Yodel Neighbourhood Case Study

Yodel Case Study finds Skillweb solutions enable more flexibility to manage peak seasons

yodel skillweb case study

Yodel Neighbourhood is a 24-and 48-hour business to consumer delivery solution that was launched to take advantage of considerable growth within the UK home shopping market.

In March 2010 Home Delivery Network Limited (HDNL) purchased through its subsidiary company Parcelpoint Limited (PPL) the domestic B2B and B2C businesses of DHL Express (UK) Limited. The new corporate identity for HDNL and PPL is Yodel. Yodel is now the second largest parcel delivery network in the UK after the Royal Mail.   THE CHALLENGE

Yodel Neighbourhood is designed to provide a door-to-door delivery service using a local courier network to over 27 million addresses across the UK. It meets the needs of the consumer at home by taking a flexible approach to redelivery.   In 2006 a tender process was undertaken for the supply of a mobile computing system that would support the courier network by efficiently capturing ‘last mile’ home delivery data. The solution needed to help better manage the network of self-employed couriers and ensure the provision of the same high standards expected across other areas of the business.   The system needed to meet the precise needs of couriers that work on a self-employed basis, using their own vehicles, mobile phones and operating at times of the day that suit their needs. Furthermore, the solution had to provide high visibility of stock and supported the efficient delivery of parcels to the consumer first time.


Skillweb was selected from seven leading solutions providers because of its ability to develop and deploy an end-to-end mobile communications system that would provide an effective means of tracking, tracing and reporting on the delivery of parcels in a cost effective manner. In addition, Skillweb was able to deliver all hardware and software requirements including mobile devices and the central management system.

The system has helped overcome some of the challenges of the self-employed courier network. In particular, a structured delivery process has enabled consistent service levels, whilst instant access to useful data gives useful insight into how couriers are performing. In fact, office-based managers are able to sift through large amounts of data using exception reporting capability to identify areas of improvement and focus on increasing customer satisfaction in an efficient manner.

The advanced tracking capability has enabled the home delivery operation to meet increasing demands from consumers for high levels of traceability throughout the delivery process. By providing instant visibility of tracking and proof of delivery (POD) data as it is captured the system from Skillweb enables continual detailed management of the diverse network of couriers on a minute by minute basis. This instant access allows service center managers to concentrate on driving improvements to customer service whilst efficiently managing the exceptions that inevitably happen in a network of this scale.

Since the initial implementation, the technology solution has captured in excess of 350 million tracking events for more than 45 million items providing Yodel’s clients and consumers with the highest levels of tracking visibility. Along with critical POD data collection the system also provides a range of management and reporting tools that help to maintain enhanced operational control across the expanding network.

Skillweb has also supported the seamless migration of the system to the expanded Yodel business, avoiding operational disruption and downtime. As a result, it has successfully handled an increase in volumes by over 49 per cent during 2010. In addition, Skillweb has also been responsible for expanding system functionality to support a broader range of delivery options including exchanges and tracked catalogue deliveries.


Skillweb’s application has provided an ideal platform for the courier network with its easy to use interface using handheld terminals that are robust yet light enough for daily use. The system is able to handle large amounts of delivery data providing real-time management information for the retailer and also the consumer.

The cost-effective mobile computing solution originally consisted of the handheld terminal, a small plug-in barcode scanner and a custom-built case to protect the combined unit. The case ensures that the terminals are more resilient for use in the field, increasing reliability by ensuring less than 0.5 per cent failure rates.

The solution currently operates on a mixed base of 2,200 Motorola MC55 and 1,800 Intermec CN50 windows mobile devices. Skillweb is providing ongoing application support and is currently working closely with the Yodel team to trial Motorola ES400 and Intermec CS40 devices to measure the suitability for future use.

The Skillweb-hosted solution has achieved system availability of 99.99 per cent over the past 24 months, even during migration periods and through the significant growth in volumes following the creation of Yodel.

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