HSS is a leading supplier of tool and equipment hire in the United Kingdom and Ireland with over 300 locations. The company is a one-stop-shop for equipment hire through a combination of complementary rental and service businesses.  To keep up with customer demand, HSS Hire deployed the Descartes Customer Engagement PlatformTM to digitise the customer experience, increase operational efficiency, and better manage customer feedback.  

Challenge: Increasing Visibility for Customers and Staff

The tool hire industry is more complex than traditional retail as goods and staff are constantly on the move. As equipment becomes increasingly commoditised, customer service is key to maintaining repeat business.

HSS had historically been a paper-based business with no real-time oversight. Customers demanded the ability to track their orders in real time, while drivers needed better ways to communicate with customers, better navigation tools and less paperwork. With rising customer demands, the company needed to digitise the total operational experience.  

"Driver feedback is a game-changer for us and provides a wealth of information. Previously, negative feedback would be directed to a sales colleague and escalated over a matter of weeks. Now, customers get a call from a senior manager within thirty minutes, to see what we can learn from the experience. "

Michael Alldridge, Operations Director, South West and Wales, HSS Hire

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HSS Hire

Solution: Frictionless Customer and Staff Experience

The Descartes Customer Engagement Platform stood out because of the real-time driver tracking, customer notifications, digital proof of delivery, and job-based feedback.  The technology integrates with HSS Hire’s driver and customer apps to speed up access during collections and deliveries.   

When the driver is ready to go to their next appointment, they simply click the “On My Way” button within the app. This triggers a message to customers including a fifteen-minute ETA window.

The “On My Way” message links to a live map, where customers can track the driver’s ETA based on current traffic. They also have the option to send a message to their HSS operative. Customers receive another notification when their driver is five minutes away, so they can prepare to provide access. 

On arrival, drivers can capture time-stamped, geo-coded proof of delivery (POD) photos within the app. These prove when and where the item was dropped off, the condition of the equipment, and how much fuel or battery was remaining.

The photo capture feature helps to cement customers’ trust in the HSS brand. It also helps to minimise disputes about damaged or undelivered goods. “Photo capture gives our customers more trust that we’re doing what we have promised to do,” says Alldridge.  


Customer Engagement

Transform Your Customer Experience While Lowering Operational Costs

With the operational dashboard, transport managers can ensure that jobs are running efficiently and have live visibility of jobs and drivers in the field. Once a delivery or collection job is completed, the customer receives an SMS with a link to a simple feedback form.

Users of the operational dashboard can view feedback for individual jobs and drivers. Real-time alerts for negative feedback allow staff to identify unhappy customers and resolve issues quickly.  

The Results

Increase in Driver Retention  

Since digitising the driver experience and streamlining processes, HSS Hire has seen driver retention improve by 45%.   

Increased First-Time Access  

By streamlining route planning and increasing first-time access, the technology also contributes to fuel savings, a key part of HSS Hire’s sustainability agenda.  

Enhanced Customer Experience  

Using Descartes Track My Appointment, HSS Hire can deliver on their promise of keeping trust with their customers for their equipment hire needs.  

Faster Resolution of Customer Feedback  

Using job-based feedback and negative feedback alerts, staff can quickly resolve customer issues and manage disputes more effectively.  


Best Practices for Last Mile Delivery

The lessons learned from delivery innovators across retail and distribution industries around the globe are that technology and a willingness to break from traditional logistics thinking are what separate their performance from the rest of the pack. 

About HSS Hire

HSS Hire is a supplier of tool and equipment hire in the UK and Ireland, and a logistical and technical partner to businesses of all sizes. The group has over three hundred outlets and a fleet of over eight hundred vehicles.  

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