EU legislative framework aims to ensure the welfare of live animals during transport. You must take care to avoid injury and undue suffering of the animals, following specified requirements. This includes fitness of the animals, loading densities, journey and resting times, availability of water and food, transport organisation and requirements that the driver must meet.
Your customers expect their hauliers to meet those obligations. Failure to do so can lead to hefty fines, which vary across member states, from €25,000 in Germany to €2,000 – €13,000 in Denmark¹. The damage to a haulier’s reputation puts their business in jeopardy, with customers pulling their business to look for responsible transporters.
And that’s where you come in.
Considerations in customer service
Customer service is everything in any industry, but nowhere is it more difficult to deliver than in livestock transportation. When you’re dealing with live cargo, planning takes on a higher level of complexity, making it harder to meet, let alone exceed, customer expectations. The welfare of the animals is paramount. And then, your planning must align with the production schedule of the abattoir or if transporting for breeding, you have to meet narrow time windows for accessing farms.
Even before you reach those stages, there are a thousand and one details to attend to, from taking into account truck capacity to the order of pick ups you should follow. And of course, the criteria you’re tasked with changes throughout the day. Late collections are all too common, which throws the customers off schedule for their day.
Excellent customer service is seamless
It’s valuing your customers’ time, and demonstrating that by following through on agreed times, no matter how difficult and intensive the planning. Here, you have a saving grace in digitalisation. Digitalisation breaks down the silos created by paper processes or working with legacy systems. It makes data – call it information, if you will – accessible in real time. As an event happens, such as loading or unloading, you can receive status updates from the driver.
But let’s get back to planning which at the core, is what drives your customer service levels. A digital planner that works on the cloud can automate all of your processes, even as new orders come in. Advanced algorithms update schedules after each event, taking into account legal constraints, health and disease grading, restrictions on travel times, and the time needed to disinfect and quarantine trucks.
What’s going on here is about accuracy and efficiency. Errors are eliminated, although if you want to make a manual change, a good SaaS planner allows you to – but it also warns you if the change you want to make conflicts with any regulatory issues or creates other problems. Nothing is left to chance.
Digitalisation also plans the drivers’ routes in detail. Add an in-cab tablet or smart phone for the driver connected to your office. You can receive and send status updates. The driver can photograph the animals as proof of condition and delivery, and store necessary documents, accessible at the push of a finger. The device can also capture signatures, speeding up processes. Traceability becomes fast and easy. And if faced with unexpected traffic delays, the driver can alert your office. The digital planner can reoptimize the schedule and routes. Drivers can alert customers ahead of time of any information they need to know. This is what transparency is about to your customers, and the type of service they’ll appreciate, versus being kept in the dark and then surprised. Digitalisation even enables you to centralise planning across different regions.
When operations work like this, the efficiencies are felt by customers. This is what it means to provide a seamless service. Digitalisation eliminates wasted time, delays and idling trucks. It increases the accuracy of your arrival times. Animals’ stress is kept to a minimum, as they spend less time on trucks. You’re able to keep to timetables within the EU framework for the sake of their wellbeing. All of this is what the customer wants and what you can make happen.
Raising your customer service now
With best-in-class, SaaS AMCS Livestock Planner and AMCS Mobile Workforce, you can create an environment of transparency and efficiency. Users report up to 25% savings in the time needed for planning, a 5% reduction in annual operating costs, and a 20% increase in delivery quality and reliability, which accounts for their improvement in relationships with farmers.
There’s also another benefit, and that’s a significant reduction in CO₂ emissions. One user, at the time of reporting, had reduced their mileage by 4,000 kilometres. That’s what happens when your operations become more efficient.
To learn more about improving your customer service levels with AMCS digital solutions, we urge you to get in touch today.
¹European Parliament, Protection of animals during transport, 30 June 2021
Industry Guide: Transporting Livestock
Read about the AMCS Solution for transporting Livestock to address efficiency and animal welfare.