Crowdsourcing the Last Logistical Mile

Crowdsourcing the Last Logistical Mile

April 23, 2018

Crowdsourced delivery is on the rise with 10% of retailers using this “last mile” delivery model currently, and 26% of retailers planning to use this delivery network in the future.  The challenges to crowdsourced delivery include finding a long term partner, sharing privacy data with vendors, and the potential for safety incidents at delivery.

But there are also opportunities, especially in densely populated areas, as retailers compete to offer same-day delivery.

This post is based on Logistics Viewpoints’ The Other Side of the Coin for Crowdsourced Deliveries, by Chris Cunnane, April 11, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov.

Discussion Questions:

1. How can a major retailer select a safe, reliable, and financially stable “last mile” delivery partner?

Guidance: Students should develop a checklist to present in class that addresses vendor selection for a crowdsourced delivery partner.  Lists could include items related to financial stability, route coverage, delivery guarantees, contract penalties for failures, and addressing privacy protection policies.

2. Would crowdsourced delivery be a viable solution for the healthcare industry? Why or why not?

Guidance: Students should consider the privacy and safety concerns that are more difficult to address with crowdsourced delivery firms.  For Continue reading

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Overseas Demand is Brewing for US Craft Beers

Overseas Demand is Brewing for US Craft Beers

US craft beers have become increasingly popular abroad. Unfortunately, exports have not been able to match the growing demand.

High transportation costs and the risks of transporting a perishable product over long distances have deterred some brewers from exporting. Although some brewers have partnered with overseas beer makers and bottlers to expand rapidly, others have preferred to take a slower, careful approach to market share growth.

This post is based on the PRI.org article, Europeans are embracing American craft beer. So, why are exports trailing off?, by J. Margolis, February 15, 2018. Image source: nuamoid / 123RF.

Discussion Questions

1. Price, delivery reliability, delivery speed, quality, and flexibility can be order winners or qualifiers. For New Belgium, which characteristics are order winners and qualifiers? Why?

Guidance: Superior quality is definitely an order winner because overseas beer drinkers like the hoppy taste of US craft brews. Price is a qualifier; the high cost of shipping the beer overseas makes it difficult to beat the local competition on the basis of price. Delivery reliability is a qualifier; customers will cease to do business with suppliers who cannot deliver on time. Flexibility is a qualifier; brewers must provide the variety Continue reading

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