A Brief History of the Courier Service Industry

Ever wondered about the history of courier service businesses and how they came about? In fact, the industry’s history goes back a very long way. If you’re a delivery driver yourself, you may well find some of it very interesting!

When Did the Idea Start?

It’s a good question but one that nobody can really definitively answer. Even in prehistory, we can be relatively sure that certain people, usually those at the top of society, would have wanted to convey goods (often gifts). Usually this would have been between rulers and probably was part of the concept of messengers, emissaries, diplomats and ambassadors. So if you’re looking at a history of courier services, it’s not easy to tease these concepts apart to begin with. By the Imperial Roman period, there was something in place called the ‘Cursus Publicus’, which was a vast network of stations, couriers and wagons, all designed to carry official communications and publications to the far-flung corners of empire – but this was restricted to official not private communications.

Private Arrangements

For thousands of years, if a private individual wanted to send some goods or communications to another, he or she would have had to make ad-hoc arrangements.

In some societies, the rich would have used courier-slaves who would make their way from the point of origin to destination. They would sometimes have also carried other goods and smaller items for friends or associates of their owner.

Anyone engaged in commercial exchanges of goods would have again made a series of arrangements, perhaps involving hiring carts and horses to take the items to the nearest port then finding a ship heading in the right direction; they may have been accompanied by an agent who would make arrangements at the destination port to get the goods to the final customer.

In some countries, there were recognisable services for getting goods or communications to a specific point, but it’s debatable whether or not they could be called courier services in any way we would understand. For a vast period of time in Europe, getting letters and goods from ‘A’ to ‘B’ was a matter of hazard. Many never arrived, as can be seen in surviving letters bemoaning the fact that goods, packages and other letters had ‘gone astray’.

Solutions Through the History of Courier Services

Over the centuries, different societies and countries adopted diverse measures to try and provide a secure way of getting things around, but on the whole, it remained an extremely risky business until the mid-19th century. The first step towards regulating things came with the Victorian Age’s improved roads and communications, as well as increased government determination to stamp out theft and robbery on the highways.

Part of this involved the creation of the UK’s Post Office and the creation of a government body that guaranteed to get mail and some parcel-sized goods to their destination. Incredible as it seems to modern readers, in London at this time there were up to eight separate mail deliveries each day!

Once a degree of regularity was introduced, though, it brought with it a degree of inflexibility. Private companies moved in to fill the breach by offering shipping and courier services point-to-point and this exploded from the mid-20th century onwards in terms of choice.

This long history of courier services has resulted in today’s modern and global industry. It’s hard to believe it all began with runners taking wax tablet messages from ancient city to ancient city – but one has to agree, it’s interesting stuff.

Business Management Solutions For the Field Service Industry

Companies in a wide variety of industries provide customers with field services as a primary business or as part of long-term customer service and support. Field service operators may include, for instance, manufacturers who offer after-market service, mechanical contractors, and property or utility managers. Depending on the size and type of organization, field services may involve a handful of employees in a local area or thousands of staff internationally. Regardless of whether such field services represent the primary business, a secondary profit center, or a competitive differentiator, organizations with a field service component depend on efficient coordination among distant field employees, dispatch and office staff, and the organization’s collective customer and business knowledge.

Unfortunately, managing field operations accurately and effectively can be a challenge. Manual processes and uninformed decisions are the rule, not the exception. Inconsistent work practices, lack of, inadequate, or untimely visibility into field activities, and volumes of paperwork hinder efficiency and drag down both customer service and profits. Manual reporting of time and materials use requires redundant data entry, increases the likelihood of errors, and delays planning and billing. In addition, intellectual capital and know-how frequently resides in just one or two experienced people, leaving the organization at substantial risk of operational chaos and loss of intellectual capital if the unexpected occurs.

Yet even with the most experienced dispatchers, work-assignment decisions rarely take full advantage of timely data on resource availability, qualifications, service history, optimal routing, work priority, and other demands on the resources. There are simply too many shifting factors to quickly incorporate into a manual scheduling or work assignment process. This is particularly true given the competitive environments of most field service markets, wherein customers are expecting not only faster service and more accurate estimates of arrival and completion times, but also that they “get it fixed” the right way the first time.

