31 January 2023
Milkman is a provider of home delivery services. It was founded in 2015 and from the beginning, it has stood apart from its competitors by highly prioritising its customers. Its clients can easily choose among various day and time options for their delivery, and they can also choose the delivery price. The broader the selected time range, the cheaper the delivery.
Milkman was the first to introduce this new dynamics between couriers and clients, which also made the company appealing to the most important Italian retailers. Retailers even overlooked that, in the very beginning, Milkman did not have a national network and only delivered in Milan, Rome, and Turin.
“Retailers understood that a great delivery experience makes the difference”, stated Antonio Perini, Founder and CEO of Milkman. “If the delivery options are not ideal, customers will switch to another platform or won’t proceed with the purchase”.
A fundamental role during the early days of Milkman was played by P101. The two companies started their partnership in 2016. "P101 courageously invested in our idea an idea”, told Perini. “As at the time there were no operations or clients yet”.
Since then, Milkman has built a strong business, and P101 has always been on its side. The latter has also been of great help thanks to its contacts in the Italian market. For instance, this element has been essential to secure a deal between Milkman and Coop.
2020: a new era for Milkman
The year 2020 marked a turning point for the company. Poste Italiane, the most important Italian company for home delivery services, came forward with an offer to buy Milkman. The scale-up decided to supply Poste Italiane with the operative part of its proprietary technology and to keep the intellectual ownership. P101 also helped during the negotiations of this deal.
For Milkman, a service provider, this was the first step to become a tech company. From then on, Milkman began selling its solutions to other companies instead of dealing directly with deliveries.
“We transformed our technology into a product”, explained Perini. “Essentially, our IT department became a source of income”.
This change also brought a new type of clientele: couriers and retailers that cannot use commercial couriers. The latest group includes two main categories: grocery and Big & Bulky (voluminous items).
“We found out that customers are very demanding and that businesses present similar characteristics", declared Perini. "They need responsiveness (fast delivery processes), flexibility, reliability, transparency and sustainability".
Nowadays, Milkman has stipulated deals with the most important European retail companies. These deals have allowed the company to launch a “pilot project”. It is a trial programme that entails the use of Milkman’s features in specific European areas. In this way, Milkman acquire data related to the added value of its tools.
The technology behind Milkman
The primary technological tool that Milkman has developed is a platform that includes a group of mobile and web apps. Furthermore, the company deals with the technology behind the interactions with clients. Milkman also allows its clients to offer a series of choices for real-time delivery. These options are generated by taking into account the recipient's address, the density of the urban area, and the package volume and weight. Besides, this process also includes a predictive analysis of future orders. All this becomes increasingly accurate as the amount of data collected from previous deliveries grows.
In addition, each element we have just mentioned translates into operative guidelines for the supply chain. Guidelines that regulate in detail the entire workday in advance. They include, for example, when and where to move items from a warehouse or instructions for a courier.
Finally, Milkman has to consider that several companies need to smoothly work together to successfully complete a delivery. It is an elaborate and complex process that involves softwares, machine learning and AI.
“Our added value comprehends three factors”, as pointed out by Perini. “Firstly, automation: our software manages everything autonomously. Secondly, customer satisfaction is way higher than it has ever been. Finally, we help reduce expenses because our technology is based on intelligent algorithms that manage the available resources and maximise productivity. Therefore, fleets become more efficient, which means less expensive deliveries".
What will the future bring?
In the foreseeable future, Milkman wants to keep strengthening its presence in Europe. The idea is to create more partnerships with technological service providers.
Sap, the most important company in the world when it comes to technology for enterprises, has recently started working with Milkman to improve its last-mile distribution. They have also inserted Milkman in their app store for enterprise agents. Since Sap counts more than 400,000 customers all over the world, it is a massive business expansion opportunity for Milkman.