The Week of April 10th: 10 things eft's been reading

Zara’s not as fast as we all think, Volkswagen’s CEO is annoyed at DHL, Full as in end-to-end as in top to bottom warehouse automation is probably now with us.

1. Zara’s USP has always been how quickly it can go from concept to store-shelf. It allows them to minimize inventory, create scarcity and offer new products to customers on a regular basis. It turns out that Zara isn’t the fastest in fast fashion. ‘A new generation of even faster fashion is leaving H&M and Zara in the dust.’ [Quartz]

2. There’s another victim of the eCommerce boom: The Mail Carrier. No, no, not because of automation (yet), but at the hands of their old foe: the overzealous dog. ‘Online Sales Blamed for Increase in Dog Attacks on Mail Carriers.’ [Gizmodo]

3. [Video] ready to get your mind blown? Here are some robots at work in a Chinese warehouse. (the name of the company is conveniently never mentioned though). Entertaining nevertheless. ‘Robots sorting system helps Chinese company finish at least 200,000 packages a day in the warehouse’ [People’s Daily]

4. Given our global events, we often get approached by individuals looking to speak at our events. Some are great proposals, many aren’t. ‘Why No One Wants To Book You As A Speaker (And What To Do About It)’ [Fast Company]

5. DPDHL’s introduction of electric vehicles was covered extensively in the news. They’re now trying their hand at selling them. Highlight of the article: ‘Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller said he was "annoyed beyond measure" that the group did not talk to VW's commercial vehicles unit.’ ‘Germany's post office takes on automakers with its electric van’ [Automotive News Europe]

6. A Lyft GM (Lyft, like Uber, uses regional GMs to run its business) has been nominated to the DOT – in a move that might spell change in how the DOT takes on tech-driven industry disruption. ‘Trump to nominate Derek Kan as Under Secretary of USDOT’ [American Shipper]

7. Darkstore – a startup aiming to disrupt fulfilment, just secured $1.4m in funding. ‘On-demand delivery fulfillment startup Darkstore raises $1.4 million seed round’ [TechCrunch]

8. Sustainability is increasingly a differentiator for leading retailers. ‘Apple Suppliers Achieve 100% UL Zero Waste to Landfill Validation’ [Environmental Leader]

9. In essence, given the changes taking place in retail, is their future: innovate or die? ‘Do retailers need innovation labs to stay alive?’ [Retail Dive]

10. Warehouse automation is booming. Full warehouse automation has been much more difficult. Robots, to date, can’t effectively pick and pack. (I mean, I know humans that have difficulty grabbing one pair of pants). ‘A problem that keeps warehouse work from being fully automated has just been solved.’ [Quartz]


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