Amazon Go and the Jobless Future in Retail

Amazon Go and the Jobless Future in Retail

Amazon is testing a retail store without check-outs; instead, you simply tap your phone when you enter and 'machine learning and computer vision' track what you pick up and let you just walk out. In order to do this, Amazon is launching an app called Amazon Go which customers will use to register when they're in the store and the app will track the products picked up as they move about the store.

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The“Uber-for-X” Model and the Complexity of On-Demand Delivery

The“Uber-for-X” Model and the Complexity of On-Demand Delivery

Uber’s success in disrupting transportation has led to enormous VC funding of “Uber-for-X” businesses where smartphones are used to connect customers with nearby workers on demand. A number of startups have entered the same-day / same-hour delivery market with the intent of fundamentally transforming how we shop and eat.

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Ways to think about Last Mile Delivery

Ways to think about Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is going to change significantly over the next few decades. A sea-change is upon the Logistics industry and as is often the case when an industry is about to be turned upside-down, there are a number of converging factors, both societal and technological, that are accelerating the pace of change.

 

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Logistics Startup: FLEXE and Pop-up Warehousing

Logistics Startup: FLEXE and Pop-up Warehousing

Today's innovations from startups could be the source of transformation that shapes the future of logistics. Recent technological innovations have allowed startups to disrupt mature industries in a matter of a few years. Take Uber for example, a car service start up founded in 2009. As of July 2016, there have been more than 2 billion trips on Uber that have bypassed the taxi industry. Are there any start-ups out there that could have this type of impact in Logistics?

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The Future of Last Mile Deliveries: Mercedes Vision Van makes Logistics Look Cool

The Future of Last Mile Deliveries: Mercedes Vision Van makes Logistics Look Cool

Mercedes Benz and Matternet, a drone technology start-up, have partnered to create an integrated vision of the future for urban deliveries. Mercedes showcased the concept cargo van at the IAA Commercial vehicle show in Hannover, Germany last week. The future, not all that surprisingly, is an electric vehicle with a range of 270 KMs (168 miles) combined with drones that make package deliveries.

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Amazon on the hunt for Warehousing Space in Australia

Amazon on the hunt for Warehousing Space in Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that Amazon is looking for warehouse space in Sydney's west.  Reminds me of a great quote from Richard Goyder, Wesfarmer Managing Director, when speaking of the threat Amazon poses to Australia retailers:

 "Amazon will eat all our breakfasts, lunches and dinners"

I couldn't agree more; retailers in Australia should be worried, very worried. According to a recent survey, more than 50% of U.S. online shoppers begin their product searches on Amazon.com which is really bad news for U.S. retailers. I would expect the same results here.

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Pokemon Go is coming to a warehouse near you!

Pokemon Go is coming to a warehouse near you!

The Pokemon Go phenomenon, which has exceeded 500 million downloads worldwide, highlights the possibilities of augmented reality (AR) not just for gaming, but also for use in the supply chain. A good starting point for augmented reality in the supply chain, is in warehouses, and DHL recently announced that they will expand testing of augmented reality in warehouses in Europe and the United States:

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Amazon, FedEx and Adjacent Innovation

Amazon, FedEx and Adjacent Innovation

Bloomberg Businessweek recently released a report by Devin Leonard, entitled “Will Amazon Kill FedEx?”. Fred Smith, CEO FedEx from the report:

Concerns about industry disruption continue to be fueled by fantastical -- and I chose this word carefully -- articles and reports,” Smith said on a conference call with analysts and investors. “In all likelihood, the primary deliverers of e-commerce shipments for the foreseeable future will be UPS, the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx.

Reading these words, my mind can't help but track back to to this statement by Research in Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsillie in 2007 following the release of the first iPhone:

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Uber is a Logistics Platform, Not A Car Service

Uber is a Logistics Platform, Not A Car Service

Last week Uber announced that they would begin testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and that they had acquired Otto, a 90-person start-up that focuses on technology for self-driving trucks. Otto develops sensors and radars that can be quickly outfitted onto existing trucks. Otto’s goal (for now) is for the truck to be fully autonomous on the highways while the driver rests, and the driver takes over for exits and driving in cities. The technology is pretty compelling as...

 

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Can a Start-up save the World’s Largest Retailer

Can a Start-up save the World’s Largest Retailer

Walmart acquired jet.com, an aggressive eCommerce player founded in 2014 to take on Amazon, for $3.3 bn. Walmart is a distant second to Amazon in online sales in the US - $14 billion compared to $63 billion for Amazon. More troubling, however, has been Walmart's declining year over year eCommerce sales growth. With eCommerce, Walmart has adapted an Omni-channel fulfillment strategy which makes sense on paper - 90% of Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart store so the stores can serve as eCommerce fulfillment centers for the last mile delivery...

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Micro Hubs and Shared Mobility: A Share Economy Concept for Same-Day Delivery

Micro Hubs and Shared Mobility: A Share Economy Concept for Same-Day Delivery

If you’re like me, you’re probably shopping more online - making smaller orders more often and at the same time expecting fast and free delivery, even if it’s not urgent. The growth of eCommerce has fueled increasingly challenging delivery options for both retailers and major parcel carriers alike. For consumers, tomorrow is just not fast enough and most are not prepared to pay for the true cost of delivery.

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The Robots are Coming

The Robots are Coming

A recent McKinsey and Co. report entitled Where machines could replace humans and where they can’t (yet) looked across industry sectors to determine which jobs could be replaced by machines based on currently demonstrated technologies. f you view this report through the lens of warehousing, many physical activities performed in a warehouse throughout the workday are predictable, making many warehousing jobs highly susceptible to automation...

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Click and Collect and Short Term Thinking

Click and Collect and Short Term Thinking

Click and Collect in store has become the latest Holy Grail in Retail enticing Retailers with the promise of driving conversions both online and in the store. There are a myriad of recent research that illustrates the popularity of click and collect with consumers.  Would click and collect just be a niche option if the last mile delivery problem was solved? [...]

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