Software Development, Azure Cloud
Public & Utilities
Established in 1992, the Nightline Group has been a leading courier and logistics service in Ireland, serving individuals and businesses around the world – from online retailers to SMEs, from multinational tech companies to auto parts, to retail distributors. Acquired by UPS Ireland in 2017, the combined entities deliver 60,000 parcels daily and serve over 1,500 shippers in Ireland.
UPS is a global market-leading logistics company founded in 1907 and is now the world's largest shipping courier by revenue.
Switch From Manual to Automated
When UPS acquired Nightline, a key integration issue was differing delivery processes: Nightline used an automated system with scanning devices that produced driver manifests, while UPS relied on a more manual process that required drivers to memorize their delivery order.UPS drivers wanted to use the Nightline scanning device to deliver Nightline parcels. However, with the existing UPS infrastructure at the distribution centers, it could not directly adopt the Nightline system. Utilizing the knowledge acquired from the Nightline IT team, the companies needed to create an effective solution to migrate UPS to the automated system.
Azure Cloud at Its Heart
The starting point for UPS was to adopt Microsoft Azure as its hybrid cloud and infrastructure, bringing the platform in line with Nightline’s. Using a continuous delivery approach, assisted by Xebia’s Azure DevOps expertise, the company slowly migrated its processes to Nightline’s in-house app, Load 2 Car, to allow UPS and Nightline’s parcels to be handled as one. The app service allows drivers more control in planning optimal routes.
Simultaneously, UPS adopted Azure virtual machines and Azure SQL database as part of this migration, producing greater efficiency and lower costs alongside the bespoke app.
Client and Staff Satisfaction on the Up
The upgrade of UPS’s platform to the Azure cloud has allowed UPS all the benefits of Nightline’s system. Drivers now scan parcels from both companies, creating a manifest that can be amended to ensure the optimal route is used for delivery, improving staff satisfaction.
Client satisfaction has also increased thanks to ETAs and stop numbers being provided to recipients, so they can get on with their days. Resource management and logistics have increased efficiency, with the accuracy of predicting stop numbers improved from +/- 5 to just +/-1.
Finally, the Azure platform’s data and analytics capabilities have provided UPS with deeper insights, allowing scope for continual operational improvements in the future.