Online shopping – one thought.

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Hearing on the news today that Tesco planned to change their policy about launching hypermarkets, I got to thinking about what would be a good business plan!  Clearly, online shopping is working well and local Tesco Express stores work well, but one problem with online shopping is the occasional need for a few items that are not available in the local store.  Such a situation does not justify the normal delivery charge, and it is clear there is a reluctance to shop in a hypermarket for only a few items.  So, I suggest an online ordering system for up to five items, which could be collected at the local store at a prearranged time!

Anyone think that might be useful?

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Logistics, but no logic

Having recently moved house we are inevitably purchasing a lot of new items, many of which are bought online.  This means that we have had a number of deliveries arriving over a period of time – logistics.  Of course we are on a new estate, which means the companies have to find us from the post code – logistics.

The companies that now deliver are large in number and range from well-known, established companies, to white, unmarked vans.  But what I have discovered is happening has amazed me and driven me to “blog” about it.

The first problem has been mis-delivery, which is delivery to the wrong address – the estate we now live on has two streets (with very different names), but we frequently get deliveries for the other address and I am sure some of our deliveries have gone to that address.  An example of how this occurs was that a delivery van pulled up outside our house (I was expecting some deliveries) and he rang the doorbell.  He asked me if I was expecting a delivery – no company name on the van, no company name mentioned, so I said yes.  He then proceeded to input something into his mobile computer before pulling the parcel out of the van – it was a Kenwood speaker system, so I said “no, not mine”.  He looked baffled, so I asked what address he had and he told me the wrong address, so I sent him off in the right direction.  The problem I have with this is he did not ask a logical question about the delivery, such as my address and whether I expected a specific item, or a delivery from a specific company.  Logistics without logic!

However, it doesn’t stop there.  A number of our deliveries have “disappeared” and one in particular indicated (when we enquired about it) that they had a signature, but we had never seen this item.  I am not accusing anyone of stealing the item, but an interesting example of what may happen occurred the next day following re-delivery – the item arrived early and I had just got out of bed, so I called down to say I would be there in a minute.  The reply was, “I’ll leave it on the door-step”, but I said “don’t you need a signature?”  To which he replied, “no I will just forge one”!  So items disappear because anyone can sign for them, no system exists to confirm the signature and there is no mechanism to ensure the correct signature is obtained – logistics without logic!

Then there was the order for two TV sets and when delivered only one arrived – a very innocent look from the driver who said, “no only one one my list”.  We reported the missing item and a replacement was sent, but where did the missing one go?  I have my own theory, but I cannot possibly comment here!

Maybe I am just a grumpy old man, but there seems to be a problem here that needs to be resolved.  Oh!  I haven’t mentioned the damaged goods either!  I wonder how much this is all costing the companies selling the goods!