Evening package delivery from your personal “Doorman”
Have you ever ordered something online and not been home to receive it? Usually, the package is left out on the doorstep, or in the case of expensive electronics, it is kept somewhere until it can be signed for. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to specify when the package arrives, for example, in the evening when you are home from work? This is exactly the service that logistics start-up “Doorman” offers with its App. Competition within the “last mile” logistics industry is picking up, and Doorman has positioned itself nicely with its recent round of funding and planned expansion into Chicago and New York.
The concept is simple: Instead of having FedEx or UPS drop a package on your doorstep, where it can easily be stolen, online shoppers can provide retailers with a “Doorman” address. Employees at these depots sign for the package and alert App users that the package has arrived. Once shoppers receive the notification, they can set up the desired delivery time, 7 days a week from 6PM to midnight. Doorman can deliver the package on the same day it arrived or up to one month later.
The upcoming holiday season, together with the company’s planned expansion, will provide excellent insight into whether or not this is a service that consumers deem important.
Click here to read more on this innovative last mile approach.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…my Wal-Mart order!
Based on this week’s industry headlines, it is safe to conclude that ecommerce package delivery optimization is a hot topic. Earlier this week, Wal-Mart submitted an application to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in hopes of gaining approval to test unmanned aircraft for home delivery as well as curb-side pick-up and warehoouse inventory checks. The retail giant is no newcomer to the drone industry, as it has been conducting indoor tests for the past several months. This move toward outdoor testing shows that the retail giant is attempting to keep step with Amazon’s drone plans. The end goal for Wal-Mart is a more efficient distribution network.
A spokesman from the company noted there is a Wal-Mart located within 5 miles of 70% of the U.S. population. This close proximity to end consumers provides Wal-Mart with a unique delivery opportunity, and the company included these short, residential routes in their testing plans. With regard to warehouse optimization, Wal-Mart plans to test the use of drones for inventory purposes. The company can have hundreds of trailers on warehouse premises at any given time. Drones coupled with an electronic tagging system could allow for a speedy stocktake of these trailers.
For more on Wal-Mart’s drone plans, click here.
Supply Chain Management courses on the rise
In an attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing supply chain operating environment, we are seeing a significant amount of courses pop up, aimed at helping students and workers develop their logistics and supply chain skills. Most recently, Rutgers Business School announced it will be offering a “mini MBA” that addresses the impact of The Internet of Things on supply chain operations. Coursework will focus on leading trends within the industry, such as 3D Printing, robotics, advanced analytics and cloud computing. How to successfully integrate these innovations into supply chain and logistics processes will be included in the new academic offering.
Rutgers is not alone in the creation of such a course. Many other schools are offering similar programs, as the demand for these skill sets within organizations across all industries is increasing. There is an overall growing need for professionals within supply chain and logistics, and these new programs aim to fill that need.
For more on the new program offerings, click here.
Have a nice weekend!