So you’ve created the hottest new widget that everyone wants and you’re ready for dump truck to start unloading mountains of cash on your lawn, but there’s just one problem: getting your product to those anxious customers. You’re now ready to deal with the entrepreneurial hell of shipping.
But navigating this labyrinthine nightmare has become easier in recent years, thanks to a handful of fellow entrepreneurs who have developed some quality low-cost mobile apps to make your job simpler. Just as you saw a need that had gone unaddressed, so too did these folks. And you are going to thank them.
Of course, the Goliaths of the industry — FedEx, UPS — have their apps and, in fact, that is probably the first place you looked. And those apps might be just fine, yet if you were perfectly happy with that service, you probably would not have clicked on this headline, but here you are.
The latest generation of mobile logistic aids come courtesy of third-party providers who rely on a wide variety of shipping companies. Here’s a sample of a few to keep in mind to satisfy your buyers with prompt, reliable delivery.
Jump Technologies of Eagan, Minn. developed this app, which is ideal for shippers interested in confirmation of receipt. This proof-of-delivery app works with a cloud-based delivery management system to capture and save signatures and photos of deliveries. Furthermore, it will geolocate your delivery driver throughout the day, so you can keep an eye on important shipments that are en route. And that data can be shared with your skeptical customers through email.
Prices start at $75 per route, with discounts depending on the amount of fleet vehicles you’re operating, but the company also offers a 30-day free trial so that you can test the waters.
Declaring itself “the fastest way to send anything anywhere,” Shipster is not shy about its service. Its three-step process could not be more simple: snap it, request pickup, track it.
One: Snap a picture of anything you want the company to send. Two: A Shipster courier will pick up the item within minutes. Three: Track your package while they wrap, pack and deliver it anywhere in the world.
The company subcontracts the actual shipping out to its partners and freelancers. A special feature it offers is a frequent shipper program with escalating levels of rewards, including discounts, free on-demand pickups, free packaging and more. Contact the company about local service options.
3. Deliveries (for iOS devices)
This app from Junecloud, of Northville, Mich., is for Apple users. It relies on a vast amount of shipping companies, including the big boys: FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL.
Deliveries allows you to sync your desktop computer and your mobile devices using iCloud or Junecloud sync, so you can find out where your package is whether you’re in the office or on the golf course. And if you create a Junecloud account, you can add new shipments from any web browser.
You can purchase the app in the App Store for $4.99.
So now you’ve got no excuses. If you haven’t already launched your widget manufacturing start-up, there’s never been a better time than now.