Software Tools and Insights for the Global Supply Chain
Friday, September 25, 2015
Mom, there is a drone at the door...
Drone Deliveries:The way forward for the Supply Chain.
Have you been mastering the art of just-in-time (JIT) delivery for years now? Before it used to take a week or so to get products from your suppliers and distributors' warehouses to the End user Customer . Then it was a couple days. And, now the norm has dropped to few hours thanks to vendor-managed inventory programs and campus hubs that keep suppliers and OEM operations in close vicinity to each other.
But what will the future bring next?
Imagine what your JIT delivery strategy could look like if, say, drones were able to deliver products bypassing all the traffic on local roads? What if your deliveries could be made in less than 30 minutes?
The possibility may not be too far off. And, when it comes to fruition inbound and outbound logistics, and supply chain strategies will have to evolve. Several top-tier companies are exploring delivery-by-drone opportunities, and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering safety and regulation issues associated with drone use.
In November, for example, Amazon unveiled its futuristic plan to deliver packages, via drone, to your doorstep in 30 minutes. CEO Jeff Bezos told Charlie Rose and 60 Minutes. Back in the summer, Google's Project Wing project caught attention. The Atlantic reported in August that Google's drone delivery program has been running for two years at its long-range reaserach lab Google X and parallels the company's other robotics initiatives. Google's idea: Deliver products across a city in a few minutes, according to the report.
And, DHL has its fingers in the test pot, too. The company announced in September its plans to launch a pilot project on the North Sea island of Juist. For starters, the company will focus on getting medications and other urgently needed goods by its branded DHL parcelcopter drone, making it the first autonomous delivery flights by parcelcopter authorized in Europe.
It's worth noting, too, who's experimenting with this. Logistics provider DHL seems like an obvious user and beneficiary of furthering the technology and cutting delivery times. Online retailer Amazon has a lot at stake, too. But, Google? It makes you wonder what the search giant's play will be, and how it could shake up the current status quo.
How viable these projects will be over the long-term?
How they will be regulated?
How soon they could find their way into the our supply chain?
Well having used Google and Amazon's same day delivery products and learning a bit from the distribution "experts"
There a more then a few lessons we can take away. But the simple answer is that automation has benefits whether at the software or hardware level.
We many not have drones today , but suffice to say the discussion has turned from if to when and
But for those that are ready Staples Yes Staples Sells Drones has a decent deal on a quadcopter. And we are ready to program and send your first package today. (You will have to get FAA clearance later..)
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