"All my career has been about rapid change," says Mike Sturrock, Group CIO of logistics specialists DX Group, the company he joined in 2011 with the express mission to put technology in the driving seat of a high-end delivery services company.
DX Group may not have the brightly coloured vans of other logistics firms or a royal warrant, but its heritage is connected to the Royal Mail and the company holds a significant place in the history of the UK logistics industry.
"We are the largest single independent provider of logistics, transport, mail and courier services in the UK," Sturrock explains of DX. What makes DX unique in the increasingly competitive logistics sector is its heritage and customer base in high-value deliveries.
"The majority of the company is vetted to a high level, in consideration of the valuable items they're carrying," he says. The reason being, the DX Secure division delivers all UK passports.
DX has three divisions: business-to-business arm DX Network Services which delivers everything from mail to medium-size items; DX Secure, serving the business-to-consumer marketplace; and DX Freight, delivering medium-to-large and irregular sized items to the business and consumer markets.
Because the Secure division carries high-value items such as jewellery, visas, medical samples, spectacles and bank cards, the likelihood of you spotting a DX-branded vehicle on UK roads is slim.
"You don't see our name on the roads. On the secure side of the business our vehicles are plain. When we are delivering passports it is two people in the vehicle, it is locked and we never use curtain-sided vehicles," Sturrock explains.
DX Group was set up in the 1970s, at a time when the UK was in the grip of constant strikes and law firms were struggling to get legal documents to one another as part of the normal legal process. The company was formed to offer an alternative to the Royal Mail and to this day DX operates blue post boxes inside law offices and offers a service that guarantees to deliver any legal document, posted before 5pm, by 9am the next morning.
"We manage a closed network of physical mail. We can also separate out mainstream mail, so that law firms get a full service," Sturrock explains.
But with more and more documents being sent digitally, DX Group looked for a niche that would counteract the downturn in regular mail usage, and in March 2012 it acquired Nightfreight, a logistics firm that specialises in 'ugly deliveries' — parcels of irregular dimension and weight such as bicycles and canoes.
"We were looking for an acquisition to grow the business and to offset the erosion of mail usage," Sturrock says of the increasing use of digital documents, even in the more traditional legal circles.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.