The importance of last mile delivery is the most crucial step in the supply chain, as the shipment is completed once the goods are delivered. It also presents a significant challenge to make e-commerce greener, cleaner and better for the environment. We need e-commerce to be more Earth-friendly: “we need to reinforce delivery with sustainability.” Ecommerce needs to drive a sustainable model and, therefore, needs to change along with consumer habits. Purpose-driven supply chains are a major shift that does not simply involve introducing new technology or logistics disruption; it calls for a radical rethinking of how we do business and how our public and private organizations function and are shaped. Deliver with Purpose includes real (and not distorted) total costs and returns with a local capital flow to both communities and planet. Sustainability is a macro-economic concept rooted in long-terms goals, for health and survival, that need to be systemically rooted into the micro-economies of internet commerce. The reinvention of delivery moves us all in the age of ecommerce, changing retail and customer expectations. Deliver with Purpose is the next big customer channel transformation and strategy driven by same-day delivery expansion platforms and partnerships.
“Omnichannel is dead. The future is harmonized retail.” Steve Dennis writes. “The essence of harmonized retail is accepting the truth that all the talk about different channels is not at all helpful. The customer is the channel.”
We would add that delivery (and last mile specifically) adds the critical structures and flow to the customer channel: transportation, mobility, energy, and ecosystem. The definition of delivery takes an extensive and all-encompassing approach. This approach is defined by an end-to-end whole system methodology and tools, since the devil is in the details. We need to sweat the details. The intelligence of delivery needs to move beyond speed and convenience. Its definition needs to include sustainability strategy with resource usage, pollution, noise and congestion management. With imagination and courage, retail intelligence by design is needed to develop the right fulfilment channels. It’s hard to consider picking up delivery speed when our planet is going downhill. We know that companies won’t change until consumers push them to. Each consumer will have to task themselves to encourage the world and its leading players to “act small”. That is, imagine a hyper-local environment, putting things in order starting with yourself, progressing to family, community and moving to larger regions and globally.
The logistics battle between Walmart and Amazon will increase. We hope that environmental values and sustainability become integral to the drive of improving the velocity of the supply chain. Free one-day delivery for 75% of the US, as Walmart announced recently, will help with keeping up with Amazon’s already existing one-day delivery in many markets. For Walmart, Home Depot, Target and others, they will leverage their store infrastructure for buy online pick up in store (BOPIS). Speed, efficiency, load density, hyperlocal, micro-fulfilment, physicality and sustainability are all part of a successful supply chain formula. In addition to BOPIS, there are delivery channels closer to the consumer. Building on store assets (real estate) and commercial physicality with a density of micro-fulfilment centres, new delivery channels and access points can represent the reinvention of delivery that helps adapt not only to changing customer delivery expectations and new channels, but also helping with sustainability for the health of both community and planet. With companies now investing billions of dollars in their e-commerce and retail logistics capabilities, there is no better time to lead by example. We can change with fast-evolving delivery partnerships that include sustainable logistics capabilities.
For eShoppers, their purchase experience will need to proceed seamlessly from the website to OOH(Out-of-Home) access points and parcel locker doors, transforming both shopping and delivery information into a single entity whose success and failure end up impacting equally on both fronts of the supply chain. With the last 50 feet pick up at access points (PUDO, c-stores, transportation hubs) and parcel lockers, the delivery growth model and change in consumer habits are better able to keep pace with the economic growth of e-commerce. Beyond the psychology of customer needs and architectures of persuasion embedded in our virtual worlds, together with immediate gratification and convenience (the cornerstones of the Amazon experience), there is the changing customer expectation of new experiences, new memories, the joys of being somewhere else (discovery and adventure), and improved physicality. These new experiences carry through to the transformative delivery process and need to be experienced directly, seamlessly, deeply and completely as new, more sustainable and intelligent behaviours with better ways to define a harmonized retail design. A design leading to new expectations and more retail intelligence including delivery sustainability hard-coded into its’ supply chain model as part of the same-day delivery expansion.
Each individual parcel has a saving purpose that requires a lot of collaboration to transform delivery, one parcel at a time.
eShoppers can be transformed to the individual’s participation in something bigger than themselves, part of a network of value and sustainability, with each one of us helping to build a healthier community and planet. A vital link to our relationship with nature that’s missing as urban dwellers and very much missing in our virtual shopping processes. It’s about time we all change this. One parcel at a time.
Let’s consider 100% Certified Delivery – an end-to-end logistics process with hyperlocal fulfilment designed to reduce CO2 with KPI’s including real-time analytics with congestion, noise, idle time to reduce typical inefficient transportation practices.
What are some of the whole system processes required for the 100% Certified Delivery common goals?
Physical Logistics Model – Efficiency of space management and place (recall: hyperlocal focus with community is the locus of purpose-driven) is by design to include visibility, proximity and localization for an Everything is Connected Model, in which small causes (changes) lead to big effects (“butterfly effect”). This philosophy leads us from small box and “4 walls” thinking and reality to open box, fresh and sustainable thinking. A principle is to bring people closer together and thereby promote better ways to manage, produce, buy, sell, deliver and communicate things leading to entrenched everyday sustainability practices and a healthier planet earth.
Accurate Pick & Pack– Large scale automated mega-warehouses are not the answer for intelligent retail operation given their significant cost/ROI and by definition only able to service Tier 1 markets. Hand held devices and further developing the value proposition where robotics and instore automation can also facilitate e-fulfilment for the entire picking, packing, loading and delivery process to reduce errors and promote a seamless consumer channel.
Express Stores/Micro-Fulfilment Centres– Smaller format and convenience stores (C-stores) with facilities optimised for both cases and eaches distribution. Part of a hybrid physicality footprint and strategy is to include premium service locations, not bigger but better customer experiences, focused on personalised and individual services to showcase the Brand. All physical assets need to optimised with micro-fulfilment technology.
Multi-Format Warehouse-type Stores– Extending the C-store concept with fulfilment technology and across all categories (CPG, fresh, frozen, alcohol, electronics, health) available under one roof and for immediate pickup using several channels including the warehouse, express stores and access points with an omnichannel supply chain.
Full trucks– load density with package last mile (50 feet) density to Access Points (AP): PUDO, C-stores, Carrier stores (Fed-EX, UPS), Parcel & Concierge Lockers).
Efficient Routing– shortest possible route and delivery optimization to closest AP, no idle time policy, hyperlocal and 24/7.
Forward & Reverse Logistics– reduce waste, time, congestion, and better space management.
Thanks for reading this post and we welcome your thoughts, as always. OMNION is very committed to continuing our work with partners and suppliers to imagine, create and build: Deliver with Purpose.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook