21 July 2015

Crowd shipping ups ante on mainstream retail (Part 2)

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Last week, we brought to you part one of our interview with Rob Emmett, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Mee Meep, Australia’s leading crowd shipper, who gave us an overview of Mee Meep and the Crowd shipping industry. Today, Rob will discuss about the future of online delivery and the chance of an industry shake-up. 

Ben: We can see crowd shipping’s clearest application today in the final mile from purchase to the door.  Is there room do you believe, for this platform in DC to store and other segments of the supply chain?

Rob: Absolutely, the exact same principals can apply across all sectors of the supply chain. As we see it this is pretty much a function of who you include in the definition of ‘crowd sourcing’

Founding the business in Melbourne in 2010, Rob has seen his business and use the industry’s curiosity growing and tells us Crowd Shipping is close to reaching mainstream use in Australia.

Ben: How many years away do you believe we are from Crowd shipping finding mainstream adoption by consumers, and further to that, larger retailers?

Rob: Years in technology terms are a long time. I think the market is right now primed for take-off in this space. The main hindrance in this space is the willingness of retailers to integrate. The technology is now available to bring this into mainstream and there is a very willing mover market to engage.

MeeMeep are the sole solution offered through Ebay Australia for any item listed as pick up only, with the company also partnering with Graysonline. Relationships like these indicate a positive future, with the crowd model being steered towards big-retail and the domain of the omni-channel or traditional supply chain.

Ben: Crowd shipping has been touted as the next big collaborative disruptor, after predecessors like Uber in the Taxi industry or AirBnB in accommodation, why do you think that is?

Rob: The current industry is very capital intensive and has been built on legacy systems which are not consumer focused. Technology and the acceptance of crowd sourcing as an efficiency enabler make for a perfect environment for this industry to be seriously challenged. I use the word disrupt very loosely in this context as I believe all industry participants can drive efficiencies through their models by utilising crowd sourcing methodologies.

Ben: What might this mean for consumers and stakeholders in the supply chain pricewise?

Rob: Very rarely can you present a model that is a win, win, win, scenario for consumers, retailers and couriers. Most couriers sub contract their services to the larger brands and are lucky to earn 20% of the face value of the job they undertake. Under crowd sourcing models this percentage is much higher, in the case of MeeMeep up to 85%, and the subcontractor is now in control of their pricing. The crowd sourcing model enables the smaller operators to significantly undercut the larger brands and still earn more per transaction. The MeeMeep model thus far has seen cost efficiencies of between 40% – 60%.
Ben: Thank you Rob for your time.

Constantly tapping, Ben has always been a drummer at heart and a stranger to silence; much to the dismay of many.  Channelling this energy through a keyboard, Ben found a lust for writing and moved to Sydney to pursue a career in writing and research. As a producer Ben is passionate about discovering new information and using it to help industries move forward.

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