A mechanical engineer by education and training, and with over 30 years of experience in design, sales, marketing, product development and new business creation, SprintShip CEO Andy Whiteside thought solving last mile delivery would be a cinch. Whiteside has played major roles in engineering companies, software companies, fashion, publishing, packaging, transportation and alternative fuel companies. An entrepreneur at heart, he has helped businesses streamline their processes to save costs and grow their businesses.
It didn't take long before he realized what he was up against.
Between traffic jams, wrong addresses, no one home, the reasons for packages not making it on time--or at all--were virtually endless. "It was like packages just disappeared into oblivion. You could have a package scan in, make it through the hub. We wait and we hope that the product turns up," says Whiteside, speaking at the Home Delivery Conference 2018 in Atlanta, an event solely focused on retail logistics.
"There are millions of products flying around this country ever day," says Whiteside. "Acme does millions a day. DHL over 1.5 million a day. FedEx over 3.5 million a day. UPS over 15 million a day."
Whiteside set out to answer the question: What is actually a good delivery? "Your SLA (Service-Level Agreement) percentage may be 99 percent, but for that one percent that doesn’t get their package on time, or at all, they're not happy, and thus you’re not happy. So, it’s necessary to get 100 percent."
The idea is to make the invisible, visible. "We track every single step. Packages are confirmed pickup or reported missing (POINT A) all the way to delivery confirmation (POINT B). It’s all about accuracy, speed, and efficiency. We also have maximum security with the SprintTag application."
It’s also all about real time information and information flow. "When you’re doing millions a day, you can’t watch all the packages but technology can. You have to be able to deal with last minute changes. For instance, GEO code errors—or what if a customer lives in a gated community and we don’t have the code? You have to account for everything."
Label Delivery App helps make it happen with real time tracking. "Also, we trying to find missing orders in time to remake. We can proactively (in real time) tell the customer of an issue. Also with the delivery app we can actually track the delivery of the product."
They can monitor exactly where a package is. Not only that, but other important aspects like temperature. "We can track and prove that we never let a package go over a prescribed amount," says Whiteside.
"We literally have photographic proof of delivery, and that's our goal. We aim for the perfect delivery."
Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store. Whiteside says that in order to meet their goal of perfection they need to follow "elastic logistics trends." Things change rapidly, month-to-month, week-to-week, even daily. "There are huge peaks and troughs even throughout the week, much less seasonal," he says. "One approach we take is to market locally using logistics. We also ask for delivery choices. For the retailers what everyone cares about at the end of the day is to increase their volume."
"Brick and mortars are here to stay, by the way," says Whiteside. "I think brick and mortar is on the uptick. Everyone is trying to achieve 'ship from store,' and for a driver to pickup locally and make the delivery. By using the store and shipping locally you can also learn people’s buying habits. Often when people make a purchase online it’s like from a black hole. It can be coming from anywhere. Also we’re working on automatic van sortation."
It takes passion and commitment, and the ability to wear a lot of hats, not the least of which is knowing best practices in the technical application. Visible and transparent is the name of the game. And security. All of which is better performance and then customer satisfaction.
Stay up-to-date with the latest commentary and insights on FreightTech and the impact to the markets by subscribing.