Keep watching the skies… as a trial of potential airborne drone deliveries from Mint Publishing (M!NT) is soon to be launched – with retailers being asked to express interest in the concept.
The trial follows a year-long research and development phase into the technology by the Kettering-based publishing group culminating in a recent successful completion of private air-space test flights with up to 5kg of greeting cards per drone.
Also notable is the unusual way the innovative shift in distribution came about. As Buddy Williams, Mint Publishing’s recently appointed Head of Technology revealed to PG Buzz: “We’ve been ‘blue-sky thinking’ our approach to logistics as part of our recent rebrand and commitment to refreshingly different solutions for the greeting card industry. In early 2020 the management team were in the middle of a ‘delivery solutions idea-shower’ when Frank, the office dog, came pattering into the board room. He simply barked “Roof!” then walked back out again. From that simple suggestion of the ‘where’, we followed the ‘how’ and arrived, ultimately, at drone delivery as a potentially viable outcome.”
The plan now is that Mint will continue to offer regular next-day delivery of product by conventional means for the foreseeable future, but hopes to roll out additional drone deliveries for interested customers within 12 months of a successful trial.
After his initial ‘eureka moment’ Frank the dog has stepped back from the project but was rewarded with a juicy bone and a joke promotion to ’Top Dog’ at Mint headquarters. However, the trial itself continues at pace.
Imploring those interested to get in touch, Buddy added: “At this early but exciting stage we would love to hear from anyone who is interested in our refreshing approach.”
More important details can be found on the Mint website:
To paraphrase the immortal words from Knick Knack Paddy Whack, this appears more a case of ‘give the dog a drone’.