As tech-savvy customers demand faster and more efficient services, the need for a centralised technology-enabled courier point has become clear.
Owing to this, outsourced e-commerce warehousing and order fulfilment services provider ParcelNinja.com realised the need for a scalable cloud-based warehousing solution to manage peak seasons, leading to its adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“South Africa’s dynamic distribution and logistics industry has only recently seen the benefits of consolidated warehousing and last-mile distribution. This has partly been due to the traditional fragmented courier approach, where multiple couriers have been operating in isolation; but, as e-commerce gains traction, the opportunity to amalgamate the process online is evident,” says ParcelNinja.com cofounder and CEO Justin Drennan.
He comments that a major trend that ParcelNinja.com has responded to is the introduction of cloud services as a scalable and agile customer data management system.
“We opted to switch from a virtualised model to a scalable cloud model in order to scale up by 300% to 400% during the busy peak seasons,” he notes.
Drennan mentions that on a technical level, the AWS tech-stack ParcelNinja.com uses is built with micro-services using command query responsibility segregation and event sourcing, so it is highly scalable and can be easily distributed among many machines.
He illustrates that not only is ParcelNinja.com’s AWS solution scalable, the added feature of enabling real-time comparative courier costs has allowed ParcelNinja to remain innovative and unique.
Drennan explains that AWS is very robust and drastically reduces time-consuming administrative processes. He adds that the model allows optimisation of the routing between couriers.
“The company enables real-time integration with a variety of couriers to understand the best rates offered to a location, based on the size and weight of the product,” he notes.
Moreover, he highlights that the pricing is consolidated according to delivery dates, for example, next-day versus two-day service will have differing costs. Billing is also automated through this process, to help streamline billing per delivery.
Drennan mentions that ParcelNinja.com’s use of AWS results in optimised service delivery, where stock is tracked, the most cost-effective courier options are selected and the entire supply chain is managed.
Drennan asserts that ParcelNinja.com has created an e-commerce warehousing solution that enables customers to entrust their stock with a single company confident of holistic distribution management.
“In other words, a one-stop specialist courier option, where parcels can be distributed through one channel, efficiently and cost-effectively,” he concludes.