How many times, in the course of your lifetime, did you come home to find a note attached to the mailbox? The courier has been there and did not find you. Sometimes you don’t even have to be absent to find it: the delivery guy was in such a rush that he has left the note without ringing; or waiting for an answer.
That sticky note is not a welcome sight: it means that you’ll have to go once again through the process. Wait, hope or worse: collect the parcel in some God-forsaken part of town.
Honeywell Executive Jeff Taylor, at the last Honeywell’s EDGE User Conference, in Phoenix, spoke about the sheer amount of failed deliveries: “50% of the cost of delivering an e-commerce package is in the last mile. Fewer than 70% of packages are delivered on the first attempt by the driver. Maybe the address is wrong or the customer left to run an errand”.
The logistics community is working hard to find viable solutions to this problem. A problem that lowers the quality of life of all parties involved. The world is evolving towards a widespread e-commerce way of life and frustration cannot be a part of the equation.
When do we usually get anxious? When we wait. Another source of anxiety? Uncertainty. There's a huge buzz surrounding the notion of super-fast deliveries. But fast is not certain. If I make a same-day order at 8.00 AM I still don't know when it will arrive. Will I be home? Murphy's Law Murphy's Law dictates that the delivey guy is going to ring the doorbell during the five minutes I took to walk the dog. This is very stressful for every party involved.
Even crowdsourcing may steer the market towards an anxiety-filled future, by transforming common people in low-paid delivery men. Is our industry capable of guaranteeing the quality of this service? Especially if the transported items require a certain care. Who's going to knock at my door?
Luckily other services are bound to represent a gold mine of stress-free innovation. Geo-reference, GPS tracking, digital maps, proofs of delivery and all that mobile pervasiveness allow us to know in real time where the parcel is: that’s good for the sender, the recipient and the transporter. Data-driven, predictive mathematical models allow for the best price to be tagged along with any granular, custom delivery option, entitling the customer to a smoother checkout and an even smoother post-order experience. We’re talking, above all, about accurate delivery windows, ETAs and constant, unobtrusive, two-way Communication between the parties involved.
Human interaction and technology have the power to erase the stress glitch from the supply chain. Having more time for ourselves, in this fast moving world of ours, is going be the king of luxury goods.