energy is one of BT’s key customers in this segment. The company has been using the lockers and boxes to assist with its nationwide rollout of smart meters. More than 1,000 of its engineers are trained to use the solution, allowing them to collect or drop off parts at 500 sites across the UK.
“We know from our experiences with our own field service engineers, as well as our external customers, that fast, reliable delivery of parts and equipment is critical to customer service,” said Steve Maddison, general manager for Final Mile. He added that the service “offers a flexible model which makes life easier for engineers, improves customer service and reduces costs.
“We know Final Mile works because we’ve tested it with one of the largest field engineering workforces in the UK – our own,” Maddison added. “Final Mile is completely flexible. You can use our sites, put boxes and lockers on your sites, or opt for a combination of both.”
BT says has reduced the travel time of its engineers by as much as one and a half hours a day in some cases, with 97% of its engineers able to collect spare parts from sites located within just 15 minutes from their home.
Telefonica inks collaboration agreement with Geprom
In related news, Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica has announced a collaboration agreement with engineering company Geprom Connecting Industries to work together on digitising production, maintenance and logistics processes in Spanish factories.
Under the deal, Geprom and the carrier’s B2B unit Telefonica Empresas will apply newly-developed technologies to industrial processes and assets with a view to increasing productivity, reducing costs, boosting real time visibility and transparency as well as improving quality management.