DHL Parcel Shop Manager
An application that would enable the company to expand their network
Our client, DHL Parcel Poland, a part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, a leading international postal and logistics company, commissioned us to produce an application that would enable the company to expand their network beyond company-owned service points. It’s Parcel Shop Manager application that plugs many different shops: Żabka, Freshmarket, Relay, Inmedio, 1 Minute (as well as private service points) into DHL’s delivery network, enabling their post office superpowers.
An extensive network of service points hugely facilitates comfort of logistical company’s customers. They no longer need to make an appointment with delivery man - instead they can visit a nearby store at a time convenient to them. DHL Parcelshops operate as a last and first mile operator, meaning that, they can receive and store parcells for the addressee to pick them up, as well as receive parcels from senders.
- Parcel shop interface, a web application that can be opened on any computer behind the shop counter and allows the shop assistant to perform basic operations such as receiving and issuing parcels and printing and accepting waybills
- Administrator interface enabling DHL Parcel employees to set up new partners accounts and configure them
- Integration of the application with the internal DHL database for easy import of multiple partners data
- Simple messenger feature that enables fast contact between DHL staff and any parcel shop
DHL Parcel chose 3e Software House to build the application based on our long-haul record of successful cooperation, that began in 2007. The product slotted into the extensive ecosystem of applications supporting Polish DHL business activities, also largely created by our team of developers. The implementation consisted of the following elements:
- Web-based application containing three interface levels - administrator access for DHL employees, partner - the owner of a large number of parcel shops and the shop operator
- Implementation of three basic customer scenarios in the parcel shop. Firstly the complete shipment process - including entering of the address, choosing the tariff etc. The simplified version reflects the scenario, when a customer visits the shop after advanced payment. The third scenario is a process of delivery pickup. The interface also supports delivery employees in scenarios where they are picking up and delivering multiple parcels at the shop.
- Parcel shop search engine based on Google Maps localisation services, that became a part of dhl24.com.pl - a homepage of DHL services in Poland.
- Integration with DHL internal applications including shipment data exchange and SAP database partners and parcel shop data
- REST API integration with Pointpack.pl software used by Żabka parcel shop staff. The grocery chain cooperates with multiple courier service providers, using third-party software. API allows Żabka shop assistants to have full access to DHL network while operating from within this third party application.
- Label Service - a Java microservice that works in many points of contact with DHL Software and allows it print any documents in PDF or ZPL (Zebra Print Language for thermal printers)
High efficiency and continuous availability is the key to success for any infrastructure supporting application such as this. The PSM application joined the robust structure of redundant application servers we had previously built to provide our client with a top-down stack of reliable technologies. To uphold the high availability of the whole ecosystem, even during peak times, we established a wide range of monitors and health checks. We continually monitor database usage parameters, task queues, time of database responses, numbers of requests per second, and their spread over a longer time. At the same time, we keep our eye on business processes as well, monitoring the lifetime of orders, complaints, tickets stacking, etc. Continual monitoring allows us to detect network congestion before it can grow to a level that could affect the quality of our client’s service.