The rise in internet shopping has created a huge increase in the number of deliveries being made by an equally increasing number of delivery companies and independent couriers.
These deliveries are not always made to the customers home address. The problem of having to wait in for a delivery has been eliminated by the increasing number of employers that allow employees to receive their shopping at work.
In some areas of central London as many as 78% of employers have given employees the opportunity to take deliveries at work.
It all adds up to a lot of vehicles on the roads and probably worse parked half on the pavement and half on the road.
Add to that the health issues of the extra pollution that extra vehicles create especially when they are left unattended with their engine running, and you have a convenience for shoppers that results in a lot of inconvenience for every one else.
The problems are not limited to road users and from an employers perspective it also creates extra workload for reception and security teams as they sign for the deliveries.
The solution may be at hand with the launch of a new service in London that allows companies to consolidate all their numerous deliveries into one delivery a day.
It is a similar concept to the centralised distribution centres that are used by the major retailers and which I was involved in introducing when I worked at ASDA.
The supermarkets wanted to reduce the number of lorries arriving at their stores, because each delivery cost money. So they got suppliers to deliver to a central warehouse. In the warehouse the deliveries from different suppliers where consolidated into one lorry load that would be delivered to the store.
It is such a simple solution I wonder why it has taken so long for it to be applied to other types of deliveries.
Now if you work in one of 320 businesses in the area around Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles Daily you can receive both business and by the end of February 2017 your staff will be able to receive personal deliveries via the new service.
It works in exactly the same way as the supermarket model. You arrange for your deliveries to be sent to a central address and then they all arrive at your premises at one time.
You essentially take control of deliveries to your premises.
No more deliveries when important clients are arriving, no more meetings interrupted by someone being called to sign for a parcel, it’s cheaper, it’s greener so the benefits seem multiple.
I am hoping that Bee London Chief Executive Tass Mavrogordato, will expand the service to other parts of the congested cities, but at the moment the mission is to find practical solutions to the everyday problems our businesses face in this midtown area of London.
Looking at the big picture David McNeill, Director of Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement of TfL, says that BeeLondon and TfL have worked together to support businesses in Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles to receive deliveries in a green and efficient way that works for them. This helps business to reduce costs and improve their trading environment – both important factors in maintaining this growing district’s competitiveness, improve air quality and a reduction in congestion. ”
I think it’s great!
Michael Millward explains how companies can use the launch of Climate Week to engage their employees in green initiatives that help cut business costs.
Climate week says Mr Millward provides a great opportunity for employers to raise awareness amongst their employees of the need to be proactive about finding ways to work more ecologically.
There is a sound commercial logic to raising awareness amongst staff of the costs of running a business and the impact that business has on the environment.
Lots of companies have words at the bottom of every email asking people to think about the environment before printing that email. But how many companies tell their employees how much it costs to print a single sheet of A4 paper?
If employees know the economic impact of their every day decisions they are more likely to base their decision on cost criteria.
To achieve small changes in behaviour an employer needs to provide this type of simple information and also demonstrate how the money that is saved could be used to the advantage of employees.
If the electricity bill is reduced then the savings could be used to fund employee benefits.
Climate Week provides a great opportunity to start getting people to think about these sorts of costs and the actions they can take to reduce them.