I write a lot about coming together to face the Amazon-effect that is overtaking the space of delivery and logistics. And never have I felt more confident in what I preach.
This past week I spent traveling to London, New York and Miami to meet and speak with customers, partners, investors and analysts. And as I spoke and listened, I realized one thing, everyone feels the changing tide of the market. Companies are aware of the proliferation of goods and services being delivered at a more rapid pace and are compelled to take action. It’s quite clear, the current situation is becoming unsustainable, unbalanced and in need of change.
On Friday, I participated in The Last 24,901 Miles panel at the Jefferies Logistics and Transportation conference in Miami. The panel addressed how traditional brick and mortar was being disrupted by new market entrants. These new players build and implement advanced technologies to create rapid and exceptional customer experiences by perfecting fulfillment efficiency down to the last mile. As a result, they win our customers, our data and now our revenue opportunity. And the par that they built both from tech and experience, became so great that no single player today can close the gap. So while these disruptors continue far ahead, we all risk falling behind.
But markets have been disrupted before, we are not the first ones to face such competitive pressure. Remember Android vs iOS? Remember how quickly market players came together to create the Android alternative, which, by the way, today is bigger than iOS? With our collective power, we can do the same.
As market players, together, we can build a massive logistics network that is much bigger and more efficient than the new entrants themselves. We are many and they are one. Instead of competing and exhausting ourselves one against each other, we can join forces and fight together against the real threat that we all share.
I call this the Coalition Model because, while each player is an individual entity that cares for its own existence, together we still share a common purpose to thrive in the Age of Amazon with ever-growing customer expectations. Together, we can create an open and competitive market, but also an effective and balanced one. We can serve the demand coming in from every industry, restaurants, groceries, retail, healthcare, field services and others. Together we create a viable alternative to the new entrants and protect our customers, our data and our revenue opportunity. It’s about democratizing delivery in the new economy and making same day and next day delivery accessible and available to every company and customer.
How do we do that? First, we need to digitize so we can connect to an open platform and unite our forces (solutions, processes, partners, etc) to be one muscle. A digital transformation will help each company up their game, creating a new organizational and customer experience. Whether you are a parcel company, crowdsource, 3PL, flexible warehousing or any other logistics or technology player, we must connect our available capacity and resources to a digital world where we can collectively present solutions to meet the demand of shippers in real-time. This model creates a canvas for companies to design and implement the most flexible, rich and efficient delivery options that are competitive and compelling to their customers.
If we can move pizza in less than 30 minutes and groceries in less than two hours, imagine how efficient we can become in moving merchandise, furniture, appliances, auto parts, SIM cards, tow trucks, people and any other food, goods or services. Winning the customer experience today is about convenient, cost-effective and fast delivery, and it is the competitive advantage we should all strive for.