One of the biggest sources of entertainment today is on-line video games. I don’t mean the single player or two players type, but the group versions. No, it is not just kids; many adults play too (rather than playing bridge or golf). There is a huge amount of collaboration and social networking going on too. The Extended Supply Chain has much to learn from them.
Wow! Every time I read the news or even order a new bread machine I run into yet another instance of cool technology. Automaker Mercedes-Benz is now a Cloud provider and is working at bringing social networking to cars. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals has gone to the Cloud in a big way and brought their suppliers along with them. Kiala, a French package delivery company, is taking advantage of the scalability of Cloud processing. Now on to the news.
Imagine the bicycle delivery person in the picture pedaling through a “pedestrian zone”. His first stop is a small T-Shirt store. He brings their package inside and gets a signature on his hand-held device. Next, he delivers a smaller package to a teenager in a nearby apartment. Again he gets a signature. You have just seen the tail end of a World-wide “drop ship” scenario that is highly dependent upon COLLABORATION.
Let’s walk back up the supply chain and see what we find. Our first observation is that all the interfaces are electronic. It goes from BECYCLE, the company making the actual delivery; through DHL Logistics, to a virtual manufacturer, then on to his manufacturing partners, 3pl logistics providers and suppliers. Even the teenager ordered his shirt from the manufacturer’s on-line store and the T-Shirt store ordered from the same company’s B2B WebSite.