B2B Payments

Logistics And Inventory The Airbnb Way

Airbnb has introduced a new business model to the market when it comes to travel and accommodation. But what if that business model can apply to other parts of the economy?

Reports in Fox Business on Monday (Nov. 9) showcased the way one company is using the Airbnb business model to transform inventory and storage services for suppliers and manufacturers.

According to reports, Flexe provides businesses with an online marketplace when companies are in need of temporary storage. Warehouses with vacant spots can advertise the availability on the platform.

[bctt tweet="Flexe provides an online marketplace for temporary storage"]

While Flexe’s service can be likened to Airbnb, company co-founder Karl Siebrecht said it is comparable to Amazon’s cloud services.

“Before Amazon created that category, everyone had to create their own data center, buy racks and servers, and hire employees to take care of those servers,” he told reporters.

But just as Amazon allows businesses to store their data on Amazon’s servers, Flexe lets businesses store their products and materials in warehouses’ facilities.

The company recently conducted a survey to identify corporations’ largest struggles when it comes to managing inventory, and found that inventory levels can vary greatly in the single year, with nearly half (48 percent) saying that variation was unexpected. Without planning for fluctuations in inventory, businesses can be left scrambling to find a place to store products, the firm said.

According to Flexe, its service connects companies to storage services at up to 40 percent below the cost of third-party logistics companies. Meanwhile, many warehouses that often find themselves with unused space can make use (and profit) of it.

According to Flexe, the platform’s ability to capture data is critical to its success; reports said the service can help warehouses identify when they’re likely to have unused capacity. At the same time, the product lets companies track and manage their own inventory levels when stored at another warehouse.


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The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.