Meeting Ever-Changing Customer Demand: Could “Ride Sharing” Disrupt Traditional Shipment of Consumer Items Across the U.S.

Open Access
Author:
Lahlou, Karim
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Robert Alexander Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. John C. Spychalski, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Supply Chain
  • Same-day delivery
  • Crowdsourced Shipping
Abstract:
The objective of this thesis is to examine traditional methods of transporting commonly consumed consumer packaged goods, and assess how new methods of transporting these goods could disrupt the market, and help meet increasingly difficult customer demand. The final analysis of this research is reached through exploring how businesses have traditionally delivered to customers, how and why customer demands have continued to change, and what product segments have the most opportunity to be captured and dominated by new types of services. For example, GoPuff, founded in 2013, is an app-based delivery service in ninety-plus locations across the U.S. that delivers groceries to customers 24/7. This analysis proceeds to examine several product segments like “groceries”, and determines whether or not specialized delivery services could be scalable enough to significantly disrupt the traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) delivery market, and provide better, faster service to customers. This thesis serves as a reference for students and business professionals to understand how goods have been delivered to customers in the past, and how that might change going forward. Customer demand drives innovation, and customers wanting to receive orders the day they are placed is putting a lot of pressure on companies across the U.S.. It also creates opportunities for new companies and services to be created in order to meet these ever-changing demands. This research shows that although the e-commerce market has already changed the way customers shop in a very short period of time, more change is coming. The transportation of goods to customers is a complex process that is constantly being impacted by customer demand and technology. Companies that are at the forefront of technology and have a great understanding of customer demand and expectations will ultimately be the most successful. The CPG and grocery industries are being dramatically affected by same-day deliveries, so these companies will have to prepare for change in order to remain competitive. Same-day delivery to customers will eventually be available to almost all Americans, but how it will work, who will provide it, and when it will happen remain in question.