So back to the office and today marks the launch of our trial/beta of the 'Where's My Delivery?' service for customers.
I'll write more in a near-future post about the telematics system we are installing in every Tesco.com delivery van in the UK which we're using mainly to monitor and cut-down on fuel usage so that we can deliver a more environmentally-friendly and cost effective delivery service for customers.
From now on, whenever our vans drive away from the Blackburn Tesco Extra they 'break through a geofence' surrounding the store.
Imagine that we've drawn a square around the Blackburn Tesco building and car-park which each van drives through as they start out on their deliveries. This 'break' triggers a server monitoring the location of each van which then runs a satellite navigation algorithm to plot the journey to each customer. Each delivery has a time and it's this time that we will now be texting to Blackburn customers if they have registered for the service.
The magic of this solution is that customers who have booked their two-hour delivery slot can now get most of their time back since they know much more precisely when the van will arrive.
If the van gets stuck in traffic (say, an accident occurs on the road ahead) the system will detect this and, if necessary, send a subsequent text message (apologising!) with a renewed time.
If you have your groceries delivered from the Blackburn store, simply login to the Tesco.com grocery website and you'll see more information about how to register for the SMS service.
We will be rolling this service to several more stores over the coming weeks. Just login to the Tesco.com grocery web and you'll see more info if it applies to you.
The service is running in R&D mode at the moment as we tune the software to make sure everything is accurate. Once we're happy my production colleagues are rather eager to take it on and roll it out nationwide.
After all, we work for Tesco.com but we're all customers too!