The Last Mile is the Most Valuable
Over the near future you will hear a lot of conversation about transforming “the last mile” in business. For example, a quick Google search of “amazon last mile” will yield numerous results about how Amazon is battling to own the last mile. In other words, they want a direct connection to their customers anywhere in the world. To achieve this, they will enter the shipping business and even use drones to deliver merchandise ordered online.
The founders of PCCA had this same vision when the company started in 1953. Delivery of service and value in the last mile simply did not exist, so they created it themselves. Since that time, PCCA has continued to invest in the delivery of services to its grower-owners even in the most remote locations. The result of this effort was the creation of a global cotton marketing company that ensures the value of cotton produced in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.
Creating this system has taken much hard work over the past 64 years. However, there is more effort in front of us. The global cotton trade is evolving each year. As international trade policies and demographics change, the consumption of cotton will move between countries that take advantage of opportunities. The current forecast of mill use in China is up to more than 40 million bales, but in 2007, China used 51 million bales. Some of that capacity moved to other countries in Southeast Asia, and we can expect more shifts in the future. PCCA must continue to improve our supply chain practices to ensure our growers’ cotton is in the optimal position for these changing markets.
All of this means that we will need to continue to innovate. Near term projects include expansion of mobile connectivity to our growers and to our customers. We also are working on ways to get cotton to markets more quickly and efficiently.
As always, we welcome the views of our grower-owners’ about enhancing the value of the last mile because that is where they live, work and invest their lives.