Some positive news in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only have we been able to support users through these difficult times, we’ve also been able to add additional features and functionality to the product and grow the team in 2020.
Stream has played a vital part in helping businesses manage their logistics and transport management requirements across a multitude of sectors. From healthcare and pharmaceuticals (learn more about one global pharmaceutical distributor and service provider), manufacturing, retail, food & drink, 3PL and construction.
Over the past six months, we’ve welcomed lots of new subscribers to the Stream family – and added a number of new integrations and partners.
We’ve been able to support businesses across the logistics and retail sectors to make deliveries and collections safely, with features like contactless electronic proof-of-delivery (ePOD), support for retailers pivoting to eCommerce, and the ability to add COVID-related items to the driver’s daily walkaround checks.
Adding to the #StreamTeam
To support this activity, we’ve also welcomed six new people to the #StreamTeam, in roles from software development to customer success and solutions advice. We chatted to the newest members of the team to find out what it’s like to start a new role with Stream.
Sam Parry, Transport Solutions Advisor
“Obviously things like routing and ePOD are great, but that’s the functionality you expect. It’s that customer service that sets Stream apart.”
Sam joined the Stream Team back in April. He supports Stream users through the entire process to get up and running with Stream, from the first contact right through to onboarding, account management and beyond.
Very ‘tech-savvy’, with a love of software, and has enjoyed transferring his skills from previous sales and retail roles into a new sector.
Sam admits that starting a new role during the pandemic was “stressful” at first: “I’ve never worked from home before and now, I’ve not been into the office once”. But, he’s also proven that the role can be done well remotely.
“It has worked well. The whole learning process has been really good. I don’t think training could really have been done any better without being in the office. I’ve had people there to support me and answer questions.”
“I’ve got to know my colleagues a bit, but because I’ve not met them face-to-face it’s harder to develop personal relationships and friendships. I’ve missed the off-topic conversations you get in an office-environment – though I’m enjoying all the benefits of not having a commute!”
Overall though, Sam’s had a good experience. “I’ve enjoyed the variety – there’s always something new to do. I get to speak to such a wide variety of people from any number of industries about the challenges they’re facing with their logistics or fleet compliance.”
Discussing Stream, Sam has found that the most-commented-on feature is its user-friendliness: “My favourite thing about it is the overall look and feel of Stream and the mobile App. It’s super-easy to use, which is good for drivers who might have varying levels of technical experience, and works on any device.”
“The customer-facing parts of Stream – the emails and texts and the tracking page – they’re really the strength of Stream. Obviously, things like routing and ePOD are great, but that’s the functionality you expect. It’s that customer service that sets Stream apart.”
Izzy Anne Massey, Customer Success Specialist
“I can’t tell you how much easier it would have made my life as a fleet manager, to have had Stream Check.”
Izzy came to Stream from a background as a fleet manager, looking for a new challenge.
She enjoys talking to customers, helping and guiding them over the phone. Though she first applied for a trainee software developer role, we thought Izzy might be better suited to our customer success team: “It’s not what I was originally aiming for, but it sounds like an amazing opportunity and plays to my strengths more than the initial job.”
Already, Izzy has noticed that the Stream Team “do things in the way that make sense. It’s not ‘we do things this way because that’s how we’ve always done it’, and that really appeals to me. It’s nice to have the flexibility and the agility”
Izzy will help new Stream users to get onboard with the software “I’ll be guiding them through the onboarding process, answering any questions they have”.
Discussing the pros and cons of starting a new role during the pandemic, Izzy said that “to be honest, it’s mostly benefits! There’s no commute, which is amazing. It’s nice not to have the stress of a new job plus the stress of a new commute – by the time we go back I’ll be comfortable in the role and then I can get used to the commute.”
“Having the social aspect would have been nice. Especially while I’m learning, it would be nice to be able to just turn to someone next to me to answer quick questions. You can still do that through Hangouts and it’s dead easy, but it’s a longer process – you have to send a message, and maybe get on a call. Using video chat has helped me to put a name with a face when meeting the rest of the team though!”
Izzy was a fleet manager in her previous role: “for me, Stream Check would have been a game-changer. I love every aspect of it! I can’t tell you how much easier it would have made my life as a fleet manager, to have had that.”
