With technological advancements, things have changed big time in the world as a significant population has moved to online shopping instead of taking a walk or driving down to the nearby store. This has helped people save time, and sometimes, some offer on the apps work for the benefit of people.
Some businesses offer the provision of home deliveries, but the biggest problem faced by them is to build a system that would help the consumer and the service provider track of the delivery executive. People were working for improving this problem, and Dason and Fanny stepped in when they faced a similar problem with their business, and that’s how Detrack was launched.
How it all started
In 2013, Fanny and Dason were operating an online florist business where they would take deliveries for flower orders and assign distribution using their executives. On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, the duo had an overwhelming amount of orders that they had to fulfill, and the flower prices spike during Valentine’s Day, and all the boyfriends and husbands who had placed the order were eager to know the status of their orders. Their hotlines started ringing at 8 am whereas their delivery time window begins at 9 am.
The duo had no answers to the inquiries as there was no tracking system available for them, and they had to call their drivers to get updates on the orders. The drivers didn’t pick up the call as they were busy driving and delivering the orders, and those who did had a hard time running through the paper delivery notes to check the status of the delivery. The operations that day were a nightmare for them that they almost pulled the plugs on the hotlines.
After this incident, they had a debrief about how they could solve the problem, and that’s when the idea of developing a system that would help them manage and track their deliveries came to their mind. To tackle this logistics nightmare, they left the florist business behind and roped in their co-founder Daniel (current CTO and Co-founder of Detrack) embarked on the journey to develop an affordable solution for this market-wide problem. This would help them build an affordable solution for the challenge so SMEs could access the powerful yet affordable technology to manage the deliveries.
What is Detrack, and what makes it a unique platform?
Detrack is a cloud-based real-time delivery tracking and electronic proof of delivery (e-POD) solution which digitalizes the last mile deliveries and is easy to use for drivers, customers, and back-office staff.
In conversation with TimesNext, Dason uses the example of a flower delivery business to give us a better idea of the company. The example included the delivery business that still uses paper delivery notes and obtains pen signatures from the recipients. If you have to look up for any delivery from a week ago, then going through all the paperwork will be a tough task, and it’ll also be hard for you to keep track of your day to day operations as well.
Detrack solved this problem, and all you have to do is head over to the Detrack website, sign up for a free account and add the first driver on the app for free as well. In the next 5 minutes, you can add another delivery job with the help of your favorite web browser, and dispatch the job to the driver, and track the driver activities and routes along the way. Once the driver taps the Submit POD button, a PDF proof of delivery will be generated and sent to the stakeholders, including the customer and back-office staff, in real-time.
The thing that sets apart Detrack and their mobile app are that even drivers who are not tech-savvy can also navigate through the apps like a pro. This could be proved that they had an on-board solution from signing up, testing, downloading the app, and dispatching their 20 drivers with Detrack in less than 2 hours.
The challenges faced in the initial outset
As a florist delivery business before Detrack, they were using WordPress + WooCommerce set up to make that website functional, and they have come a long way from transforming themselves to a B2B SaaS company. In the beginning, it was just the three co-founders, and they decided to build a prototype. Daniel was most experienced in the tech and was responsible for creating the backend for Detrack, and Fanny and Dason developed the frontend process.
With hard work and determination, they all managed to roll out a working prototype within four months by building a working backend, two mobile apps. They launched a beta version in January 2014 and with production in April 2014.
Is Detrack planning to raise funds, or have they raised any funds yet?
Detrack has not raised any funds yet, and they are planning to raise several points in the journey, but they were too busy to get started. The company is cashflow positive, and they didn’t feel an urgent need to do so. Investors showed interest in the firm, but they were too busy to attend their needs and give them the opportunities to invest in the business.
In case they plan to take up investments, they’d be willing to look at Series A funding with a ticket size of around $5 million.
How has Detrack helped the founders grow
In the past few years, Dason and his team have learned that even a perfect plan can have inevitable hiccups that can arise, and it is essential to have Plan B, and they should not get affected by things if they don’t turn out to be perfect. The most important lesson for them was to learn from their past mistakes, and this would be helpful for them and help them avoid the same mistakes.
A little introduction about the team and other projects
Detrack’s core team is everything, and they find it essential to know who they are doing it for, and their team members come from different walks of life, and most of them are not trained in the job they are working on right now. Detrack believes in hiring people who have a passion for the work and not experience as they believe in giving time to the employees to pick up the skills using resources to learn more.