It feels like spring has well and truly sprung this week, at least across most of the UK. And in one of those clichéd segues so beloved of media types, the green shoots of spring that I see all around me have brought to mind the green shoots of new service development in our industry.
Take as one example, if you will, DPD who were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category. That relates specifically to their Predict service, which gives people waiting for deliveries a text/email alert telling them when their delivery is due (within a one hour slot) and even what the driver’s name is.
It’s innovations like this, not just from DPD, but from others in our industry, that will help reignite the perception of value in the delivery sector. Yes, it’s a commodity – in that everyone has to offer it. But getting it right, making shoppers feel warm and fuzzy about the brands they buy from, will become an increasingly important differentiator this year and next. Those that fail to get on board the innovation train risk being left stranded on the platform.
Elsewhere in eDelivery this week, the pay-off from new (well, new-ish in this case) services can be seen in Debenhams latest results, where click-and-collect and premium next-day delivery options were both given honourable mentions.
Over in the east, well Suffolk, Norbert Dentressangle is building a new specialist services facility for its two-person delivery operations.
At House of Fraser the appointment of a new CIO, Uday Kotla, signals the growing importance of new service delivery in multi-channel.
We also have a report from FedEx on the proliferation of SMEs that engage in international trade, and where in the UK they are to be found. Some of the answers aren’t at all as obvious as you might expect them to be.
Pausing a little longer on FedEx, we also asked people in the industry for their reactions to the FedEx / TNT acquisition, and whether they think the €4.4bn deal is good news for the sector.
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