Not sure who the initial focus group was but someone higher up is not using common sense. So apparently we are waiting on more feedback as we roll them out to decide on a few items.
- With the phone not able to dial out but can be called by dispatch or scammers it is mostly useless.
- We were told of the ability to call a customer for directions but not yet.
- Ability to use Google maps for directions but not yet. Rumored to be coming to the ELD.
- No screen protector but maybe in the future.
- No stylus but maybe in the future. Just turn on the function so my fat fingers don't have to misspell everything and I will buy my own.
- Camera function off but maybe future for damage claims.
- No belt clip/holster but maybe in future.
These new bricks will have to be carried into customers to associate the QR stickers at the time of pick up. No screen protector or holster is going to damage these down the road. I also find them slippery to handle. Is there a FedEx approved fanny pack in our future? On a positive note is the function that reads messages or new pick up's to us while driving.
I wish I could offer a positive note but have my doubts about future payout percentages improving with the new bricks and the freight 2020 are also a concern too. Perhaps it will be figured into the budget or maybe it already is but to me it looks like a bigger drain then I anticipated. Of special note are the new QR tags that are being rolled out. We are to use these currently "to get into the practice of using them" for when the system is ready.
We are told that right now only one center is equipped to use this tech, apparently in Florida. All centers will eventually be retrofitted with the readers that cover all areas of dock travel and each door where it can be loaded. Now I am not sure of the total doors in the system let alone the extra real estate of dock coverage but I see a very large number of readers/computing power that will need to be implemented in the 365+ centers. We are entering Q3 FY19 now so this seems ambitious to complete by the end of FY20 let alone but the start unless we are using multiple vendors nationwide. This will all come at a pretty large price and if not from the general fund or generous increase of our spending budget our profit margin/bottom line will take a hit.
Now for the QR tag portion for those that don't know they are having issues already. We are told they do not stick to metal and have issues with drums of liquid (plastic or metal) interfering with being read. Initial fix is to tape cardboard to metal or drums where the tag will be placed. Also the QR books have no cover but are similar is size to a book of pro's. We are told that the vendor has been asked to fix the application issue and add a cover to the books. Initial use is finding the stickers are peeling off when a driver shoves them in a pocket. There are 3 stickers per page at the cost of $7 per page
and may increase with the additional cover and new adhesive type. Books are not to be given to customers so any SLC drop trailers will have QR stickers applied and associated to the pro by freight handlers when unloading trailers. Extra steps in the bricks, extra stickering at the time of pick up and slowing down dock operations may decrease efficiencies thus effecting margins.
Think about how many multiple skid orders you pick up daily or weekly. A 3 skid shipment will add $21 in additional cost to the shipment that is not currently factored into the price. At the least it will be $7 per shipment. Q1 FY19 115,745 shipments per day X $7 = $810,215 minimum additional cost to FedEx if all had QR stickers. Number of average skids per shipment are anyones guess but 2 = $1,620,430 and 3 = 2,430,645 just for ballpark figures. There were 65 days in the quarter so $52.6 million minimum. Just remember this is per quarter for the system. Add in cost to recruit/maintain talent and it could reduce our margin by 2.5% on the low end or more depending on skid count if not handled correctly.