I sat on a panel of experts for Mobility 21’s annual conference titled “Speed to Delivery: Good’s Movement’s High-Tech Future“.  It was a fascinating conference and panel discussion as to the amazing amount of technology being discussed to address the future of transportation.  One of the panelists was the Senior Director of Sustainability for Walmart.  

Walmart has come up in several circles lately.  One of our clients supports Walmart’s stores, and so we learned quite a lot about their fulfillment processes, demand planning practices and, of course, their new OTIF (on-time-in-full) metrics.  We also discussed Walmart service with a 3PL partner, and, of course, Walmart has been making headlines lately in the e-commerce race.  It is worth paying attention.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  1. The focus on the customer is paramount.
  2. The use of crowdsourcing is gaining steam with the use of Uber and Lyft to deliver from the store.
  3. Who knew but Walmart is testing deliveries with drones as well!
  4. Walmart associates are making deliveries on their way home which is possible with the software that can align deliveries with routes. 
  5. They just announced a partnership with August Home Smart Lock to deliver when the customer isn’t at home – and even put groceries in the refrigerator.

It is always a good idea to stay up-to-speed with what the leaders are doing in the industry.  Not always are their ideas ones to follow but they are ALWAYS ones to ponder for application, impacts and down-the-line trends.  Who do you follow?