Many things did not go according to plan during the last financial year. Nevertheless, GO! Express & Logistics can take plenty of positives from this exceptional year. By focusing equally on service quality and infection prevention, the extensive range of measures taken have met customer and market requirements and guided the company steadily through this crisis. The medium-sized express delivery and courier service provider regards the course it has taken as having been validated, and it is planning to invest further in enhancing its services and infrastructure.
Logistics during the pandemic
The onset and rapid spread of the coronavirus also confronted GO! with new challenges. In addition to social restrictions, operational processes had to be aligned with constantly changing official directives and specific customer needs – future business performance was very tough to predict. While entire sectors and business activities have been hit hard by the pandemic on the one hand, the logistics industry had to master new challenges at the same time. As we all know, these challenges did not result in a reduction in CEP industry volumes – nevertheless, they were linked to shifts in target markets and therefore necessary operational adjustments. This was particularly noticeable during the pre-Christmas sales period, when GO! also ramped up its operations to full speed and handled an unprecedented volume of up to 50 per cent additional shipments that included a proportion of B2C consignments not typical of GO!’s line of business. “A remarkable achievement by our employees and couriers, whose commitment ensured that all shipments were delivered without any delays”, says Ulrich Nolte, CEO of GO! Germany, in summary. Even though shipment volume growth and careful management did not entirely offset the additional costs resulting from changed logistics requirements and anti-coronavirus measures, Nolte is able to look back on the 2020 financial year with satisfaction. “We put together a comprehensive package of measures. That paid dividends not just in terms of consistently reliable performance, but also ensured we remained on our growth curve”, he concluded.
Priority: health and infection prevention
In addition to business considerations, the health of customers, consignors, consignees and, of course, employees and couriers unquestionably had priority. In order to make interpersonal contact during the course of pick-ups and deliveries safe, we launched our zero-contact delivery / pick-up service back in the spring. Acknowledgement of receipt by the consignee has been replaced by equivalent shipment data set indicators, which are regarded as legally watertight and back up compliance with distancing rules. At the same time, a company-wide hygiene and infection prevention concept was devised, incorporated into operational processes, and constantly adjusted to match current circumstances. Since autumn, this concept has provided in particular for an antigen quick test procedure, which is aimed at breaking infection chains and is employed in cooperation with the German Red Cross at the central HUB in Niederaula and at GO! branches. People who are infected with the coronavirus can therefore be identified before they enter GO! premises and they can be prevented from passing on their infection to others. In combination with operational measures, the company rates the precautions it has taken as effective; they have prevented an outbreak of infection in all GO! locations and safeguarded the health of employees.
No ifs, no buts: quality
In this respect, all other corporate processes were based on these infection prevention measures. All processes, starting with customer care, which at GO! has traditionally been characterised by close customer contact, via a broadly based switch to working from home through to conducting audits, suddenly had to be switched to alternative, often digital communication channels in accordance with distancing requirements. Even the DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 recertification process was successfully completed in the summer using a remote method. A few months later this was augmented by the certificate of GDP conformity (GDP = Good Distribution Practice). Irrespective of ISO certification, it confirms that GO! transports pharmaceuticals safely and securely in accordance with the GDP guideline.
“This means that we take the needs of our healthcare industry customers into account”, Nolte explains. He regards providing specific advice and support to and close working relationships with customers as the key to success. “The service we provide is not off the peg, but tailor-made to the requirements of each of our customers. After all, what we want is satisfied customers!”
This customer-focused approach runs like a common thread through the company, which feels vindicated in taking this approach by its top placings in the Handelsblatt brand ranking of August 2020: This medium-sized enterprise has ensured that its customers are willing to recommend it to others, ahead of all prominent major brands.
Naturally this course will be maintained in the coming year. Upgrading digital infrastructure – especially in relation to customer communication – as well as local-traffic and route optimisation projects, which in turn are set to make an important contribution to reducing emissions, are on the 2021 agenda. In view of the expected growth in shipment volumes, the express delivery and courier service provider is planning to extend its network further by enhancing locations and adding routes.
GO! Express & Logistics is Europe’s largest independent provider of express and courier services. The global partner network was established in 1984 and currently comprises over 100 GO! stations in Europe. Around 1,400 employees and 1,200 couriers work every day to enable the transport of more than 8 million shipments per year.
Under the motto “beyond limits”, GO! offers a comprehensive portfolio of logistics solutions ranging from regional courier transportation and global express shipping of goods, documents and extremely time-critical consignments to sensitive shipments or complex customer requirements. Its services also include tailored supply chain solutions and extensive value-added services 365 days a year and around the clock.
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