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Insights from TNO's PUPPY (pop-up pick-up & delivery) concept

Siem van Merriënboer, Ijsbrand Kaper, Mirjamvan Iterson, Thomas Chiarappa

Illustration of PUPPY concept

Illustration of PUPPY concept, TNO


The COVID-19 crisis confronts us with a number of problems. The first challenge is to prevent the virus from spreading as much as possible. The second is the economic challenge faced by (especially local) entrepreneurs who are confronted with declining sales. In addition, there are groups of consumers (such as healthcare workers and vulnerable groups) who are unable to shop for daily groceries during working hours.

TNO's PUPPY (Pop-up Pick-up & Delivery concept) project provides a scalable solution for communities to set up a home delivery concept in a very short time. Municipalities, in collaboration with local entrepreneurs and distribution partners, can provide quick access to a collaborative online shopping and home delivery service for local entrepreneurs. Consumers can place orders at one or more local retailers. These products are then collected and delivered bundled at home. With this solution, we reduce contact in shops and shopping centers and thus the chance of the virus spreading or flaring up again. At the same time, we help local middle class entrepreneurs and ensure that specific groups of people receive the products they need.

Project goal

With this project TNO aims to set up a quickly applicable, scalable and cost-effective home delivery service for local entrepreneurs (retailers). TNO offers local entrepreneurs a step-by-step guidebook and a number of tools to set up a collaborative homedelivery service, with the option of designing the home delivery service according to your own wishes and insights. The tools offered include a step-by-step plan for the start-up of the service, a guideline for setting up a common online platform (webshop) and the associated organization of the logistics process, a calculation model to calculate your business case and several manuals for the various roles in the logistics process associated with the service. The experiences and lessons learned during the project are shared with interested parties on a public website: Dutch).

On the website of the PUPPY project of TNO, insight is given into the structure, approach, results and project partners of the project. The various business models that have been developed are explained, including the collaboration model and outsourcing model. The lessons learned from applying these business models in two use cases are given. Insight is provided into the design of the business case calculation model that has been developed for this purpose and the results of applying this model for cost-benefit analyses for various parties in various scenarios. The website provides an overview of other current initiatives of home delivery services and the parties involved in the Netherlands.

Use case Kooplokaal Dronten

In collaboration with local retailers, delivery services and a local hub, TNO launched a home delivery service in April 2020 in Dronten as part of the TNO Brains4CoronaPUPPY research project. The project was set up as a living lab research project with the intention to develop a cost-effective business model that a municipality can set up in a short time and can be active for a longer period of time in the so-called "one and a half meter economy".

In this living lab project, local entrepreneurs from the Suydersee retailers association work together with RoutiGo, DOCKR, Since89, KWOOT, Flevobike, Delvry, Libertas Investments and TNO. Customers can place orders at various retailers through a portal. The retailers prepare the orders and a logistics party collects them and takes them to the central collection point in the neighborhood. From this hub, the goods are then delivered by the logistics party to the customers. A family that needs 5 products from 5 different stores will be serviced in one go and by doing so reduces the number of contact moments from five to one. IJsbrandKaper, Business Developer, Smart & Sustainable logistics at TNO, is involved in the initiative and enthusiastic about the pilot: “By organizing logistics intelligently and, above all, by working together by combining, for example, means of transport and manpower, you can create a business model that remains affordable.” The first experiences of setting up the home delivery service in Dronten are positive, with many learning moments.

Sharing experiences and lessons learned

During the TNO project, an inventory of comparable initiatives in the Netherlands was performed in collaboration with Avans Hogeschool Breda. First experiences of the use cases were shared with Groningen University, Detailhandel Nederland, Evofenedex and several provinces in order to improve the resilience of communities in times of crisis.

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