Shutl is an innovative UK-based company that lets online shoppers get what they want, when they want it. They’ll deliver your goods within 90 minutes or in a one-hour window of your choice. But how efficient is the company behind the delivery service? We talked to founder and CEO Tom Allason to find out.
Sometimes, when you buy something online you don’t want it tomorrow, or sometime this week. You want to get it now, or at least at a convenient time that fits around your busy lifestyle. Shutl makes that happen.
It’s a delivery service that integrates with online stores, such as Maplin and Argos, to give customers fast, convenient delivery, often in as little as 90 minutes
The cost of Shutl delivery is comparable to standard delivery, meaning in many cases free depending on the retailer and the value of the order. To add to the excitement, you can watch the delivery in real time because Shutl’s couriers have GPS tracking.
Efficiency is their business
Shutl is about more than deliveries. It’s about the shopper’s experience and brand building. ‘We talk about Shutl as part of the retailer’s value proposition, their marketing story and as a way to build the lifetime value of a customer,’ says Tom Allason, Shutl’s CEO. In other words, for e-commerce companies that offer the Shutl option, efficiency is good for business.
Sharing is efficiency
Efficiency is also a business objective within the company. ‘It’s a very agile, transparent environment,’ says Tom. The linkage between the two things – transparency and agility – lets people work more efficiently. If people have the right information, they can make decisions quickly.
So, for example, the company asks every shopper about their Shutl experience and shares the survey results with everyone in the company to keep everyone focused on this key metric. Similarly, the development team doesn’t just show the directors what they’re working on, they do a demo for the whole company.
Turbine takes care of time off
Transparency is important when it comes to routine admin too. This is why Shutl uses Turbine to track who’s in the office and who’s off sick or on holiday. ‘A single view of who’s off and how much holiday time people have is very useful,’ says Tom, ‘and Turbine is very straightforward and easy to use.’
With 35 staff working in offices in Chelmsford, Shoreditch and San Francisco, having a straightforward and easy-to-use tool like this is essential.
Invest in what’s important
It’s a mistake to see Shutl as a kind of courier company. In fact, they are a high-tech software company and their product is their technology, which matches customers, couriers and retailers in real time. With such high-tech DNA, it’s no surprise that they are keen adopters of cloud applications like Turbine.
For example, they use:
- Ruby on Rails as the framework for their software (like Turbine does)
- Amazon Web Services to host their software
- Pivotal Tracker and Trello for project management
- Salesforce for customer relationship management
- Google Apps for email, calendars, word processing, spreadsheets and presentations
- Dropbox for file sharing
- MailChimp for newsletters
- LinkedIn for customer prospecting and research
In true lean startup style, they even used eBay to buy all their office furniture. This combination of frugality and innovation is typical of the most efficient companies. Like Shutl, they spend their money according to their priorities, ruthlessly focusing their investment on tools that help them grow the business. And if that means a second-hand office chair, so be it. It’s a badge of honour.