eCourier - The UK's Express Courier Company

ImageeCourier, the UK's pre-eminent express courier service deployed Traction to accelerate technology development activities across three countries, report progress to investors, and conduct internal convesations. Full case study is provided here. Also see coverage in ComputerWorld, 25 May 2005 | Courier turns to blog tools to speed package-tracking, and ComputerWeekly, August 2006 | Harness the Power of Collaboration.

The Organization

eCourier (www.ecourier.co.uk) is the United Kingdom's pre-eminent express courier service, fusing innovative technologically-advanced transport control systems with a customer oriented business philosophy. The company has combined the power of artifical intelligence and satellite-based tracking to revolutionize same- and next-day deliveries using their fleet of bikes, motorcycles and vans. The company offers second-by-second tracking, precise point- to-point pricing, real-time proof of pickup and delivery, and instant auditing capabilities which power the fastest, most efficient, secure, and supremely transparent delivery service available.

The Challenge

In the early stages of its business, the company started developing its unique auto allocation algorithm technology and had development teams located in the U.K., Germany, Italy and at M.I.T. in the U.S. It became very confusing to coordinate development efforts and keep developers “on the same page.” Developers needed to share and alter specifications, documents, information and other deliverables, and needed a “repository” to find tips and comments from colleagues without sifting through past e-mails. Expecting development to last for over a year, Technology Director Jay Bregman wanted an easy way to keep everyone informed and started looking for a groupware or enterprise communications software solution.

The Solution

Bregman investigated his options and chose Traction Software’s TeamPage. The enterprise weblog system was used as the company’s development communications infrastructure and helped accelerate development of the company’s entire web tracking system and web site.

Traction allowed Bregman and others to easily go back and see the entire project history and product lifecycle– from deliverables through testing and into production, allowing them to gather valuable insight for the company’s future development efforts. eCourier especially liked the access control/role-based permissions feature which allowed the company to control who could read, write, edit, erase articles, files or comments, as well as set up category labels and projects. Traction TeamPage is the only product to combine the simple, time ordered record of a weblog with built in WebDAV web file and folder support to handle design and office files as well as web conversations using the same secure zero-footprint web-browser interface.

Developers were also able to drag and drop information into Traction by using its Instant Publisher, a Microsoft Windows/.NET client for publishing, editing and comments. eCourier could drag and drop documents from desktop applications, check-out, check-in, and version files attached to weblog articles or in per project web folders using WebDAV directly from their Windows desktop. Developers using other operating systems could still use Traction’s zero foot print rich text editor and WebDAV features with nothing more than a web browser. According to Bregman, the process was far superior from anything else he had seen available in the blog or wiki market.

Bregman was also impressed with the searching capabilities, which allowed search hits to reflect content posted moments before a search, and users to only see search results in content they were permitted to read. Traction lets users search for content, labels and articles posted or edited by a specific person and within a given time period.

Tractions’ ability to archive information in one communications repository also allowed eCourier to shorten the learning curve in training new people – newcomers could read Traction’s TeamPage to easily get up to speed on activities.

Traction also saved eCourier time in completing its development project and eliminated the thousands of pounds of expensive travel costs that would have been incurred for development progress /status meetings.

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