B2B Final Mile Delivery

Field based work forces, whether they are engineers, maintenance technicians or sales people, need a constant flow of spares, samples and consumables to undertake their tasks and serve their customers.

Supply chains move items from suppliers to central warehouses; these get sorted, packed and then dispatched through highly automated and efficient processes. From the warehouses they get sent to the field-based workers but this is the stage where efficiency declines because goods cannot normally be delivered directly to the field worker. Field based employees are out with customers during the daytime and unattended deliveries are insecure and liable to other failures.

The final mile of the supply chain, like every other part of the process needs to be ultra-reliable and deliver goods with certainty and on-time. Home deliveries to field based staff have security and other delivery issues so most businesses use a combination of regional depots, locker banks or major Post Office sorting sites to deliver to. Field staff then travel to collect these goods at the beginning of their working day.

Getting highly paid and skilled field based staff to undertake their own collections from even a fairly local delivery point is very wasteful of time and money. A field based engineer with an hourly cost of £40ph going to a depot  three-times a week, where the depot is a half hours travel away from home will in one year waste around £3,000 worth of their time. This ignores the considerable additional costs of renting space in a locker bank or a depot. This calculation is for one engineer: many companies with large teams of field based staff are wasting many hundreds of thousands of pounds by asking their staff to act as their own delivery drivers. Pelipod delivers a complete return on investment in just a few months.

Pelipod Cross section

Pelipod, a UK based company, has developed a product that will change the dynamics of delivery to field based staff. A Pelipod is a smart point-solution parcel delivery and returns box. It is in effect a personal locker, inexpensive enough to be positioned anywhere yet offers more functionality than other locker products and unlike most depots, operates 24/7.

Pelipod complements existing networks of locker banks and depots by closing the inefficiency gaps. Pelipod customers are analysing their field workers travel times and installing Pelipod’s where the longest journeys occur. Where workers have significant travel for collections, Pelipod, by being positioned close to or at the employees’ home transforms efficiency. More time is spent with customers and less time wasted on driving.

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Pelipod  is also being used to provide flexible, additional capacity at depots; it is much less expensive to install Pelipod’s than to extend the floor space or infrastructure of a depot and furthermore, Pelipod can offer 24/7 secure availability by being sited on the outside of the building.

Pelipod is completely stand-alone; it is battery operated and uses the mobile phone network to transmit secure access codes and the corresponding delivery and collection actions – a full audit trail of every access. It needs no integration or special equipment and can be used by all couriers and companies without any additional equipment or IT

To find out more about how Pelipod can save you time and improve your customer service go to www.pelipod.com or email sales@pelipod.com

 

Do you have a field based work force to supply?

Meadow green croppedIf you are an employer needing to ship goods or spares to a field based workforce or are a 3PL/4PL providing such a service, have you ever considered how you can improve the efficiency of this supply chain?

Field based workers are often valuable and expensive personnel undertaking critical engineering or support work for end customers. Think of the engineers at utilities or personnel maintaining critical machinery; they need an efficient supply chain to deliver the spares and items to enable them to complete their tasks.

The problem with the vast majority of supply chains is that they cannot get their goods into the hands of these field based staff. To do so would require regular home deliveries to each of them and, as they are out with customers for much of the day, such deliveries would be prone to frequent failure or problems as no one is there to receive the parcel.

So, the current answer to field based deliveries has been the use of depots and locker banks in an attempt to get the goods close to the field based worker and then get each worker to collect from the facility.

This is a less-than-ideal solution. Firstly, lockers and depots are expensive capital items and are therefore located in limited locations; the lower the density of these collection points, the greater distance each worker will need to travel for pick-ups and drop-offs. Secondly, field based workers are trained and employed to do specialist work, not paid to act as expensive couriers.

The failure of supply chains to get goods directly to engineers is hugely wasteful of capital, time and money and reducing field workers time on their main activity impacts customer service.

TSupplychain_2_with_text_2he answer is to massively increase the density of collection points so that each worker has negligible distance to travel. Using traditional approaches, this is impractical because of the cost associated with the additional depot and locker bank infrastructure required. However, there is a solution.

