Our world faces a multitude of problems, not all of which are apparent to the everyday consumer. The way we purchase goods online and have them shipped to our doorsteps is very convenient, but it also involves a ton of logistics. Packages have to be transported by plane, truck, or even boat across the globe.
People Matter More than we Might Think
The real important focus is people, as people matter to the economy. Without the people, there would be no economy at all, as our economic model is very people-driven. Not just in terms of production and logistics, but also in consumerism and how we like to interact with other human beings.
Nimber is a Norwegian company, which started out as a result of an unfortunate accident. Could it be possible for individuals to deliver packages and speed up the delivery process? Everybody can do so, but spare capacity is hardly ever used in a constructive manner. For example, when one person drives a car to work, a large portion of the car’s available space sits unused.
People commute every day through various methods of transportation, and everybody has spare capacity to get things done. Harnessing this great and valuable resource in the form of a solution tailored to everyday consumers is not easy. Especially where logistics is concerned, as it is one of the least exciting businesses in the world.
So many aspects of our everyday life depend on logistics, although most people don’t realize it. There are flaws in the logistics system that need to be solved, as the current model is no longer sustainable. Dealing with delivery is quite a difficult challenge, as there is no convenient way to do so. Plus, there is a lot of waste generated by the current logistics and delivery system.
Using the crowds to create a new breed of the delivery system is what Nimber is all about. Learning from the animal world, and using this knowledge for a delivery solution, is a difficult task. However, logistics is about much more than getting items from place A to place B, although that is the only aspect most people are confronted with.
To come up with a powerful solution to make use of available space in vehicles, as well as the crowd requires a matching platform. But there is also a trust factor, and a community of senders and bringers has to be established. Intercity deliveries can cause a logistics nightmare. However, by involving the people, a simple convenient and sustainable solution has been created.
The Rise of Nimber
Nimber serves as this matching platform, which runs on a matching engine. Users can simply ask for someone to pick up or deliver an item to other consumers. Finding the right person for the job is not easy, and it took roughly three years to come to fruition. At the time of publication, roughly 1% of the Norwegian population has signed up for the service offered by Nimber.
People love to deal with other people, and there are so many communication tools at their disposal. Having the ability to interact with others is something quite a few people have been looking for. Nimber makes use of existing resources to create great services is the future across all different sectors. Not only does this create value to people in the economic sense, but there is also experience, convenience, and so much more at play.
Unlike traditional business models, supply size increase will lead to a decrease in delivery costs. This is part of the reason Nimber extends far beyond individual consumers, as a small business stand to gain a lot from this idea as well. It could even impact courier services and food delivery, especially now that the on-demand economy is firing on all cylinders.
But there are some hurdles to overcome: insurance (carrying a package in the EU requires insurance), incumbent behavior (dedicated to stopping progress) and taxation (what is considered revenue and what is not?). Creating something that people love is a key component of the sharing economy.
Enter Blockchain Technology?
This is where blockchain technology would come into the picture. Making any system more efficient — and perhaps even more transparent — will require new technologies. Blockchain technology has proven itself to be a perfect candidate for shaking up all aspects of our economy, and beyond.
There are quite a few benefits to using blockchain technology for a company like Nimber. Deliveries and packages can be tracked in real-time, giving the recipient ample of time to prepare for the person handling the cargo. In fact, it might even give people something else to talk about as well, as they can get a detailed overview of which route the driver took. Plus, transparency is key in the logistics business, and there is no technology more transparent than the blockchain.
What are your thoughts on Nimber? Should they embrace blockchain technology to increase their overall user experience? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Crowdsourcing Week Europe 2015
Images courtesy of Nimber, Shutterstock, Marisol International