Features

Entering a new dimension

Leopard Cube

Measuring and weighing freight incorrectly wastes money and causes flow-on problems down the supply chain. The Leopard Cube dimensioning system is here to help, says Alex Koumaras, Managing Director of Leopard Systems.   

Alex Koumaras, Managing Director of Leopard Systems – which has been an enterprise mobility solutions provider for more than 30 years – says the company focuses on three key capabilities: advice on and provision of enterprise mobility equipment and services; mobile fleet monitoring, management and support; and enterprise grade software solutions. Leopard combines these core capabilities to streamline processes and mobilise operations in the postal, transport, logistics, supply chain, retail and field service industries. 

Leopard Cube, released shortly before the onset of the COVID-pandemic, is uniquely designed to measure the dimensional weight of any freight item, and communicate that data effectively and easily to improve operational efficiency and reduce revenue leakage. Recently, it received global recognition for bringing quantifiable benefits to its stakeholders and effectively scaling up revenue protection – being named the winner of the Technology Award at the World Post & Parcel Awards 2021.  

Alex says that pressure on margins in the freight movement sector has focused attention on the importance of accurate measurements of goods – an essential factor in protecting revenues.

Inaccurate measurement of goods can occur for many reasons, but a common problem for Leopard’s freight transport customers is when the dimensions of goods are incorrectly declared.

“Let’s say one of our freight customers is moving goods for its own shipping customer,” Alex explains. “The shipper might define the size of pallets moved as 1m by 1m by 1m, when in reality it’s actually 1.2m wide, 1.2m long, and 1.4m high. Because the shipper has incorrectly declared the dimensions, our freight customer under-bills the shipper for the movement of those pallets from point A to point B. If you multiply that slight under-declaration across 2000 pallets or so in a day, you can imagine the scale of the revenue leakage problem.”

By implementing Leopard Cube, Alex says, businesses are able to protect against significant amounts of revenue leakage.

But how does it work in practice? 

The freight dimensioning system is a relatively new concept that leverages already existing scanning technology, says Alex. 

“We identified that many of our clients and potential clients have already invested in Zebra mobile scanning equipment,” he says. “Our certified legal-for-trade Cube solution combines a practical measuring tape with a powerful cubing application that is deployed to Zebra mobile devices. So, we can leverage that investment in existing technology – and everyone knows how to use a tape measure! The user extends the tape measure and uses the mobile device to capture the measurement, and this data is immediately available in real-time in our cloud environment.”

Information such as date and time stamps for tracking events, GPS coordinates, physical weight and photos of the freight are also captured by Leopard Cube.  

Alex adds that because of the real time nature of it – and its instant availability through a Leopard-provided API – information can automatically interface with existing business systems including enterprise transport and warehouse management systems to seamlessly monitor and action transactions. 

“This information can be used right away for calculating the volume of freight that will be going on a particular line haul vehicle that evening, and identifying any potential issues,” he says. “For example, certain items might not be able to make it onto a particular truck because of capacity issues. This is particularly important in the context of safety – by ensuring that trucks aren’t overloaded with inappropriate freight volumes.”

Alex notes that Leopard Cube was influenced by feedback from customers with complex system back-ends – and uses the latest in serverless, micro service-based cloud infrastructure, so users don’t have to administer the system themselves. “Providing this managed solution as a service in the cloud meant that it was highly reliable, highly scalable, and one system at least that our customers didn’t need to concern themselves with,” he says.

Alex adds that the ability to scale operations with ease is matched by scalability of spending – with no up-front costs and a simple subscription-based transaction fee. “As the business grows or changes, the solution can scale up with it and then scale back down again,” he says. “This might be because of seasonal type activity, such as the usual Christmas rush versus other slower months.”

For more information on Leopard Systems, click here

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