Companies like Ariba that create all the technology required to connect businesses to businesses struggle in their inception stage to gain customer traction. This article ‘For an Online Marketplace, Better Late Than Never’ left me thinking about how Ariba managed to draw in large businesses like Proctor & Gamble, and Ford Motors to get their major customers despite its preliminary failure. 2.2, Ariba was consistent enough in its business and came out successful, showing that there surely is always some light shining at the end of a tunnel. Why this article interested me is due to the entrepreneurial initiative I have adopted in CMU.
Just like how Facebook started in Harvard University and scaled upward, I intend to start an e-commerce application in Carnegie Mellon University(CMU) to connect students with local sellers around CMU. The major stakeholders of this application are local retailers, buyers, payments deliverers, and gateways. The theory is for connecting the local sellers to the right buyers and the buyers to the right sellers.
The technology is set up but everything is lacking is enough local seller and student customers. A seller would be willing to come onboard only if he sees enough buyers use the app. A buyer would use the app only if there are and popular sellers onboard enough. Solving this egg and chicken breast conundrum is the most challenging task in this effort.
Nevertheless, I, with a united team of three started pitching the application to the sellers and they did seem interested. What interested them more is how exactly we are different from our competitors like GrubHub. Another problem linked with the initiative is to create an effective delivery model, which closes the supply chain.
How can we accommodate shops that are much too popular amongst the student community but do not have a delivery system set up? The idea is to hire CMU students to do the deliveries as a part-time job. This provides employment to the students and accommodate the above-mentioned shops too.
- Submit a personal information form for each new controlling person(s); and
- 160p X 600p (Wide Skyscraper): $3 CPM
- Local products for export
- The track “Hold on Sloopy” always makes me smile
There are multiple dangers to appoint just one single person to take care of delivery all day every day. CMU is an enormous campus with countless buildings. Moving in one building to another is time taking. Appointing several may lead to coordination issues. Reaching out to students at different structures on campus is also a problem.
Having multiple pickup locations at major hubs on the campus is a remedy to this problem. In his model, students order through the pickup and app their orders at the pickup locations selected while making the purchase. This still requires multiple resources to pickup orders from the suppliers. Thus, there are complete lot more factors that need to be considered to formulate an effective delivery model. So, how exactly does an ongoing company Ariba, start small but sustains its business with numerous supply chain issues? How can a business such as this ensure customer retention?