Extending the Supply Chain: How Cutting-Edge Companies Bridge the Critical Last Mile into Customers' Homes

Extending the Supply Chain: How Cutting-Edge Companies Bridge the Critical Last Mile into Customers' Homes

Extending the Supply Chain: How Cutting-Edge Companies Bridge the Critical Last Mile into Customers' Homes

Extending the Supply Chain: How Cutting-Edge Companies Bridge the Critical Last Mile into Customers' Homes

Excerpt

This book began as a study on Internet ordering for home-delivered groceries, but as you will find in the pages that follow, it has evolved into much more than that. For a start, all three of its coauthors, being both academics today and managers in their former careers, were never entirely comfortable with the way that the whole dot-com saga of Internet home delivery seemed to have started with such promise in the 1990s, only to have imploded with so much scorn by 2001. Although companies such as Webvan (and many others around the globe) had tried to build a profitable business model out of Internet home delivery, no one had really answered the question about whether or not it could ever make money to our satisfaction. Moreover, if it could be profitable, then what was the best strategy to really maximize its potential?

Luckily, we were not alone in our curiosity about Internet-based home delivery—the U.S. government's National Science Foundation (NSF) was also interested. In 2002, the NSF awarded us a grant to investigate this intriguing new way of potentially doing business. In the ensuing two years leading up to this book, we studied Internet-based home delivery in numerous companies in the United States and Europe, interviewed dozens of managers, and surveyed well over 5,000 of their home-delivery customers. We also shadowed [personal shoppers] through grocery store aisles from Seattle to London, shivered through the frozen food sections of giant warehouses, and talked with anybody else involved in the home-delivery process, from the frontline van drivers to the back-office IT staff to the marketing professionals trying to stimulate demand. We've even tried many of these online services ourselves to see what it is really like to be a customer on the receiving end of these businesses.

Every good management study has a starting point (or focus) where initial . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.