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DPD France is part of La Poste Groupe, the largest parcel service provider in the country. The company operates numerous logistics depots, in which the consignments are collected, sorted and reloaded according to their destination. The timely transport of the parcel volumes, which are handled in the depots day by day, requires a high level of organization and a precise monitoring of all processes in order to be able to ascertain where a shipment is currently located. To cope with the high volume of shipments, the depots are equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as conveyor belt systems and scanner terminals, which allow the tracking of the route any shipment takes within the facility. On-schedule operations and reliable delivery are important quality criteria in the parcel logistics industry. For this reason, DPD France has been using video systems for some time, which monitor the processes inside the depots. However, these were mostly analog systems, to now be replaced by modern IP-based video solutions to document the sorting and transfer processes of the packages, too. As part of the modernization, DPD intended to replace the old technology with more open and flexible systems, providing extended search options in order to track parcels as quick as possible. The solution had to be very reliable and be easily expandable with additional camera channels to keep up with the growing volume of shipments. Furthermore, the software had to be be easy to use for employees, to avoid complex trainings and long learning times. The detailed and reliable dispatch tracking, as well as the surveillance of the depots to resolve cases of loss and to optimize the processes, were therefore set as project targets. The challenge of the project was also to secure the depots in compliance with TAPA – which mainly means monitoring all entrance and exit gates for at least 17 hours a day as well as motion-triggered image recording outside this period.
With the Cayuga product line, Qognify offers a powerful and flexibly extendable video management software that has been supplemented by the BVI Logistics Module with a scanner interface for the DPD depots in France. In addition, I/O modules are used in both depots to enable the transmission and reception of control signals. Among other things, doors and gates can be opened directly by pushing a button in the Cayuga user interface. The expandability of the Cayuga Multi Solution Platform allows new components to be added at any time – for example, to automatically capture and analyze the license plates of incoming vehicles. Cayuga as the VMS of choice sets itself apart by its openness and flexibility as well as by supporting a large number of different camera manufacturers and models.
Based on Cayuga and BVI Logistics, all conveyor belts, entrance and exit doors as well as the entire interior zone are now being monitored with 280 HD cameras in Tours and 380 in Beaune. This means that the complete shipment process – from incoming parcels via sorting by destination through to handover to the delivery agent – is seamlessly documented. The data from the video system is combined with the data from the various barcode scanners along the conveyor belts for detailed evaluation. It is therefore possible to determine at what time each individual parcel was located at which point in the distribution center. The installation of a total of 61 scanners from the manufacturer Sick ensures the monitoring of the conveyor belts, and these scanners export the barcodes from five viewing angles. On this basis, each parcel is tracked in the warehouse management system, assigned to the correct destination and, via a selector switch, forwarded to the right conveyor belt, which transports it to the appropriate loading bay. In the Cayuga user interface, a special research view can be used to search for parcels using different parameters such as barcode or tracking number. The software visualizes the route of the shipment through the distribution center on the basis of video recordings, so that the user can compare all available data and can localise error sources quickly. Thanks to these options the clarification of damage or loss can be significantly accelerated.
Patrick Cavoue from DPD France is satisfied with the result: “With the Qognify Logistics Solution, we are able to track the route each parcel is taking in our depots without any gaps – right up to the handover to the delivery agent. The BVI client allows a targeted search without hours of searching through video footage and is therefore perfectly suited to quickly and efficiently identify loss or damage. This lowers our costs and ultimately leads to significantly increased customer satisfaction.“