Project Description

Case Study: Erb Transport Limited

Erb Transport Limited is a multifaceted transportation company with almost six decades of experience in the industry. Now with 1400 employees and over 2000 pieces of equipment serving 3000 customers, Erb offers a variety of services, specializing in temperature-controlled and time-sensitive food transportation.

The customer service department handles inbound enquiries from customers and potential customers concerning availability, rates, bookings, pick-up notifications, shipping documentation, tracking and more. Set up in the early 2010s, the customer service department grew rapidly to become a critical part of business operations; and as the department grew, so did the volume of email correspondence.


Emailtopia’s Response solution means that we can not only manage our inbound email more effectively, but also to build a more robust and streamlined workflow around it.

If you have large volumes of emails, this is definitely something you ought to look into.


Like many other businesses in this sector, Erb processes large volumes of email, with very aggressive response time targets and significant challenges in managing often sizeable attachments to emails. Prior to working with Emailtopia, Erb’s customer service department was struggling to effectively manage the size of their mail store, as there was a requirement to archive and search the emails as well as to ensure that every email received the response it needed.

However, one of Erb’s biggest challenges in finding an appropriate solution was that, without any metrics or management tools in place, it was difficult to quantify the problem: to know easily the volume of emails arriving every day, how long it took to reply to them, and how many were falling through the cracks.


Erb initially sought a solution to the archiving and storage issue, especially since many inbound emails had large files attached to them. Additionally, though, it became clear while looking for a solution that there was an opportunity to streamline the workflow at the same time, by implementing a more comprehensive email workflow management approach.

The Erb team was particularly interested in automating the distribution of email to customer service agents. As Sheila Kirtz, customer service manager, explains, in the transportation industry speed of response is paramount – “if we don’t reply to email enquiries within 20 minutes the business has probably already gone elsewhere.”

Some of the pressure could also be taken off agents by building sophisticated standard responses and, in some circumstances, automating the reply altogether. And, of course, Response provides an easy way to ensure that every incoming email receives the attention it needs: nothing is accidentally ignored or deleted.


As the customer service team grew, management identified a need to better manage agent schedules and help guide hiring decisions. Emailtopia’s built-in reports provided the tools that Erb needed, as the team was able to clearly see when additional staff were needed, and even provided strong guidance for extending the business’ opening hours.

Erb has been able to maintain its aggressive response time service levels, and has been able to move beyond its standard first-in, first-out protocol to prioritise especially time-sensitive emails. The service level is not at a point where Erb encourages its customers to follow-up by phone if they have not had a reply within 15 minutes: as Kirtz says, “very few customers have ever placed that call.”

Senior management at Erb has also been impressed with Response. When asked to demonstrate what Emailtopia’s solution has done for the company, Kirtz graphed some of the key metrics from Response’s reports over the course of a month and presented those results. Beyond being impressed that Kirtz’ department was even able to measure their performance in this way, the ability to use the reports to predict workflow and to support business decisions has been hugely beneficial in planning company growth.

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