Once upon a time, when a young Missouri farm girl announced her plan to wed her long-time beau, her father decided he wanted to give the young couple a very special present…something that would help give them a head start on building a family, something that would last a lifetime.
So he contacted the nation’s largest direct-to-consumer (D2C) retailer and ordered a gift that they would never forget.
It took a few weeks, but the wedding present finally arrived, to the amazement of the young couple and most of the townspeople. In fact, more than a hundred neighbors and friends were present as the wedding gift was unloaded at the family farm.
You see, the proud father had not ordered his only daughter a toaster or a set of dishes, but a truly unique present that would stand the test of time. He had, in fact, ordered the newlyweds and ENTIRE HOUSE, and for just $900.
Well, of course he didn’t own a computer. The year was 1906 and the supplier was Sears Roebuck.
Complete house kits were just one of the thousands of products offered by the Sears, from pinking shears to engine motors.
They were the Amazon of the nation for more than 100 years.
In today’s world of on-line shopping and instant gratification, it is interesting to note that catalog shopping is not new. Only three things have changed when it comes to direct-to-consumer sales and last mile solutions…
How we shop and view the catalog.. now we view it online!
How we place our order.. today we use a credit card when we place an order.
How soon we expect the order to arrive.. we expect it right now!
While all of these changes were quantum leaps from perusing a paper catalog and placing an order via a phone call, the last one represents the biggest change in consumer expectations.
However, when it comes to final mile delivery, the immediacy of the internet has led to an ever-increasing demand for goods to be delivered in shorter and shorter times, increasing pressure on the fulfillment centers responsible for making this happen.
On June Fourth 2019, Amazon announced they would guarantee 24-HOUR delivery of all orders bound for their premium (prime) customers.
Wal-Mart and others soon announced they would match this promise, sending the last mile delivery industry into an immediate tailspin.
Suddenly, carriers like the Postal Service, UPS and FedEx began showing up on neighborhood doorsteps on Saturday and Sunday, a practice that would have been considered impossible just ten years ago.
But exactly how does any supplier deliver orders
to anyone anywhere in 24 HOURS?
The fact is… it is not humanly possible to do this without the support of a network of professional third party order fulfillment operations and companies that offer last mile solutions.
These companies must be thoroughly experienced in receiving, processing, and drop-shipping orders with mind-blowing efficiency.
In spite of the frequent announcements that major on-line retailers are building regional warehouses, the one-day delivery promise requires a legion of local fulfillment warehouses that know the territory and have a network of local delivery services that they can channel based on that vendors dependability and service record.
Tara Massood, whose company includes three regional warehouses and order fulfillment services on the east coast and southeast says “Today’s consumer wants their order right…and they want it right now.”
This requires an incredible 24-hour commitment
by these independent warehouse contractors.
Her company, Massood Logistics specializes in furniture warehousing and has been providing warehousing, order fulfillment and last mile delivery for more than 60 years. They have seen delivery demands increase exponentially in recent years.
Today, virtually all of her company’s orders are received and prepared for shipment within 24 hours.
But is next day delivery all that the consumer demands?
Can next hour delivery be far behind?
We shall see.
Amazon has begun offering whole houses in a variety of shapes and sizes and prices from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, both in stick built stationary homes to the increasingly portable “tiny houses” you can tow from place to place. Just one more example of how good ideas keep coming back year after year, generation after generation. Now that is what we call recycling!
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