We’ve written extensively about Amazon’s moves to own their entire supply chain, including the last mile. Based on a secret internal document outlining their plan to become a full fledged shipping company, as well as some obvious moves they’ve already made towards that end, it’s clear that Amazon is well on there way.
And it’s highly likely that other retailers will begin to follow suit. However, at the moment, a lot of them haven’t invested in the technology yet. This gives 3PLs, Postal and Parcel Delivery Services the opportunity to prepare.
So are retailers going to be putting shipping companies out of business any time soon? No, that is unlikely. However, just like every other industry nowadays, the industry is on the cusp of a huge change.
Postal, Parcel and 3PLs are starting to realize that they need more visibility over their supply chain. Additionally, the new customer expectations of full visibility over their delivery is now becoming an accepted fact.
Making The Supply Chain Visible to Customers
UPS recently launched “Follow My Delivery” that allows customers to track their deliveries on a real-time map, directly from their mobile phone. We at Bringg saw this as a complete validation of the vision we’ve had for years: In an age when consumers are more empowered than ever, businesses can’t keep their customers in the dark – they want to see where their package, in real-time, throughout the delivery process.
The key to customer visibility is the real-time map, and having it accessible through a mobile phone. Customers want to follow their driver until they reach their doorstep. Customers also want real ETAs, not just a four hour window where they have to wait around. Doing this satiates the customer’s desire to have a certain sense of control – to be part of the process. This expectation of full visibility was a precedent set, in large part, by Uber and the experience they provide riders while they are waiting for their driver to arrive.
To enable all of this, 3PLs, Postal and Parcel Delivery Services and others need to have the technology in place to centralize their operations and have visibility internally over their entire operation. Being able to track drivers, know when they are on/off shift, as well as items – know exactly where each item is on its way to the final destination are all key to this.
The “Sharing Economy” Will Become a Mainstay
The “on-demand” and “sharing” economies are hear to stay. Regardless of some of the bumps in the road, it’s clear that independent drivers will become integrated into the overall strategy of most shipping companies – or at least they should. In order to manage both third parties and company-owned fleets, businesses will need to have a centralized system to manage them all in one place
With New Customer Expectations Comes the Need for New Technology
Businesses such as postal delivery and parcel delivery services and 3PLS, need the technology to level-up their operations and capabilities with companies like Amazon, Uber & Google who have developed this internally for their own use.
Bringg’s system is “modular” – these modules include a delivery management dashboard for managing operations, dispatching orders and tracking drivers. It also serves as a centralized system that can integrate third party drivers as well.
The Bringg driver app connects drivers to the dispatcher/warehouse. Through the app, they receive tasks and are able to communicate with both the customer and dispatcher. It also allows them to navigate to their destination.
Customer experience is a real need in the age of empowered consumers. Bringg enables businesses to provide their customers with the “Uber-like” delivery experience that they expect. This includes the ability to track, in real-time, their package during its delivery on a map directly from their mobile phone. They can also communicate with the driver and rate their experience afterwards.
Disruption Will Continue
There is no question that we are living in a world of disruption, and that rate of that disruption increases each year. Disruption is the “new normal” which means companies that deliver can only retain their positions if they stay one step ahead of the game… lest they fall into the trap that the taxi industry found themselves in – they didn’t understand that their customers weren’t willing to accept the basic level of service any longer.