Are Corporations Our Personal Shoppers?

The thought of ordering an item online and receiving it the same day, just a few hours later seems unrealistic. With technology becoming more integrated in our world and the demand for instant gratification, this unrealistic idea is now a reality. Major corporations like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and EBay have adopted this new service of same-day delivery. It is really testing the limits of supply chain management, and now a whole new look on logistics is being placed in the hands of these corporations.

walamrt  Wal-Mart , is sitting at an advantage because of its massive fleet of stores across the country. They use their 4,005 locations as inventory holders and distribution centers, so now when you order something before noon you can receive it by that evening. Workers will literally go down the aisle and collect the item you want, which is later delivered to your door. Even though this service is only in the test phase in five major cities, Denver, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, northern Virginia and San Francisco/San Jose, it has proven to be a huge success thus far.

Amazon has a new technology that now sends your order to the closest of its 40 massive and highly efficient distribution centers that has same day service available. From here a robot find your item and places it in a place where a human can package it and ship it to you just in time before the day is over. This is pretty crazy, right? Wait till read this next corporation’s new strategy!

debay   EBay, a dominant online seller has a brand-new beta service that brings same day delivery to an even new level. It currently operates in beta form in New York, San Francisco, and San Jose. This service involves personal shoppers, or “valets, that EBay will send to pick up a good you have just ordered. They will literally drive to the outlet from which you ordered it from through EBay, and deliver it to your doorstep that same day, sometimes even within only few hours! If this doesn’t impress you then this will. EBay now even offers an iOS app that you can use to buy, and track your item for same day delivery. This app tracks your “valets” progress in real time so you know exactly where he/she is, what step of the delivery they are on, and how far away they are from your home. This tracking app will even give you a picture of what the “valet” looks like so you can recognize them when they arrive. Once they have arrived, all you have to do is simply swipe your credit card, or pay with PayPal. The best part about this service is that it costs only $5, yes that’s it!

With this extremely gratifying service from these corporations how do you think it tests the limits of supply chain management and inventory management? Could this be the future for online shopping or delivery? Do you think implementing the service that EBay has in many other corporations could add a lot of jobs to the economy?




Want a “bidding war” for your First Class Seat?

A new trend being seen in airlines overseas resembles that of eBay for first class or business-class seats. As we all know, the price of airline tickets are not cheap and therefore, it is normal for many customers to automatically choose a coach ticket when flying. Airlines realized this was not giving them their most potential profits and looked for a way to fix it. As learned in class, in order to succeed, you have to continually look at the systems you are working with, and learn how to improve and be the best that you can. Airlines overseas, such as Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic, Brussels Airlines and CopaAirlines, realized this airline eBay and saw it as a potential to improve their company.

A company in New York has developed a system that essentially gives customers the opportunity to have “bidding wars” with one another in order to upgrade their seats. Once you purchase a coach seat, the airline will then allow you the opportunity to bid on an available upgraded seat. You will be given a minimum amount that you can offer in your bid, and then you decide the amount you would be willing to pay. If customers choose to participate in this auction process and end up with the highest bidding amount, the airline contacts them 48 hours before their flight and notifies them they had the winning amount and will receive the upgrade.

The decision to implement this newly developed system is turning out to be very profitable for the airlines. This eBay style system is not only saving customers hundreds to thousands of dollars due to not having to pay full price for first class seats, but it is also generating a good amount of revenue for the airlines. It has given them an opportunity to receive money for seats that weren’t originally selling at all.

While this system has seen many positive outcomes, there are a few worries airlines are having with it. Airlines are seeing that their loyal and frequent flyers, that are normally offered these available upgraded seats, are complaining they will no longer receive this. Airlines, therefore, have to come up with a solution that balances opportunities for frequent flyers and opportunities for flyers using the bidding process. Airlines do not want to implement a system that benefits half of their customers, but enrages the other half.

Do you think airlines will be able to come up with a balance between frequent flyers and flyers using the bidding process? Do you think this airline eBay will be something that continues to grow? Is it something that only overseas airlines will grab onto, or do you see this system succeeding in the U.S. as well?


Video –!56E98E77-CDB9-4742-862A-E7751DDCDAC6

Picture: Etihad Airways –