A few months before the start of 2017, Chief Information Officer Chris Ashworth began a three-year replatforming of parcel distributor Hermes UK on a scalable, real-time infrastructure so it could put mobile and web-based products in the hands of its staff, improve the customer experience and future-proof business growth.

During the course of the year, Ashworth thinned out the core ICT platforms, removed redundant processes, fine-tuned existing solutions and moved the traditionally designed datacentre to the cloud. Resulting process improvements included the removal of 300,000 batch jobs and 7,500 batch processes as redundant functionality was jettisoned. He commenced a data warehouse programme, putting in place the foundations for enterprise big data.

Ashworth retired old reports, redesigned manifest and client tracking services. Over 12,000 enhanced hand-held terminals have been issued to staff to help achieve first-time delivery success. The programme also introduced safe place and geo-fencing products so clients can be told where their parcels have been delivered, with geocoding providing the evidence.

The digital roadmap includes investment in a new website, mobile app and an omnichannel product across web and mobile, which will give customers personalised touchpoints as well as automated FAQs, SMS and email.