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Easy as pie: the delivery

Easy as pie: the delivery

by Disrupts MagazineMarch 31, 2016

It feels like everything is getting easier and quicker, doesn’t it? I mean in term of buying things. I can buy pretty much anything form my desk, and it will appear, as if by magic, the next day, or even the same hour in some instances. The wonder of the internet, right? Actually, only half right.

As the ordering process gets more and more streamlined, something else needs to get more on the ball at the same time. The tricky part.

Yes, even when our mice do the talking, it takes a man in a van to do the walking. As it were. And it’s this delivery/distribution/logistics function that is really the very difficult bit. It’s the bit that involves moving physical objects around the world at scale within specific time frames and doing it profitably. It’s actually 90% of the ‘buying online’ process. We sometimes think it begins and ends wth a slick user interface from Amazon. Well it does begin there, at A, and finish at Z, but all the letters in between are logistics.

On a practical level, this could be as simple as route mapping from Edinburgh to Shoreditch, for a 18 wheel lorry. What could be difficult about that? Apart from Height and Weight restrictions, points and areas, Parking/Loading & Unloading bays, One way streets, all the local suspensions dispensation, observation times, Yellow Line stopping options, Parking in Residents parking area options within timings, no left/right turns…

Who would do this for fun? No one, which why PIE Mapping created Pie for Delivery to automate the whole thing. Logistic companies are not sexy, even when covered in oil. They are jarring juxtapose of vital tech, mad data, and actual greasy vehicles and people. They have to be adaptive, on a day to day, hour to hour, moment to moment basis. It’s all about synchronisation, of people, machines, vehicles, depots, and internal processes. It’s like herding a cat, a dog, a fish, and a monkey all at the same time. And then it starts snowing. It’s enough to make you want to build a dating app.

So if a company comes along and takes away even some of the pain and hurt from your logistics with an off the shelf SaaS product, you might want to throw yourself at their benevolent feet. It might make the difference of being able to scale your company at the rate of digital change, or not.

And so dear reader, the next time your delivery arrives, spare a moment’s thought for the likes of PIE Mapping, the wizards behind the scenes. For truly it is they who make it possible for you to receive that dildo with just two clicks. Enjoy.

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Disrupts Magazine
Disrupts Magazine
Disrupts is a start-up-focused with an edge. Based in London, the team get behind the scenes of the start-up scene.