BT’s supply chain business, Final Mile, which uses smart, secure delivery lockers to speed up the performance of field engineering teams, has achieved a major milestone by making the service available from 1,000 sites nationwide.
Following a number of customer contract wins, 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 the Internet of Things (IoT).
By positioning the lockers within the grounds of its 5,000 strategic sites around the country, BT aims to help organisations with large field engineering teams become more efficient, by reducing the distances engineers need to travel to collect essential equipment and spare parts.
To keep the sites secure, each unit is accessed via a unique code which is associated with specific users, drivers and parcels. And, with each unit featuring IoT sensors and a secure, low power mobile connection, businesses benefit from a ‘track and trace’ service and gain full visibility of their inventory of stock at any given time.
The service has helped BT to solve a key logistics challenge for one of its biggest customers, EDF Energy. The company has been using the lockers and boxes to assist 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.
Steve Maddison, general manager of Final Mile at BT, said: “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.
“BT’s Final Mile service offers a flexible model which makes life easier for engineers, improves customer service and reduces costs.
“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 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.
By reducing the amount of time engineers spend on the road, Final Mile also helps organisations to reduce their fuel costs and total carbon emissions, creating greener, more sustainable businesses, it said.
BT has created a centre of excellence within its Enterprise business which is dedicated to bringing innovative IoT solutions to market using its expertise in devices, connectivity and platforms.
The Final Mile service, it says, is an example of how BT is rolling out IoT based services across the utilities, transport, logistics, retail and smart cities sectors.