Despite these challenges, field service operations are often the last part of an organization to capitalize on information technologies. Although many businesses enjoy the efficiencies of enterprise resource systems and supply chain automation, those systems rarely extend through the management of field operations. Moreover, the gains provided by existing business management solutions and supply chain systems are subject to the law of diminishing returns. In most organizations, however, field service operations still represent the last frontier for technological innovation. There, process integration, targeted automation, and electronic information can still dramatically enhance productivity, operational insight, and management.

You need an end-to-end field services management system that can efficiently integrate customer, business, and operational information, making that information accessible to both office and field staff as needed for maximum efficiency in work scheduling, assignment, completion, parts inventory management, equipment management, reporting, and billing. Research your area for a group that can match the appropriate field services management solution to your specific business requirements, and determine what solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics, are available to you.

How to Produce a Greener Kiosk Enclosure For Digital Signage and the Self Service Industry

Green is big business and represents a new way to do business, it has a two fold effect and helps improve the bottom line whilst helping the environment. Now digital signage kiosks and enclosures are going green.

There is a movement in the kiosk and enclosure manufacturing industry for greener products, these units will be manufactured from renewal materials and will not damage the environment as previous units did. Coupling this with cutting edge dynamic signage is a winning solution.

There are three key steps to follow:

  • Adhering to RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances)
  • Using recyclable material
  • Reducing power usage

One Major Step for a Greener Solution.

In July 2006 a policy was implemented in Europe for RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), this policy was soon accepted within the businesses throughout Europe and into Asia.

This new policy was seen as a problem by some manufacturers, as it limits the amount of lead and mercury in a particular product as well as specifying which type of flame retardants to use.

The policy was one reason a company decided to buy back any kiosks or enclosures they were replacing and recycle them, by sending the old kiosks or enclosures to a specialised company that melted the steel and plastics then re-processed the product so it could be used again.

Another company has gone one step further by producing a green enclosure, that is made from nothing but recycled materials, Olea Kiosks Inc are leading the way in green kiosks!

This is the way forward, with greener digital signage kiosks everyone wins including the planet!

Booming Internet Phone Service Industry

Today with advanced telecommunication products and services, a revolution has come in the communication industry. By the means of phone services such as conference calls, video talks, chats, etc. the Internet service providers has gained the lime light and are in huge demand. With the help of Digital technologies, the companies offering phone and other related services via Internet are not only saving a lot of money but, can only interact with their clients or customers quick and easy, anywhere and anytime across the world. This speaks how convenient these services are for everyone, especially the corporate world.

Whenever you are running a business (small scale, individual or widely spread), you need to communicate with various people regarding your work, products, services and other necessary issues. In case you go by normal land line service you undoubtedly end up costing a huge phone bill for yourself or company. This can be resolved as there are many call service providers available online who offer cheap rates for conference or any other calls. This makes your job easy and trouble free.

As you surf through the net you can find countless Internet phone service firms but, make sure that you choose an adequate one that suits you business or phone requirements the best. In case you just need some network to reduce down the cost of your conference calls made through Internet then the scheme or service might be different than a scheme that involves web-cams, Mac chat options, international calls, etc. So, first you need to specific your requirements and then compare few phone service providers near your reach that offers you the most. After comparing them all, pick and choose the best among the rest.

No matter whether you want specific VIP business phone service solutions or H.323 and SIP IP telephonic protocols, you will get it all with a renowned Inter phone service organization. All you need to do is just make sure that your Inter service firm is technical sound and strong. It must be proficient in picture resolution and voice codes such as G.723 and G.711u, G.729, ACD, ASR, etc. Keep an eye on other technical aspects as well while choosing them for your business or personal use.

Now days, the high speed Internet service providers broadband connections that delivers voice as well as data, thus, one can not only transfer business files, pictures, videos but, can also talk with several people face to face all at a time. With efficient and professional 24/7 technical support, your potential and experienced phone service company can make you interact online via phone, chat, email, conference call and other interactive mediums.