Pelipod is the worlds most advanced B2B point-solution parcel delivery and returns box. Pelipod has more security, asset tracking, auditing and notification capabilities than locker bank solutions and unlike most depots, it operates 24/7. Technology and a thorough understanding of supply chain processes has enabled Pelipod Ltd to produce a product at very low unit cost and this allows it to be positioned where it is most needed. For a given investment, Pelipod enables a significantly greater density of delivery points and enables capacity to be adjusted with changing usage demands. Pelipod gives a Return on Investment in as little as 6 weeks for some customers.

Growing numbers of utilities, engineering firms and the 3PLs and 4PLs supplying them are waking up to the transformational potential of Pelipod.

Find out more at www.pelipod.com and try out our ROI calculator to see how Pelipod can benefit your business.

Royal Mail Seeks to reduce its CO2 Impact

Royal Mail vansPost and Parcel recently reported on Royal Mail joining The UK industry body, the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS).

http://postandparcel.info/71572/news/royal-mail-joins-uks-logistics-carbon-reduction-scheme/

The Royal Mail operates a large fleet of vehicles and clocks up huge mileage (and C02 outputs) delivering letters and parcels every day. The logistics industry across both consumer and business markets is seeing year on year growth in parcel volumes and the industry is a major contributor to C02 emissions, other pollution and traffic congestion.

There are two major ways any logistics provider can reduce its carbon footprint; improve vehicle efficiency and emit less C02 per mile travelled or cut down on re-deliveries and concentrate on getting it right first time.

Around 5% of all parcels are not delivered right first time (industry figures) and conservatively this means around 100 million parcels need to be redelivered in the UK annually. This inefficiency means extra cost, inconvenience, pollution, vehicle miles and C02. This 5% number has been stable for a number of years; despite all the innovations within the industry this failure rate has stayed stubbornly high.

Cut failed deliveries and the logistics industry will make a significant saving in C02 emissions and help us all by reducing congestion and other pollution whilst providing consumers and businesses with a better service.

                                     Green Pelipod Logo eliminates failed deliveries.

Red PelipodPelipod is the world’s leading smart, connected, personal parcel box for both businesses and consumers. Pelipod technology enables the recipient to know what is delivered and when. It also provides absolute proof of delivery through a full usage audit trail backed up by photographic evidence of parcel delivery. Comprehensive security and the fact that Pelipod operates 24/7 means that failed deliveries should be a thing of the past. Pelipod has all the advantages of parcel locker banks but is priced so that it can be placed at a consumers or field based workers home. A Pelipod even cuts out the need for a journey to a locker bank or click and collect location.

Pelipod is in use by consumers across the UK and a number of major businesses are now adopting Pelipod to manage receipt of goods to their field based workforces. A key driver for the adoption of Pelipod has been the desire for delivery certainty; our customers do not want to miss parcels but neither do they wish to wait around for a “timed” delivery. When deliveries are reliably right first time, there are fewer vehicle miles undertaken per delivery and therefore less congestion, pollution and C02 emissions.

At Pelipod, we are delighted to be making a contribution to greener, cleaner supply chains.

Boris Johnson wants industry to reduce London congestion through more efficient parcel delivery

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Post and Parcel ran an excellent report (http://postandparcel.info/70983/news/boris-johnson-calls-for-more-click-and-collect-hubs-to-combat-london-congestion/) on Boris Johnson calling for more click and collect services in order to reduce road congestion in London.

This is the second of two short articles exploring how his ideas can be expanded upon and what the logistics industry is doing now and in the future to reduce congestion.

Both business and consumers are generating more parcel movements (deliveries and returns) each year and there seems no end in sight to this growth. More parcels mean more vehicles, more journeys, more mileage, more pollution and inevitably more congestion. Boris’ idea of expanding click and collect to cope with this will help but cannot come close to solving todays issues let alone the larger parcel volumes in the future.

The logistics industry faces the challenge of reducing their impact on congestion yet ship ever growing volumes of parcels; how are they to achieve this, seemingly impossible task?

There are two key areas that need to be addressed. Firstly journeys need to be minimised by making the parcel distribution process as efficient as possible; and secondly, ways need to be found to dispense with road based vehicles and alternative delivery methods sought.

The parcel delivery process today suffers from a number of in-built inefficiencies. Parcels delivered to homes often fail because the recipients are out. This results in re-delivery attempts and therefore more vehicle miles per delivery. Failed delivery rates are between 5 and 10% of all parcels delivered (a minimum of 100 million failed first time deliveries across B2B and B2C sectors). To combat failed deliveries, many courier firms have introduced 1 or 2 hour time slot deliveries. These approaches may reduce the overall number of deliveries per vehicle, but in doing so, it may result in greater overall vehicle miles due to sub-optimal delivery schedules.

Real progress in reducing congestion will come from deploying more infrastructure such as Click and Collect, parcel lockers and parcel boxes. The greater the geographic density of such things means that parcels can be delivered close to (or in the case of parcel boxes – directly to) the end customer. This aids the efficiency of each individual vehicle allowing more deliveries over a shorter time per journey. Most consumers value the certainty of delivery over speed; most people are happy with next or two day delivery if they are certain to get the goods rather than a specific time where they need to be around; whereas click and collect, lockers and parcel boxes all give the certainty that a delivery can be received even if no one is around.

Red Pelipod

Click and Collect and locker boxes work because they are secure and notify users when parcels are delivered to them so they can be collected at a convenient time.

 Green Pelipod Logois the first personal parcel box in widespread use that replicates and even improves upon the capabilities of Click and Collect and lockers. Pelipod uses technology to provide a complete picture of what has been delivered, when it was delivered and who retrieved it and it then sends an email notification. The great advantage of a Pelipod is that it is located exactly where the parcel is needed and requires no additional journey for parcel delivery or retrieval.

There is also much talk of drones starting to deliver parcels and indeed, trials for such services are underway in a number of countries. The bad news is that drones are not going to make a significant dent in the overall number of parcels delivered by road. Drones are limited in the number and weight of parcels they can carry and the distance over which they can deliver; they are also limited by bad weather. It would take many drone to replace the delivery capability of a single van. Despite this, drones may be useful in delivering to remote or heavily congested areas and will eventually be a niche part of the overall delivery infrastructure.

There are plans for autonomous vehicles and even “moles” that will utilise the existing underground tunnel network to ship parcels. When these are fully developed and deployed (probably not before the end of the decade) they will also be a useful addition to the delivery mix but the fact is that road based, manned deliveries will remain the mainstay of B2B and B2C parcel movements for the foreseeable future. This means that greater efficiencies and innovations need to be applied to existing practices in order to cope with increasing volumes whilst reducing vehicle miles per delivery. Click and Collect, Parcel Lockers and dense network of intelligent parcel boxes such as Pelipod are the only methods that will make significant gains in productivity and reduce the growth of, if not the current volume of congestion.

 

Boris Johnson calls for more click and collect hubs to reduce London congestion.

BorisJohnson-160x120Post and Parcel ran an excellent report (http://postandparcel.info/70983/news/boris-johnson-calls-for-more-click-and-collect-hubs-to-combat-london-congestion/) on Boris Johnson calling for more click and collect to reduce congestion in London. He commented that the growth in online shopping was creating more freight movements as each house received its own deliveries. He felt the solution was large vehicles delivering to hubs and then having a click and collect approach for the final stage of getting the goods to customers.

This is the first of two short articles seeking to expand on the points he made about solutions to this problem.

Boris has made a very valid point but his proposed remedy is too narrow to be a comprehensive fix to the rising volume of deliveries. Click and collect involves customers travelling to a collection point, typically a shop and then making a return journey home. If this journey to a Click and Collect location can be done on foot or by bike then it will reduce congestion but if the collection point is too far away and people need to drive then the problem is increased. Many people making one-off collections by car will cause more congestion than a courier making multiple deliveries from one van; this is especially true if the courier can use technology to avoid failed deliveries through the use of time slots or automated parcel boxes.

If the overall aim is to reduce vehicle movements and miles then a variety of solutions need to be deployed. For Click and Collect to be truly effective (and keep cars off the road) there needs to be a high density of collection points so that one is within walking distance of most people. Big shops and supermarkets have made huge investments in click and collect and their operations are reasonably efficient. These larger facilities have proved popular but demand is straining the physical limits of these stores whilst growing further capacity is often expensive or impossible due to space constraints. Currently many small convenience stores offer a click and collect facility as an add-on service but they are not as well adapted, have major space constraints and parcel security or tracking is often cited as a drawback.

The solution to economically increasing the density of collection points is autonomous parcel boxes that offer a high level of security yet are easy to use.

Pelipod outside Houses of Parliment 0B3A0775

Green Pelipod Logois a UK pioneer of advanced parcel delivery boxes. Pelipods are inexpensive enough to be deployed anywhere yet provide a secure, fully audited, 24/7 parcel collection and return service; they even send an email notification when a parcel has been delivered or collected. A Pelipod captures and reports on the “what and when” of deliveries and identifies the “who and when” of collections.  As Pelipod is operational around the clock, courier deliveries can be made outside of peak hours and there should never be a failed delivery, thereby saving return visits from couriers.

Some parcel businesses are planning highly innovative customer centric services based around Pelipod. These new services will place networks of Pelipod’s either with or close to end-consumers. The Pelipods will replicate much of the functions of click and collect yet the price of deployment is a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Because of the flexible use of access codes, advanced security and audit features, one Pelipod can work for multiple users making the deployment of a network with sufficient density much easier.

Some major UK businesses are deploying Pelipods to make deliveries to their field based work-forces more efficient. Instead of employees making frequent trips to depots to collect goods, Pelipods are deployed close to or at employee’s homes allowing goods to be delivered to exactly where they are needed saving many unproductive and needless collection journeys.

Click and collect can be seen as a forward stocking location where parcels can be aggregated and then got to their final destination in the most efficient manner. Automated parcel boxes, of which Pelipod is the first widely deployed intelligent version, will provide the cost-effective means to extend the density of parcel collection points and products and this will be an essential tool to reducing congestion caused by parcel movements.

 

New tech business Pelipod exhibits at House of Commons event for SETsquared

Green Pelipod Logo      SETsquared Logo

New tech business Pelipod exhibits at House of Commons event for SETsquared

Pelipod outside Houses of Parliment 0B3A0775Tech start-up Pelipod was proud to be among the exhibitors at a high-profile House of Commons reception for the world’s number one university business incubator, SETsquared.

Pelipod, based at SETsquared’s centre in Bristol, was part of the special event at which SETsquared announced that its member companies raised over £90m of investment in 2015.

Pelipod has developed an intelligent, connected parcel box that allows couriers and users access using secure, unique codes for safe delivery and collection of goods.

Pelipods are perfect for businesses, workers and people who need unattended, secure, audited and notified deliveries to their home or place of work. The system is intuitively simple to use and requires no effort, integration or changes in processes for businesses to implement and operate.

Pelipods are perfect for businesses, workers and people who need unattended, secure, audited and notified deliveries to their home or place of work. The system is intuitively simple to use and requires no effort, integration or changes in processes for businesses to implement and operate.

Pelipod’s Founder and CEO, Karl Wills, said:

“SETsquared has organised and run another fantastic event. We met many interesting attendees and have identified a number of valuable business opportunities from these conversations”.

Nick Sturge, director of the Bristol SETsquared centre, said:

SETsquared global #1 0B3A1008“We were delighted to celebrate SETsquared’s ranking as the World’s number one university business incubator at the House of Commons today. The event helped everyone attending to appreciate the profound effect that SETsquared’s ambitious and innovative ventures have on our economy and entrepreneurial culture.”

Pelipod and SETsquared Global #1 0B3A1298

“This important event for SETsquared is an excellent opportunity for Pelipod to demonstrate its technology and show the great work that’s happening in Bristol.”

SETsquared announced the record investment news on 4 February at a reception at the House of Commons, attended by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP, Lords and MPs.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP said:

“It’s great to hear of SETsquared’s vital work and the record level of investment raised by the businesses they support. Business incubators, such as this, play a crucial role in helping start-ups innovate, compete and grow and I remain committed to backing entrepreneurs across the country.”

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Pelipod is a UK based business whose vision is to solve final mile delivery challenges for businesses and consumers.

Pelipod is an advanced, secure, stand-alone, point-located parcel box that frees businesses and consumers from needing to be around to accept parcels in person.  Pelipod is smart and records every delivery or return and then emails confirmation to the user; it even takes photographs of the delivered parcels as part of its comprehensive proof of delivery functionality.

Pelipod can be used by any courier or supplier as it needs no integration or special equipment to use. A Pelipod can operate anywhere as it uses 2G mobile signals to communicate and is battery operated.

SETsquared LogoSETsquared is a long-standing partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which specialises in growing high-tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other business acceleration services. SETsquared provides mentoring, access to investors and corporate innovators and a wide range of industry experts through its network and training programmes.

Its business incubation programme is ranked by the University Business Incubator Index as the best in the world and over the last decade it has helped over 1,000 high-tech start-ups to develop and raise more than a £1bn of investment.

Independent research carried out by Warwick Economics estimates the economic impact of SETsquared member companies to be £3.8bn over this period, with the creation of 9,000 jobs and that these companies, along with new companies SETsquared will incubate, are set to deliver a further £8.6bn of impact to the UK economy in the decade ahead.

The impact of IoT on the retail supply-chain

Green Pelipod Logo                         Red Pelipod

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon Clancy of  eDelivery logoeDelivery magazine wrote an excellent article on the impact of telematics (Internet of Things – IoT) on the retail supply-chain www.edelivery.net/2016/intelligent-deliveries-edm04/. Whilst her article focussed on retail B2C, many of the points made could equally relate to B2B as well.

We at Pelipod have gained some unique insight and experience of the impact of IoT at the final stage of the supply chain and indeed the Pelipod product is probably the first true IoT personal parcel delivery box. Pelipod was designed to address the failings of final mile deliveries caused by, amongst other things, customers not being present, insufficient security and lack of certainty. Fixing these issues needed a connected device able to send and receive various information including dynamic secure access codes.  Parcels that fail to arrive, get stolen or delivered elsewhere are a major cost to businesses and consumers but IoT promises a revolution in how they get to their destination.

TKey padhe article discussed the huge impact of data generated by IoT throughout the supply-chain. Across the supply chain IoT devices are being employed to assist with the tracking, routing and reporting on goods and their journey to customers. Every connected device generates its own set of unique information and this avalanche of data, correctly used, offers an insight into many aspects of the supply-chain and customer experience. Correct interpretation and use of this data can stimulate ongoing improvements in service, competitiveness and customer engagement.

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As an IoT device, Pelipod collects and manages an array of data covering all aspects of its usage; specifically, Pelipod informs on the what, when and by whom deliveries and collections are made. The data gives a full audit trail (backed with photographic evidence) to provide complete certainty and security around deliveries.

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Pelipod collects Micro Data which when combined with other data sources provides the Big Data to show and provide analysis on usage, patterns, anomalies and operational issues. This insight can be used by retailers, businesses and couriers to optimise service, reduce waste and eliminate fraud.  For example Big Data from a network of Pelipod’s could help couriers optimise services, fine tune their commercial terms or identify how profitable different delivery geographies are.

As the eDelivery article explained, IoT is increasingly being used throughout ecommerce and the supply chain. Pelipod is a pioneering product in the market working with other products with complementary capabilities at different stages of delivery process. Innovation is driving a huge reduction in communication costs and leading to an explosion of creativity in the employment of new technologies. Businesses should embrace these changes and use data to inform their actions or they will find themselves increasingly marginalised by their competition.