SOME of the older employees among the 68 people working at transport firm WH Barley can remember the day when logistics planning was worked out on the back of a cigarette packet.
Now, especially with the ripple effect of the London 2012 Olympics on the horizon, keeping in touch with the 40-odd drivers without an array of electronic gadgets would be absolutely unthinkable at the firm based in Old Wolverton.
The company won the category for best business improvement through application of innovation / technology at the Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards for the way it has adopted time-saving techniques for its customers.
Sales and IT manager Tris Anley developed software that customers can use to keep their clients informed of deliveries by via a website.
Mr Anley said one particular customer estimates saving 20 working hours per week in telephone calls that don’t have to be made. He added WH Barley itself probably saves half that time again in not having to manually retrieve data.
MD Steve Latchford said IT is vital to the efficient running of the firm, not least for the upcoming Olympics. The ripple effect of the impact of the Games on the London transport system will be felt all over the country, he said.
WH Barley has written to its customers to encourage them to plan ahead for changes to delivery times and working hours. But Mr Latchford said: “We are ready. For us it will be business as usual.”
> Natalee Hazelwood’s video profile of WH Barley is online at www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/business.