Poste Italiane’s partnership with Milkman
and its strategy for winning the
Poste Italiane’s Strategy
Poste Italiane understood early on that the e-commerce boom was here to stay and that a lot had to be changed, not only to accommodate but to re-invent the home delivery market.
That was one of the driving reasons behind the massive investments that, starting from 2018, have facilitated the renovation of their Mail, Parcels and Distribution segment (among others) to serve the growth of e-commerce. Among the many ongoing initiatives are afternoon and weekend deliveries; a JV with German startup sender for the first-mile; new sorting and automation technologies and an agreement with the Italian Tobacconists’ Federation, which provided for thousands of new pick-up points.
Milkman, which started its operations in Milan in 2015, provided the kind of value added services Poste was looking for. It first pinged on Poste’s radar by winning the prestigious Netcomm E-commerce Award for two years in a row and getting to work for international brands like Nespresso and Zara. Poste’s innovation team, always on the lookout for new solutions, took notice and so the Giant and the scale-up started testing a possible synergy through a successful joint delivery effort for Amazon. That eventually brought to the funding of MLK Deliveries, a new company whose task is to provide Milkman’s software and implement new delivery options for Poste’s massive network.
What Customers Were Asking For
“Everyone knows how it’s like to stay home and wait for a courier to drop a parcel at an indefinite time. Everyone remembers when there were too few options for both shippers and customers, leaving everyone longing to lift the weight of operations conceived when most of the market was still B2B”: says Francesco Montuolo, CEO of MLK Deliveries.
“Same-day delivery and appointed deliveries: these options our end-users kept asking for. The joint venture came right as part of the wider strategy, with the goal of revolutionizing last-mile deliveries by giving end-users freedom to decide when and where to receive their orders. If you are a Retailer in need to conquer the last-mile you have to put end-users front and center, then partner with someone who knows how to do this job properly, has invested in technology and can help set up your logistics, not just as a sender but as an extension of your service”.
“Now, thanks to our service, online shoppers can choose between a wide set of delivery options already inside the checkout or we can send them a message post-order, saying that we’ll deliver tomorrow at a certain hour and then they may reschedule or pick a narrower time-slot, down to a whopping 30 minutes. We then progressively update the ETA, up to the point in which it is possible to actually follow the van on the map”.
“By being integrated in e-shops this tech allows to modulate the offer too. Example: if in a city we have traffic limitations taking place during the morning, we can decide to moderate the offer before 1PM and display a more convenient one in the afternoon, thus leading the distribution of demand. This is not only cost effective but also a selling tool for the retailer.”
Winning Through Balance and Inclusion
“As a carrier the algorithm lets us schedule missions in a smarter way. This form of dynamic routing is always evolving, always looking for better solutions, with the platform effectively learning more and more from the info that customers give. All this has brought a big drop in failed first deliveries. We all know how important it is to be successful in the first attempt, as it significantly reduces costs, recipient frustration and carbon emissions”.
“MLK Deliveries, as a subsidiary of Poste Italiane, is already operating in twelve Italian cities, the most important ones. More territories will be added before the end of the year, with the goal of a significant further expansion before the end of 2022”.