Dematic has announced the launch of its Micro-Fulfilment System, an e-commerce order assembly system for retailers that need to support same day home delivery, as well as click-and-collect. The Dematic Micro-Fulfilment system is an ultra-local distribution solution that enables orders to be assembled quickly in a location close to the customer, inside a retail store or in an urban / suburban DC (distribution centre). The order assembly system is designed around process improvements and comprised of performance optimising software and automation. “Dematic Micro-Fulfilment is a high-performance solution that makes rapid response order assembly cost effective for the customer and the retailer. In operation, the automated order assembly solution provides compelling results by minimising the time, space, and cost to fill orders,” said Pas Tomasiello, Senior Director Integrated Systems Group ANZ, Dematic. The system accommodates a wide range of inventory in a compact, high-density layout that requires a small footprint. It significantly reduces the cost per order picked to a level that allows retailers to offer rapid response e-fulfilment at a price point attractive to their customers, and with the appropriate margin for retailers.
The TWU is calling for the regulation of the ‘on-demand’ economy as Fair Work takes sham-contracting case against Foodora. The Transport Workers’ Union is calling for urgent regulation of the on-demand economy after the Fair Work Ombudsman announced legal action against Foodora over sham-contracting of bike riders. The TWU is already fighting sham-contracting at Foodora after taking several cases of unfair dismissal. A test case hearing will be held in Sydney on 3-4 July. The union also criticised Foodora over leaked internal emails that showed the company was aware it was engaging in sham-contracting. A survey of riders has shown three out of every four riders are paid below minimum rates. “We welcome the Fair Work Ombudsman’s legal action against Foodora, a company that has openly flouted the law by denying its workforce’s rights. “But action must go broader than just one company and just a few riders. All workers deserve the rights and protections that generations have fought hard for. “The on-demand economy is a tired example of old-fashioned exploitation with tech billionaires reaping the benefits at the community’s expense. The Federal Government is refusing to regulate rights for all workers, regardless of being alleged contractors,” said TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon. “The sham-contracting comes as no surprise to the thousands of delivery riders who are working in the on-demand economy. Food delivery companies control all aspects of the work riders do, demanding they work shifts and penalising them if they don’t work where and when the companies want them to. “The flexibility is all on the side of the companies with the riders bearing all of the risk. Riders have no superannuation, no guaranteed minimum rates and can work shifts for no pay at all. They can be sacked without warning and for spurious claims as the companies argue they have little or no rights. This area is crying out for regulation,” he added. The TWU recently signed agreements with Coles and Airbnb to ensure fair and safe conditions for workers in the on-demand economy. Riders have protested in Melbourne and Sydney in recent months over pay and conditions. The rider survey also found:
Almost 50% of riders had either been injured on the job or knew someone who had.
Over 70% of riders said they should get entitlements such as sick leave.
1 in 4 riders (26%) work full time hours (40+ hours per week).
3 in 4 (76%) riders work 20 or more hours per week.
Recent research carried out by Australian crowd-sourced courier service Go People found that while Australian shoppers recognise that US e-commerce company Amazon may put local retailers in jeopardy, they still largely plan to purchase through it. Its survey of 1,000 consumers across Australia found that despite more than half (59 per cent) of Australians seeing Amazon as a threat to small businesses, a similar amount (47 per cent) still plan to shop there. “Local retailers are already feeling the ‘Amazon effect’ with the market’s disruption pushing them to evolve,” said Wayne Wang, Founder and CEO, Go People. “Retailers are realising they need to deliver the best possible purchasing experience for their customers to stay relevant.” Wang added that the research further showed that Australian shoppers now place more importance on delivery speed when deciding where to shop (41 per cent) than the ability to actually touch and feel the product (33 per cent). “We’re becoming a nation of on-demand shoppers, with one in two noting the importance of same-day delivery when deciding where they shop. Local retailers need to ensure they delight their customers throughout the entire purchasing experience to remain competitive.” After growing its monthly deliveries by 600 per cent over the past 12 months, Go People has raised a further $3 million in its latest funding round. “The growth we’re generating shows there’s hunger for more flexible, convenient delivery services among Aussie consumers,” said Wang. “Investor interest during the capital raise exceeded expectations, and is particularly encouraging as we look to diversify our offering for retailers with new delivery options in 2018.”
Gartner, Inc. expects to see multiple launches of autonomous vehicles around 2020. However, the full impact of autonomous vehicle technology on society and the economy will not begin to emerge until approximately 2025. Consumer and social acceptance is a key driver in autonomous vehicle adoption. Consumer adoption of autonomous driving and on-demand car services The Gartner Consumer Trends in Automotive online survey, conducted from April 2017 through May 2017, polled 1,519 people in the US and Germany and found that 55 per cent of respondents will not consider riding in a fully autonomous vehicle, while 71 per cent may consider riding in a partially autonomous vehicle. Concerns around technology failures and security are key reasons why many consumers are cautious about fully autonomous vehicles. “Fear of autonomous vehicles getting confused by unexpected situations, safety concerns around equipment and system failures, and vehicle and system security are top concerns around using fully autonomous vehicles,” said Mike Ramsey, research director at Gartner. Survey respondents agreed that fully autonomous vehicles do offer many advantages, including improved fuel economy and a reduced number and severity of crashes. Additional benefits they identified include having a safe transport option when drivers are tired, and using travel time for entertainment and work. The survey found that consumers who currently embrace on-demand car services are more likely to ride in and purchase partially and fully autonomous vehicles. “This signifies that these more evolved users of transport methods are more open towards the concept of autonomous cars,” said Mr. Ramsey. The percentage of people who used a mobility service, such as Uber or Car2Go, in the past 12 months rose to 23 per cent from 19 per cent in a similar survey conducted two years earlier. However, the transition to dropping a personally owned vehicle will be challenging outside of dense urban areas. For the automobile owners surveyed with a driveway or easily accessed parking, nearly half of the respondents said they would not consider giving up their own vehicle, even if they saved 75 per cent over the cost of owning their own car. The ability to leave at any moment is the most cited reason for not replacing personal vehicles with on-demand car services. Trust and personal safety are also top concerns. Autonomous vehicle industry development and impact on driving safety and quality of life “The automotive industry is investing in new safety and convenience technology at a rate not seen since the dawn of the automobile. The experience of owning and operating a car will be dramatically different in 10 years,” Mr Ramsey said. Dozens of companies are currently developing sensors and other technologies required to enable vehicles to detect and understand their surroundings. As of mid-2017, more than 46 companies are building artificial intelligence (AI)-based software to control an autonomous vehicle and make it operate in the world. “Autonomous driving technology will fundamentally transform the automotive industry, changing the way vehicles are built, operated, sold, used and serviced,” said Mr Ramsey.