Specialised courier company Ram Hand to Hand Couriers, which is focused on the delivery of valuable cargo, has launched an interactive ecommerce website to make it easier for consumers to use the company’s extensive range of services and to deliver anything, from critically important documents to information technology equipment.

Joint MD Graeme Lazarus notes that if consumers have any diffi- culty in negotiating the online process, they can click on a help button to launch a live chat session with an agent, who will assist them in answering any queries they may have.

“Innovation has always been a cornerstone of Ram’s operations, with our focus traditionally on the business sector. Our processes were developed with that market in mind,” says Lazarus, adding, however, that demand for Ram’s services has increased exponentially over the last few years and the company soon realised that its processes were not as consumer- friendly as they could be.

He says the introduction of the interactive ecommerce website has taken what was previously a predominantly manual, one to two-day 12-step process and converted it into a three-step process that can now be completed in minutes. Lazarus adds that, in the past, consumers were required to complete many of Ram’s processes manually, with emails going back and forth between company and client. Credit card payments could not be accepted and electronic funds transfer payments had to be cleared before delivery could take place.

The new Ram website prompts the consumer through all the required steps after login. When a customer provides details about the collection and delivery points, the system assists with veri- fication to ensure that the full and correct addresses are provided. The consumer immediately gets a menu of services and prices, clicks on the chosen service and pays using a credit card. The system then immediately informs the consumer about the time of collection and generates a waybill that must be printed out and handed to the driver on collection.

Consumers who opt for air-freighted delivery services will be prompted to declare the contents of their parcels to comply with the Civil Aviation Act. Ram is also certified to transport firearms and ammunition. The new system handles the stringent legalities associated with this.

Once the parcel has been collected, the consumer receives constant updates about the progress of the delivery