Customer-centric logistics for the Amazon era
First, Amazon changed the game with its low prices, vast inventory, and the allure of home deliveries. Then came Amazon Prime with its promise of same-day and two-day deliveries. And now, it’s looking at drones to improve deliveries. Not only has the company upended the retail industry, it has also fundamentally changed customer expectations across the entire shopping experience.
To stay competitive, other companies need to offer equal or better customer experiences. This means constant innovation and speedy responses, which in turn require businesses to have agile and efficient systems from start to finish. All these changes have suddenly turned the spotlight on hitherto behind-the-scenes logistics businesses such as Bringg, which believes that “customer-centric logistics systems have become the new strategic imperative for companies facing these new challenges”.
Bringg is the leading customer centric logistics solution for enterprises and has some of the world’s leading retail, CPG, food, and 3PL/4PL (Third Party Logistics and Fourth Party Logistics) companies as its customers in more than 50 countries around the world.
Founded in 2013, the company has raised nearly $20M from venture capital firms such as Aleph, Pereg Ventures, and Cambridge Capital, as well as corporate investors such as the Coca-Cola Company and Ituran.
The company’s platform helps companies gain competitive advantage by matching Amazon’s logistical excellence, in terms of operational efficiency and customer experience, and by streamlining the way they deliver goods and services to create the perfect, frictionless experience from their headquarters to the field and all the way to their customers.
The platform has three main elements: Delivery Operations, which helps plan, dispatch, and analyze every delivery through a customizable dashboard; Driver Applications, for drivers to manage their deliveries, optimize their routes, and communicate with customers; and Customer Experience, which allows anyone to follow their order in real time, bringing full transparency and visibility to the delivery process.
Aarthi Rayapura had a few questions for Isaac Buahnik, SVP Operations and Growth at Bringg:
The “last mile” has recently gained prominence from investors, businesses, and the media. What do you think caused this sudden spike in interest?
Customers’ expectations have changed and there’s been a huge shift towards on-demand services, online shopping, and speedy deliveries. While the ‘last mile’ is receiving a lot of attention lately, the change within the industry has been gradual and it’s still early days for most retailers. In the words of Gartner, customer experience is the new battlefield for competitive differentiation.
You are disrupting not just retail but also the logistics industry with your “Uber meets Amazon” kind of service. How did Bringg come about?
We’re a logistics company. Retail is a big part of what we do, but our technology is used across all types of on-demand services, delivery companies, restaurants, and 3PLs. Bringg was founded by Raanan Cohen and Lior Sion four years ago. Lior was the former CTO of Gett and they joined forces to bring a new level of real-time visibility, transparency, and operational efficiency to improve the logistic ecosystem — with an innovative customer-centric approach that brings brands, fleets, and customers closer.
Bringg helps companies enter the “on-demand” era and essentially compete with Amazon. Can you elaborate on this?
Amazon has changed the playing field and the industry needs to level up. They have truly set a new standard for customer service, speed of delivery, and convenience. In addition, they’ve built an exceptional infrastructure and fulfillment network to make it happen. Amazon accounts for 43 percent of U.S. online retail sales and 62 percent of U.S. households have an Amazon Prime membership. They have successfully created an exceptional infrastructure and retailers must act fast to be able to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape which is driven not only by cost, but also by convenience, speed, and service.
Bringg’s technology is used in over 50 countries by enterprises such as Coca-Cola, Panera Bread, and DHL. We’re helping established brands create and evolve their delivery logistics capabilities and improve their operational efficiency. The end result has an enormous impact not only on speed and visibility but ultimately on creating superior customer experiences to nurture brand loyalty.
How does the data that Bringg collects help businesses improve their customer experience?
We have an enormous amount of data which, when aggregated across customers, regions, or industries, help us identify patterns which in return can become either new features or customer feedback. For example, our understanding of accuracy around delivery estimations, delays, or user ratings help us work with our customers to improve their supply chain and help them communicate with customers or drivers in the most optimal ways.
Is it fair to consider Bringg to be an Amazon competitor as well? After all, you are taking away businesses who might have listed their products on the site (by enabling their own direct-to-consumer efforts)?
Bringg is not an Amazon competitor, per se. Our technology equips companies with the necessary tools and platforms to improve their logistics management, fleet management, and customer relationships — so we help them modernize their infrastructure to match the new customer standards created by the likes of Amazon or Uber — where the end customer gets unprecedented service and visibility on the status of their order, driver, or delivery.
How do you see this customer centric era evolving? What’s next for customers and businesses?
The customer is king and will always be. At the end of the day, happy customers translate to loyal customers and increased revenues. The biggest change in this “era” is the shift of focus towards service, which will be as important as the product purchased. Research shows that 76 percent of customers view the end delivery experience as the true test of how much a company values them, and with the meteoric increase in online sales over the past decade, companies will focus on improving their brand experiences through every touch point of the supply chain. Brick and mortar retail lets companies control their environment and how they’d like to be perceived — it’s their moment to create a unique and memorable experience. Now, there’s a need to build memorable lasting experiences through the way products are delivered.
Bringg has grown exponentially since its inception. What were some of the challenges you faced — internally and externally? And how did you overcome them?
Scaling a company isn’t an easy task, but it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges. The number one priority and focus is to find the right people across all disciplines to join our expanding team. The fact that we’ve tripled the size of our team in the past year doesn’t mean that we’re any less selective and rigorous about ensuring the best people join us. All these changes also have an impact on customers, but since a bigger team translates to more resources for them, it’s a positive change. However, it’s a fast and steep learning curve for new team members, and managing their onboarding successfully is as essential as hiring the right person.
What are Bringg’s future plans?
We have teams in New York, Chicago, and Tel Aviv. Given the overwhelming demand for our technology, we’re also scaling our efforts in Europe and LATAM. Besides that, while “last-mile” logistics is at the core of what we do, we’re seeing increasing requests to use our technology for the “first-mile” which is the crucial point in which a retail hands over the goods to a courier company. In addition, over half of the company is R&D, so we’re always creating new product features to expand our platform’s capabilities to help companies and fleets improve and streamline their delivery operations.
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