Izzy was cobbling together her own version of a fleet management system, for a number of different pieces of software: “to see it all as one functional system, that stores data properly, and is compliant… This would have saved hours of my day as a fleet manager.”
Sharin Sangha, Trainee software developer
“I really like the use of Google Maps in Stream. It makes route optimisation so fast and user-friendly.”
After completing her degree in Biomedical Science, Sharin wanted a new challenge. She started learning software development in her spare time before joining the Stream Team. “You get to work across the whole company,” she said, “in customer support, in software development, in testing.”
Starting a new role during the pandemic is different because you don’t get to meet everyone right away. “I’ve been into the office once and it was almost empty, which was quite sad. On the other hand, using Hangouts, when you need to ask a question there’s always someone there to help you – but it would be nice to meet new people in person. Working from home is convenient though, the time saved on commuting. Everyone is really good at quickly answering messages, so it’s not been lonely from that respect.”
“Everyone’s been really nice and supportive. Every call I’ve had, someone has said ‘if you have any questions just feel free to ask’. Despite everything that’s going on, it’s been a really good start.”
From what she’s seen on the Stream product suite so far, Sharin has been especially impressed with the way Google Maps is used in Stream: “It makes route optimisation so fast and user-friendly.”
Theo Themistoklis, Trainee software developer
“Stream has a completely different approach. It was really built for the customers.”
Theo came to the team with a background in mechanical engineering but quickly realised that software engineering aligns with his interests better than mechanical engineering. He’s looking forward to working across the Stream Team: “I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing yet. Software engineering, whether that’s backend, frontend, client-side, customer service, just feels right for me.”
Theo has worked in a logistics environment before – not from the software side, but from a mechanical engineering point of view, in the manufacturing sector.
“This COVID-19 situation – it’s completely new for everyone. I can adapt easily and I don’t have any problem working from home, but I do miss face-to-face social interaction. You can replace some of the interaction with messages and video calls, but human interaction isn’t replaceable.”
So far, he’s enjoyed his training and looks forward to doing development on Stream “StreamTech is about application development. It’s very interactive. You can put something out on the internet and anyone with a connection can see that and use it.”
“Stream has a completely different approach. It was really built for the customers. It reacts like a start-up, I like the agility, the fast-paced environment, the challenges and the freedom that the developers have to be creative and to be listened to, but because the directors and senior people in the business have loads of experience in the sector, they have high standards too.”
Andrew Shackleton, Trainee software developer
“I’m impressed with how smoothly it works… it’s just effortless.”
Andy studied computer science, with a hope to enter a role like this. I just want to apply what I learned at university in the real world. The role at Stream just stood out to me, it seems like a nice place to work”
It’s been okay starting a new role during the pandemic, but it has been hard to get as much communication as you might get face-to-face: “you can’t just turn to someone and chat about a question.”
Using Stream so far, Andy has been “impressed with how smoothly it works. When you’ve got lots of orders and a huge route to plan, and your deliveries, you can just add something into the middle of that and it’s easy. It all works, and it’s just effortless.”
Grace Nixon, Trainee software developer
“The software is really easy to navigate. Straightaway, you can see where everything is and its really well-organised”
After finishing her Maths degree at Manchester, Grace decided she wanted to work in software: “software is where the world is moving to,” she said, “I did a bit of development at uni, and it’s something I wanted to know more about.”
And like the rest of the new starters, Grace has been working remotely from home:
“It’s definitely weird, starting your first full-time job from your bedroom! There are some perks to it – it’s nice to roll out of bed and just be here! – but then there are some cons too. In an office normally you can just turn to a colleague and ask a question when you get stuck. It’s a touch more challenging to do that using Google Hangouts or typing the question into a chat. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into coding and development though.”
Talking about Stream, Grace said that “the software is really easy to navigate. Straightaway, you can see where everything is and its really well-organised. Everything works in the same way and the app is really clear too.”
New features & the Stream ecosystem
Since March, we’ve extended the Stream product with a number of exciting features, including Stream Analytics & KPI reporting, the ability to record costs and charges, and a job booking & pricing engine.
We’ve also expanded the Stream ecosystem, adding integrations with the likes of: