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Opinion: Can crowdsourced couriers topple the delivery giants?


Delivery expectations are shifting towards precision and convenience. Crowdsourced couriers can help businesses deliver, especially small businesses, says Andrew Mukerjee, CEO, Brisqq

Businesses of all sizes have long relied on courier services for moving all manner of items. From retailers dispatching orders to customers, to businesses circulating their stock among other businesses on daily runs, traditional delivery providers have been the go-to simply because they have been the only viable option.

However, this is no longer the case. Consumer delivery services such as Amazon Prime have driven up the requirement for convenience and we’re now experiencing increasing expectations among consumers for precision and flexibility. Recent research by Brisqq found that 67 percent of consumers find delivery slots too wide ranging. A solution that meets these consumer expectations would surely benefit businesses too.

Businesses must begin to seek alternative options when it comes to courier services. Whether fulfilling customer orders or couriering essential documentation, they risk losing out on business through their inability to meet those growing expectations, no matter whether the customer is a consumer or another business.

Innovation on the rise

The benefits of crowdsourced deliveries utilised by the likes of Uber and Deliveroo have exposed the true lack of efficiency in traditional logistics services. This innovative service has been widely embraced by shoppers and small businesses should benefit too.

Larger organisations often have their own means of company transportation and others have entire departments dedicated to logistics operations. Other businesses that despatch thousands of items each day may benefit from special relationships with courier services, earning better rates through the frequency of use. Small businesses have little choice but to pay for a costly service that lacks flexibility and also fails to meet the growing trend for green initiatives in businesses striving to reduce their carbon footprint.

As e-commerce provides small businesses with greater opportunity to thrive through increased online exposure, the business’ demand for courier services will also increase. Small businesses require a flexible, cost-effective option for despatching items. For those shipping directly to shoppers, there are growing expectations over the precision of the service that must be considered. For businesses supplying other businesses, time has always been a major factor on which traditional courier services have been unable to provide any guarantee.

Timely despatch is at the core of many small businesses offerings, whether sending important documentation, sample products that could secure a business deal or orders provided for business functions. A crowdsourced solution not only enables faster, more precise service for B2B and B2C, it also enables retailers to operate more efficient internal operations such as stock rotation between stores.

A solution that delivers

A viable crowdsourced solution utilises simple, user-friendly plug-and-play technology to connect small businesses with a freelance resource pool which has the ability to pick up and deliver within specific time-slots dictated by the user. Bolstered by smart technology, an intuitive platform can be accessible via web browser or as a plug-in for popular e-commerce platforms, making deliveries and returns simple for both the business and the courier.

While the readily available freelance resource pool can provide the flexibility that traditional courier services lack, smart technologies such as a routing and allocation algorithm can enable dynamic collections. This would ensure that each delivery is allocated to the best possible courier in a close proximity, and that they are allocated jobs with destinations that syndicate to form a logical, achievable and more environmentally friendly route, ensuring each pick-up and drop-off is completed within the specified time-slot.

Most importantly for small businesses, this solution is scalable. As small businesses grow, the cost of operation remains the same. The size of the business does not require a change in pricing structure, meaning larger businesses would benefit too.

While the traditional delivery model requires a growing business to invest in an operations team to manage the dispatch, collection and return of items, as well as the customer service problems that are so often attributed to traditional courier services, the crowdsourcing platform provides a quick, simple, reliable solution that can be managed by one person, but is easily usable by anyone within the business.

With the right technology in place, crowdsourced couriers are ideally placed to topple delivery giants and reap rewards for businesses of all sizes.

Andrew Mukerjee, CEO, Brisqq

Image credits: Fotolia and Brisqq

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